Tuesday, August 31, 2010

…And the Republic for Which It Stands.


I am living with a very terrible, nagging feeling these last months. We are in a state of division these days so acute that Republicans and Conservatives cavalierly propose secession and cite states' rights, as if Jefferson Davis were still walking the earth and the Civil War had been but a prelude, and not settled history. These Republicans were the same people who accused the softest critics of the Bush administration of treason in the post 9/11 twilight of the 00s.

As I hear poll after poll indicating that Republicans and the Right likely stand to gain seats, if not a functioning majority in the House, I ask myself:
“Who are these excited fools, and how exactly did they apply their amnesia so selectively?”
“Doesn’t the future of a country matter more to these “patriots” than their declared party’s influence?”

And I am dealing with other terrible, nagging feelings. Among them the suspicion that we may no longer lack the maturity as a nation of citizens to either wait for policies to take effect, or listen to reason of any kind. Emotion and fear consistently trump the facts; and our beliefs, no matter how archaic and unenlightened, drown out news and information. We won’t consider any single simple thing unless it comes to us from someone we want to hear it from at the podium. This is one of the things that is making it so difficult for the population to even agree on a common, concrete, empirical reality.

Not everything is a matter of opinion or belief, and saying so is an act of puerile desperation. But the desperate are outlasting the sane in America today. Voters are insisting on acting like children, citing their refusal of inconvenient facts as philosophical strength and ideological resolve.

The “news,” as it is today, it not helping. The global and national media apparatus is in fact providing the most effective means of disseminating lies, legitimizing contrived inaccuracies and promoting the distractions of the Establishment.

Months ago, I made a list of Republican Senators from around the country and called and emailed each and every one of them about Healthcare reform (some wouldn’t let me email if I didn’t place a zip within their state, so it took some doing.) I started with John Boehner’s office. My feeling was that I had to say something to contradict the lie they kept repeating over and over again, -that the overwhelming percentage of Americans did not want health care reform. I did not want to be unheard by these spectacular liars even if my communications were ticks in the seas of their blind supporters’ screams and yells at town halls.
I asked many writers online to do the same: -not that they call Democrats, but that they specifically call the “opposition” and make reality a thing that much more obvious to disavow. I suspect no one else did this, because I know how long it took me: 3 days.
All I hear is how demoralized, disappointed and unenthusiastic voters are now that the Obama administration has shown it can only pass part of a healthcare reform package, part of a financial reform bill.

Well maybe Obama could have cured cancer in the last year if every single person who ever complained about it called all of their representatives.

Do not forget that "part" of a lazy public is sitting back and saying “Well, I voted” and doing little else since the White House changed hands.
And Now...

...Now those masses who forever want someone to make them feel comfortable, those familiar millions who are always clamoring for some leader to tell them they can have everything they want if they only shut up, if they only listen, if they only follow like supplicants in the presence of God are excited again. The American Right’s goal is enchantment, belief, obedience, uniformity, a homogeneity all in the service of allowing the rich to get richer, and ensure the poor remain raw material for whatever purposes the ruling class see fit.
How could Democrats, Progressives, the Unions, the working class, the poor or the Left, ever have hoped to keep its resolve in the face of that kind of stalwart, idiotic devotion presented as a political movement?
Honestly, I figured it would last longer than a year and a half, but from what I’m reading online, I was dead wrong.

I was as naïve as the armies of suckers who lined up to hear a comedian “restore honor” this past weekend in the nation's capitol.

Somebody save this country from its stupider, short-sighted impulses.
Somebody wake it before this idiotic nightmare runs its toxic course.
-SJ
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12 comments:

Mycue23 said...

I couldn't have said it better myself. I mean really, you nailed it.

Sue said...

I agree, well said SJ!

Something is happening in our country, it's a tidalwave of evangelicals and I don't know if they can be stopped because their voices come from a very evil place. These "Christians" are desperate for something, someone to call a leader, even though all they need to do is look to God. But instead they listen to liars and buffoons like their Fox and Friends "gods" and hang onto every hideous lie. This tidalwave of sheeple are destroying our country from within, praying for the second coming of Christ! I don't know if democrats are smart enough or strong enough to stop the insanity, but I'm becoming very nervous! If the thugs take the House in November we are in for a scary 2 years. I say 2 years because the country, if they are smart, will see the evilness and turn back to democrats in 2012.

Do I sound confused?? LOL

SJ said...

@Mycue23,
seriously friend, I think I'm about to lose my mind.

SJ said...

@Sue,
yes it's religion, it's fundamentalism and something primordial too. I looked at pics of that event from Saturday and all I could think of was Shirley Jackson's short story "The Lottery."
If the GOP does surge then lose in two years, it doesn't bode well for our future, we can't seesaw between extremes like this, it will only benefit the crooks at the top and the banks. Add to that the bizarre complacency, entropy of the young voters who just check in for the big show, because politics isn't nearly as interesting as the latest episode of the 'Jersey Shore' and you, me and everyone we know are at sea in a ship of fools during a perfect storm.
Some days I tell you Sue, some days, I just don't know what to do or say.
-SJ

Tim said...

