Monday, April 09, 2012

Wish it were different, but it's not.

We read it all the time.  The comment "both the parties are the same," and, "they're all crooked."  These may be the most commonly used terms of endearment aimed at our admittedly restrictive duopoly of partisan political organizations known as "parties," despite the fact that no one looks like they're having any fun at all.

Except maybe Bill Clinton.  And Newt Gingrich, perhaps, though one might question whether he is actually capable of HAVING fun, being the dried-up old lemon he is.

But I digress.

Gawd knows I've not been Obama's most ardent supporter.  I knew from the beginning that he, much like Hilary Clinton, would govern as a status quo politician.  And from a strictly Democratic standpoint (not a liberal or progressive one, but that's another tune altogether) he has.  The most positive things this administration has accomplished has been in the spirit of compromise that has dominated the Democratic Party for the past few decades.

There is nothing radical about the Democratic Party.  I've made the comment that in trying to fix the problems caused by reckless fiscal policies and financial regulation, the Democrats appear to be trying to slap a band-aid over a spurting arterial wound.  The Republicans simply want to stab it again.

Some people accuse the two parties of playing good-cop bad-cop with our political process, and in fact honestly owing their loyalties not to the people who voted them into office, but instead the people who provide the financial backing necessary to run for office in the first place.  I believe there is some degree of truth in this point of view.  But I believe that in many cases the way the process corrupts those who are inducted into it is not with the Grand Temptation, as Satan allegedly tempted Christ on the mountain, but instead by a series of minor compromises in which one is induced to lose sight of that point one will not go beyond.

In other words, I don't think they're all owned outright.  Many are simply held on lease.  They come up with their own rationalizations for bending to the status quo, for not standing up quite as strongly for the the things they deep down know they should.  I imagine many of the women in the Republican Party are asking themselves some soul-rending questions right about now.  Of course, I might be wrong about that.

The Republican Party is hopelessly corrupt by any intelligent standard, its policies not set by people with rational perspectives, but by rampant ideologues working for so-called "think tanks," talk radio shock jocks like Rush Limbaugh, and the rabid occupants of the single American so-called "news" agency that has gone to court for the right to lie and call it "news."

So, again, please spare me the "both parties are the same," bullshit.  They're not.  And for all the good reasons to gripe the Democratic Party gives us, the only way we're going to change anything within the party is to do what the right wing loons did beginning in the early to mid-eighties.  They infiltrated the Republican Party at every possible level, and began building a power structure with which to shake the establishment to its core.  And at the end of that chain of events we see rise to (albeit short-lived) power the loose-cannon, ideologically "pure" members of that particular religious and political sect.  Those who loathe the very notion of actual democracy and hide behind the words "Republic" as if their own P.R. doesn't say that we are in the business of "Spreading Democracy" to otherwise blighted lands.

They only like "Democracy" if they can twist it to mean what they want it to mean.

So, yes, I'll be voting for Obama again.  And along with Occupy and Moveon and other Democratic, liberal, and progressive organizations, I will campaign to increase transparency in government, advocate justice in the courts, demand reason in the legislatures, and publicly disdain hypocrisy where I see it.

I don't have to like everything being done by our government or even the Obama administration to understand that it could be much, much worse.  And given any feasible alternative other than sticking my head in the sand and trying to pretend that the battle between the two dominant political ideologies in this country doesn't have the potential to save or doom the world, I think I'll choose to remain engaged.  Even if it does prompt me to spend entirely too much time sharing links and making snarky comments on Facebook when I could be writing something more lucrative.

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