Sunday, February 26, 2012
The View from the Cuckoo's Nest
"If God wanted us to vote he would have given us candidates." This is a great quip by Jay Leno, but don't fall for it. You might think, while watching the GOP candidates soil themselves, trash the president, and light the fuse to this country, that Jay Leno is right. Across the board, politicians are a disgusting lot, cut from the same sorry cloth--so at this point, it's all bread, and voting for any of them would be a waste of time. If that is where you are coming from or where you are headed, I'm here to say please, please, don't go there. There is still a big difference between the parties.
The situation is nothing less than dire. Republicans only need to win four seats in 2012 to grab the majority in the Senate, and if they get them, we won't recognize this country when they are done. Meanwhile, given the lack of a convincing presidential candidate, many of the GOP-allied super PACs and their billionaire backers are focusing their attention on capturing these four senate seats. With the help of Citizens United, these hooligans, racists, bigots, and homophobes could just push this whole democratic experiment off the cliff. American voters can either vote out the do-nothing Congress, or they can watch the ideal of democracy crumble around them. And make no mistake: it is a dead heat as to what will happen.
If the GOP wins the Senate this year, Republicans would have an open season to advance their policies: demolish workers' rights. dismantle Medicare, repeal "Obamacare," eliminate vital government services and replace them through the "private sector," remove environmental protections, deregulate the banks, along with the financial and corporate sectors, extend the Bush tax cuts for the rich, and wipe out a woman's right to choose.
If Ron Paul were to become the next president--fortunately unlikely--we would have no Departments of Education, Energy, Commerce, Housing and Urban Development, or the Interior. Bailouts would become impossible as the Federal Reserve would be eliminated and the country would be returned to the gold standard. There would be no Federal income tax, and all American troops would be withdrawn from overseas. You think it couldn't happen? Paul is seventy-six, which is a little old to embark on a presidency, but waiting in the wings is his son, with a similar libertarian platform, the newly elected senator from Kentucky, Rand Paul, who would be quite happy to accept a VP position brokered by his father's electoral votes. Rand Paul is a chip off the old block except for one thing: he is a really mean dude, utterly lacking in his father's good humor and sunny disposition.
Imprisoned as all of us now are in a rotting and criminal political system, the truth is that, unlike Republicans, Democrats still aspire to a condition of music. They are not hell-bent on destruction. Democrats actually believe in global warming; they are committed to a workable health-care plan; they support planned parenthood and helping the poor and the unemployed; they support alternative forms of energy and eliminating subsidies for Big Oil. They want regulations on banks and on Wall Street; more education and infrastructure; fair taxes that balance income inequality; and, not least, a clear separation between church and state. And, they don't resort to the ideologically offensive methodology of systematic lying.
To be candid, there really is no choice here, because with Republicans in power, the only things we can look forward to are dung and death. So hopefully you will bear with me if I have a message to give away. In this post I have presented some of the low-down reasons why Republican agendas must not dominate the field. Reject the theory of false equivalence. Democrats and Republicans are NOT just more of the same thing.