Of course you right. The one thing FDR had that Obama does not is a friendlier Judaical Branch of the Government. I fear that almost whatever goes before the Supreme Court, we won't like it's ruling.
I attended a few town Halls last summer and was so disseminated by what I heard and saw. In talking with some friends, I was urged to write it down. Last Nov. was tha start of my blog. I had to let it out. No where in the Main street Media as it's called was the whole truth being told. Not that my post make a rats ass of a difference but I thought I should try. I fear we are alone in this battle. We are up against a Juggernaut. You have old Rupert and a Corporation Like Koch.
Koch which is synonymous with the teaparty. Let's face it, we are the underdog. I thought of two things to do, Fight like hell and change Obama's mind on the fairness Doctrine. It's needed more than ever. Next, we need to organize. The voice of many has some sway. Now that would be grassroots. I'm up for anyone's suggestions.. SJ your absolutely right on this. There's to much at stake.

SJ said...

@Tim,
certainly if all the people who voted for Obama remained active, this Conservative "1/5" would exactly like what it is: "1/5" and not half or some swelling majority.

Gwendolyn H. Barry said...

I sure do feel all of that Sandy.

I still have hope.

And I need a really fine vacation. too. :-)

Jack Jodell said...

SJ,
I share in your frustration, but I also share in Gwendolyn's hope. You are a thoughtful and concerned citizen, and a true patriot who genuinely cares about this country and its people. Were Congress full of Sandy Jimenezes, we would be in MUCH greater shape.

You're absolutely correct about the left having fallen down on the job. Complacency has set in among many at the worst possible moment. The conservative lie machine has ramped up to an unprecedented and unbelievable level. But it will not succeed forever, for these people have no practical solutions to our problems and offer little of concrete value to the majority of the public. As such, their message, just like their agenda, will fail them long term, and we WILL eventually have a better day.

I also urge everyone to lambast conservative Republican legislators with our fair and common-sense ideas. I commend you for having taken the action you did.

We must not despair; we must not reced; we must persevere.

American voters have made horrible mistakes before. We rejected the League of Nations and voted in laissez-faire mediocrity to Congress and the White House in the 1920s. We paid the price for it short-term, but it led to the fabulous reforms of FDR and the New Deal, and many millions benefitted for generations thereafter. We voted in mediocrity again in the 1950s, and we again paid the price short-term. But LBJ's Great Society was the long-term result, and it, too, has benefitted millions ever since, particularly in the areas of civil rights and combatting hunger. This conservative crud slide we have endured since the 1980s is in its death throes in terms of relevancy and result, so it too will vanish, to be eventually replaced by something far better. That is why we must not despair and must always persevere. A study of history and past precedent has fueled my optimism. The Tea Party movement is an aberration and it is built on so many shany contradictions it cannot survive long. The common sense of our people will eventually triumph and push it aside to the scrap heap of history, where it belongs.

Until then, we clear-thinkers must not despair. Instead, we must write on, speak on, and VOTE!

SJ said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
SJ said...

@Gwen,
many thanks for the comradery. I appreciate it.
I wish there was a vacation from this Tea Bagger nonsense.

@Jack
Thank you again for the history lessons and the much needed perspective they afford. It can't go on forever as you say Jack, but after the Reagan years, after the recently ended George W. Bush era, my patience has worn thin, -not with the Right, but with everybody else who claims to give a damn about the country and the world. If all the peoploe who voted in the Democrats stayed focused on those catastrophes and policies that made them vote that way and kept their eyes fixed on the road ahead and not some ideal in their minds, nobody would be projecting Republican gains in the fall.
It takes just as much indifference, fecklessness and sloth as it does mediocrity, greed and hate to ruin the world.
-SJ

tnlib said...

You're not losing your mind. You're much too bright and too good of a writer - and WE need people like you.

To send email/letters to congressioinal members of the GOP is a great idea. Out of curiosity, did you get any responses?

Too many Democrats have, at the very least, become complacent. Many more have turned against Obama - even from day one. To vote for him is great but to constantly beat the man up is just as demoralizing and poisonous as all the crap the right-wing is vocalizing.

Everytime I hear a right wing extremist quoted I just cringe and shake my head in wonder. Where do these nuts come up with these ideas? And can it get any worse? Dems have to get off their duffs, get organized, write letters, email and volunteer for the local party. As corny as it might sound, it's a patriotic duty.

Thanks for such a good post.

SJ said...

@Tnlib,
I'd always try calling them first, which was strangely easier, but often got busy signals. The few times I got through it was always an intern who sounded very sorry to be working for who they were working for, very apologetic without specifically admitting any specific part of the healthcare oppositions of their office were wrong or hypocritical.
The problem with email, is that most Senators' emails give you robo responses so you're not sure they are being read at all, and if you go through their websites, the online forms for feedback categorize your resonses and have a field for zip code, which I defeated by just doing a google search so I could enter a zip in their state and get through, =very time consuming.
Tnlib, Thanks for the kind words of encouragement as always.
I'm not giving up by any means, but it's a sad realization when you discover that today and right now, it's not the system, it's not the laws, it's not even the politicians anymore, it's just us. We the people and all of our short sightedness and stupidity and guile. This kind of oppression and regression of standards and protections can only be done -by ourselves, to ourselves-. We have the power, and 1/5 of us are using that power to prop up the interests of corporations and derail all meaningful discourse about policy.
-SJ