Even though I know the story is going to end "well", I often get to feeling a bit anxious towards the end of some TV shows. TV is a relatively recent addition to my routine, and I'm hoping its grasp is tenuous. I'm fairly easily moved by dramatic situations so I try to limit exposure, it's not fun feeling uncomfortable. Anyways, point being that I feel this way now about the upcoming election.
There's a lot at stake in American politics because we're at the edge of a precipice. For better or worse the Republicans have succeeded in achieving Grover Norquist's dream; the Government is now "small" enough to be drown in a bathtub. I'm not talking about physical size, necessarily, but rather our preception of government. Republican politicans are crooks (at least a lot of current Republicans are) so we mistrust any politician. Especially Congressmen. They don't do themselves any favors by letting the Bush Administration run roughshod over their wishes. Democrats in control of Congress (a situation that I gave thanks for only a couple of posts down) have done nothing to prove that they deserve to be in the majority. It's business as usual, and it so happens that that business is about destroying our government. Republicans do it whenever they're in power. Democrats do no service by aiding and abetting.
I believe the government is resillient. At least it's proved to be so through countless crises. Somewhere in the back of my mind I believe that it will make it through. We will recover from the cyst that is the modern Republican party and reconstruct what could be (maybe it never was?) a decent government structure. One that's mostly free of partisan motivations, which doesn't engage in highly damaging doublespeak, and is generally concerned with doing the right thing, not negating its own existence. So that part of me thinks this will end "well".
But so much could happen between now and November. A McCain candidacy could potentially cloudy the waters. Although the leadership of his tribe abhors him, it appears that he's still popular amongst those who call themselves "Republicans". As Joe Lieberman demonstrated there are enough Democratic voters out there who don't get what's going on, who don't grasp the wholesale destruction that's happening before our very eyes. Unity08 is close to dead, Bloomberg isn't that stupid (or I don't think he is), so the next best thing is McCain for those who just want to "get along".
A reminder, then, is in order; the other party we're trying to "get along" with doesn't want government to be successful. They want reasons to cut back on spending, to farm out every last function to private companies, and to reduce the "bureaucracy" (which is often quite efficient) to a sullen shell of its former self. They use shopworn devices to attack various social programs. The phrase "Socialized Medicine" has forced out any talk about establishing really universal healthcare among the Democratic candidates, a crying shame considering how much good it could do for the country. Illegal immigrants are attacked as terrorists. I will be frank, here, that's exactly how they (some voices in the modern Republican party) want us to view the War on Terrorism. That ill-defined catch-all phrase can be twisted a thousand ways, and its already been used to demonize immigrants (both legal and illegal). Just like the term "socialized" has long outlived the Cold War, so too will the detrimental association of "terrorist" and "terrorism". These are the people who we're supposed to "get along" with. No thanks.
And why not try to "get along"? Because ceeding more ground in this fight will destroy our country. At a time when the economy is sure to see rough water for at least a year, when the government has all but openly declared its incompetence, and many in the media think we're living in 1969 with respect to partisan politics, we cannot afford to screw up. We cannot afford a weak government that everyone mistrusts. We can't afford to spend more time and treasure in Iraq, let alone in Iran. I'd say we are at our weakest point since World War II as a nation, both economically and militarily. It will take a herculean effort to dig ourselves out of this hole. And only a Democrat at this point in history has any chance of digging.
And so I'm apprehensive. I don't know if I'll be watching the coming events with "interest" so much as "wariness". These are going to be rough times, so hold on to your hats.
Andrew 11:23 PM : |