In Brief—We are permitting unreasoning fear and cynical political calculation to corrode the soul of America and cementing in place our basest instincts instead of casting those negatives aside and following a path that will lead to a brighter future. Only we have the power to change course if we will inform ourselves and vote for a change of direction.
Ignorance and Laziness Lead to Hell—
If you liked the past year, you’re going to love what’s ahead for America. The New York Times’ Frank Bruni hit a home run with his September 10 column “American Horror Story” in which he despaired of America’s do-nothing politics. Thanks to the Republican hatred of Barack Obama and the Democratic Party, the House of Representatives—firmly in the hands of the intransigent Republicans—has placed their unreasoning animus and Republican Party unity ahead of the interests of the nation. They prefer destroying the country to governing it. Whatever you do, take a few minutes of your valuable time to read and digest Mr. Bruni’s words. Do it now.
On September 14, I wrote a blog piece titled “Vote, for Crying Out Loud, VOTE!” I pointed out the destructiveness of the Republican Party and once again urged readers to check out the party platforms before casting their votes. Couple that piece with Frank Bruni’s column and you get a picture of the serious trouble facing America and the importance of removing the roadblock to addressing America’s vital problems. That’s just part of the destructiveness, but it goes even further.
While there’s a crying need for concern about our politicians in Washington, D.C., there’s also a concern about the fears that drive state politicians.
The candidate (federal and state) thinks, “I’m afraid I won’t be reelected unless I…a) toe the party line; b) pull in enough money from my wealthy benefactors; c) tailor my speeches to the party faithful.” The critical point is: Getting Relected. Facts: Over 80% to 90% of incumbents are reelected to Congress regardless of their record in addressing the nation’s problems…YOUR PROBLEMS. Voter Smith recognizes the name; that’s enough. Zero thought is given to the candidate’s record. The fear: Reelection.
Thanks to the Supreme Court’s conservatives in the Citizens United and McCullough cases, the Koch brothers and a number of other rich benefactors with their own pecuniary interests uppermost in their minds, politicians—particularly Republicans—are showered with money. The quid pro quo is that those politicians will vote the interests of their benefactors. Forget your interests or the interests of the nation.
Again, thanks to the Supreme Court conservatives in the Hobby Lobby and Wheaton cases, fundamentalist Christians can discriminate against women and other religions. Who are winners and who are the losers? Guess. Which political party benefits? Guess. Once again I urge you to read the party platforms. If you aren’t scared out of your wits by what you find there, you are probably a die-hard Republican.
That sums up the dead-end of American politics…or does it? Now let’s examine our individual fears.
Fears: Reasonable and Unreasonable——
“I’m afraid to quit a job I hate in order to find one more appealing.” That’s not an unreasonable fear after the Great Meltdown of 2007 brought to you and the world courtesy of the risky gambles of Wall Street and the big banks. A few low-level sacrificial goats have been prosecuted but the richies in the corner offices sit on their fortunes unscathed while Main Street suffers still and unemployment or underemployment devastates millions. It’s a political calculation arising out of the deliberate destruction of regulations that took place starting in the Reagan administration.
“I’m afraid ISIS (the brutal fundamentalist Islamists) will take over America unless we send our military back in to finish what Bush and Cheney started in 2003.” That one is an unreasonable fear based on the delusional apocalyptic scenario pushed by the dead-end hawks who lied America into the Iraq War and tortured Muslims in violation of national and international law. America created ISIS just as America created Osama bin Laden and al Queda. ISIS is a small organization that will be defeated by local groups and a coalition of nations that concentrate on regional unity in the common defense. Meanwhile, the American military-industrial complex that Dwight Eisenhower warned against will make out like bandits. It’s a cynical political calculation that, against all reason, claims it won’t stand still for ISIS to develop into an imagined global threat.
“I’m afraid that godless socialists will allow women to destroy babies and keep America from becoming one nation under the Christian God.” That is both unreasonable and a big reason the Republican Party is no longer the party of Abraham Lincoln or Teddy Roosevelt. It is unreasonable not just because Christianity makes up only a third of the world’s religions that don’t embrace Christian beliefs, but the Founding Fathers clearly and unequivocally established a nation that allowed different religions to worship in their own fashion and deliberately omitted the deity from the Constitution.
The Supreme Court in Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey explicitly stated that abortion is a constitutional right like any other. Moreover, 99% of Americans haven’t a clue what socialism is. Do you wonder why the socialistic Nordic countries rank so high in livability standards? The fear expressed above is unreasonable and irrational even though it drives the Republican faithful to push their politicians into expressing delusional views that are leading them into a dead-end that is destroying America. It’s time to realize that these obstructionists need to be voted out of office so America can address its real problems.
Face Your Fears and Vote—
What are your fears? Are they reasonable or unreasonable? Will they help give luster to what America says it stands for? Your vote will determine the direction America takes. Vote, for crying out loud, vote!