Thanks for the comments to my last blog. Thanks especially to progressives for yielding the floor.
In the midst of a very confused and muddled political climate, I came across a remarkably intelligent essay. Whether you agree or disagree, methinks it is worthy of reading. If is titled "Gone Missing: The country's conscience, brain and heart" by Hal Crowther, and appeared in the November 17th issue of INDEPENDENT, a weekly periodical published in Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina. Excerpts...
"The people have spoken. But what did they say? I wish that President Obama, besieged by conservatives warning him to heed the voice of the people, could summon the impudence to say what I might say, in his place, about the midterm elections of 2010. Maybe this is the way he'd answer his tormentors, if he dared: 'When you can explain to me why Americans who have so little join forces against me with those who have way too much, then I might begin to understand what the electorate is saying.'
"He would never hear an honest reply. The dishonest one, a mantra on the right, is that all those Americans, rich and poor, share an unshakable belief in the free-market economy -- which in the case of blue-collar tea-baggers is the same as an unshakable belief that they will win the lottery. The great Republican resurrection of 2010 makes no sense whatsoever where traditional logic prevails. A cartoon by Dan Wasserman of 'The Boston Globe' shows the shell-shocked donkey and the jubilant elephant sitting at a bar. The donkey says, 'They voted you back into office out of anger over the mess you creatied?' and the leering pachyderm replies, 'You don't believe in recycling?'
"The midterms make exactly that much sense unless you concede that they mark the most successful manipulation of the gullible by the cynical that this deceitful republic has yet witnessed. Billionaires and 'undisclosed' corporate donors poured kings' ransoms into relentless attack ads against vulnerable Democrats. Right-wing broadcasters circulated myths and lies that would have made Joseph Goebbels blush, and every racist and xenophobic impulse threatening to a nonwhite president was exploited without apology. The secret money served it up, and the logic-impaired tea party irregulars swallowed the poisoned bait with relish. The net result of the vaunted populist rebellion of 2010 was a sharp turn toward corporate feudalism, as the House of Representatives and many state legislatures and governor's mansions reverted to a rudderless Republican Party that has never been less deserving of another chance.
"Actually it could have been much worse. The Senate failed to fall to the barbarians, many targeted incumbents survived, some of the goofiest tea party candidates, like Sharron Angle and Christine O'Donnell, were rejected. Nazi re-enactor Rich Iott and Ilario Pantano, the ex-Marine officer tried for murdering Iraqi civilians, will not be taking their uniforms to Washington, D.C. America will survive this election. It will not, in the long run, survive what the voting revealed about our political system.
"We've finally achieved institutional incoherence. In the regions especially prone to 'conservative' excess, people voted to be governed by those who rejected government; they elected legislators who support no legislation and created incumbents who despise all incumbents. Irony never crossed their minds. But when they exhumed the decomposing Republicans, who had all but committed political suicide at the end of the second Bush administration, they confirmed that the mainspring of the democratic process is broken. Voters may have had many reasons to be upset, but they had no positive way to express it. As the two-party system founders, political choice in America is never multiple choice. It's yes or no, true or false, chocolate or vanilla, even if you hate them both -- don't even dream of strawberry or maple walnut. It may be true that the voters have no memory, but they have no opinions, either. They can only kick the revolving door and watch yesterday's gross failures pose as tomorrow's brightest hope."
[Much later in the essay, the essayist concludes...] "Good grief. Another headline: 'American influence Dwindling in Iraq.' And another that should have caused every American citizen to cringe and grind his teeth: 'Bush Looks Back, Has Few Regrets.' The wars end, eventually, and it's generally acknowledged that they were mistakes. Sorry. But the dead stay dead, the crippled stay crippled, the damaged stay damaged. Suicides mount among exhausted veterans: 162 in 2009, 125 this year with three months to go. Drug addiction, homelessness, alcoholism, crime. We've created a whole new underclass. Then we hold the most ferocious, expensive midterm election of all time and no one seems to notice the wars? The tea party indeed. Where's the Peace Party? Where's the country's conscience? Where's its heart? Where's its brain?"