Since I began these posts, I’ve written about politics more than enough times.  But given the election is right around the corner, I refuse to stop.  It’s just too damn important.

According to Gore Vidal:  “The United States has one business party with two right-wing factions” he observed, “the Democrats and the Republicans.”

A sentiment I share, but this is one election where the devil is in the details.  And these details have profound meaning for our country.  The way we view government, individual liberties, civil rights, and the nature of the compact—or non-compact—we as people make with each other.

I believe in government.  Not the way this one is run.  Not the crude gluttony of our politicians.  Not the lies, misrepresentations, and “gotchas” that constitute campaigns for political office.  Not the obscene amount of money it takes to run for the smallest public office.  All of this is horrific.  But I still believe in government.

Only government has the potential to create the type of society in which I want to live.  A society where each citizen is assured of food, clothing, shelter, healthcare, and a decent paying job.  Only government has the potential of protecting people against racism, crime, and social hatred.

Potential isn’t reality and the reality is our government caters to the rich and powerful, who continue to generate giant profits off peoples’ housing problems, peoples’ job issues, peoples’ health good or bad, and government welfare.  Worse, at this moment in time, there is no Teddy Roosevelt or Dwight Eisenhower or FDR standing in the wings to change what we have—a country moving rapidly toward the world that William Gibson envisioned in his great book Neuromancer  written appropriately in 1984.  A world controlled hook, line, and sinker by multinational corporations with government being a mirthless joke.

So why then is this election so important when both candidates answer to the Swells?

From where I sit, the importance lies with the slightly different direction and philosophical underpinnings of the two  parties.  These are not my father’s Republicans.  They aren’t even mine.  These New Republicans have no Clifford Cases, no Nelson Rockefellers, no Jacob Javitzs—hell, they have no Richard Nixons, something I never thought I would possibly write.

These New Republicans have Ayn Rand and her belief in Social Darwinism.  These New Republicans have an inbred hatred for government, no matter how it’s run.  Survival of the fittest might have made sense in various historical periods, but now it is nothing more than thinly veiled sadism.  Fuck those who can’t help themselves, but give gobs of subsidies to the “job-creators,” a misnomer for “profit-makers.”

But those profits trickle down.  Right.  Like the guy who walked into the bar and asked for a “trickle down,” which the bartender promptly poured and handed to the richest white man in the room.  That’s what trickle down has meant and will always mean.

The New Republicans Social Darwinism is the worst possible thing that can happen to our people.  To create a country built upon it will grind what little remains of our social compact, our humanity, into dust.

The irony is that the New Republicans have managed to cloak survival of the fittest under the shroud of “family values.”  Protect the fetus, which really means women of wealth get abortions by doctors while the poor, and working people are forced into back alleys—all the while outlawing contraception, which reduces the need for that which The New Republicans say they abhor.  (I’d really like to know the over/under of the New Republicans, who have adopted a child.)  Repeal Obamacare (a really sad excuse for national healthcare) and let those who can’t afford insurance take their children to emergency rooms while wealthy people receive the best healthcare money can buy.  These are “family values?”

Gut social security.  (I know, you can have a voucher—eye-roll here.)  Get rid of the Department of Education.  And finally pack the Supreme Court with folks who believe people of color, the openly gay, and women, operate on an even playing field with white men.  This is what we want?  These aren’t my family values.

From here, it looks like slash and burn.  Yet we really are in all this together—if you exclude the multinationals and those 2% the Occupiers talk about.  We need to care for those like ourselves and those less fortunate.  We need government to rebuild our infrastructure (the real job provider) as well as reduce deficits.  We need government to make certain there’s enough affordable housing to go around and to make sure that people aren’t left in the fumes of those who have full pockets and just want more.  And we all need a court that doesn’t define a corporation as a person.

The Democrats aren’t going to turn government on its head and move in the direction I’d like to see.  Far from it.  But nuances are meaningful.  Them devilish details.  The Democrats (at least the ones I’d vote for, who unfortunately aren’t like Bernie Sanders) are simply not invested in the same draconian measures the New Republicans desire.

I too want to take back our government, but don’t want a country where every man, woman, and child is expected to care only about themselves and pretend that’s “progress.”  Family values are interwoven with community values, which are interwoven with national values.  And I believe this election sets the stage for what our society and culture will eventually become.

14 thoughts on “NUT CRACKING TIME

  1. Because the two parties are too much of the same on big issues, the experience from where I sit is like a ball game. Right now the momentum is still very bad. Obama fell way behind in Florida after debates even though the seniors there are focused on social security and we won that issue in both debates. We may be a few points ahead but the other team is surging. We either get a game changing performance tomorrow or the election is over.

    How do I know? Yesterday eagles were up by ten points w five minutes left. Lions get TD in two minutes with three minutes left. If we get two first downs and abbé one, game is over, we went three and out w pass plays killing clock. After that, still ahead but loss was inevitable, if not a major landscape dominating context.

    WE NEED To take control and dominate or look to bleak future

    • ron: “WE NEED To take control and dominate or look to bleak future.”

      I think the future is pretty bleak whoever wins but much bleaker with the New Republicans. Frankly, while I’d love to dominate, I’ll settle for a win.

  2. Amen Brother Zach! Amen.
    The Parties of Wealth have arrived at this place by differing paths, but the same result. The stark distinction between benevolent socially-conscious wealth and greedy self-serving wealth has been obliterated by joint “right of adverse possession” of the Common wealth.
    One voice with a million dollars or the proxy of one million voices with one dollar longer equal. While reasonable people can disagree, ONE party has cravenly weaponized our disagreements. The other party, sadly, chose to play along.
    The results were predictable, but may no longer be avoidable. It’s not an accident that no Teddy, Dwight or even Tricky Dick can be found waiting in the wings. The distance between their message and where our messaging is today render it an almost dead language.

  3. I agree that the small details are the only thing that drives ANY passion I have for this election, but there you go saying they are going to ban contraception. Is the argument for people buying their own contraception not a strong enough one where you have to resort to saying they will downright ban it?

    Either way, I would support a ban on corporate political donations if we could do it without restricting personal, real citizens, free speech.

    Once again another well put together post, that although I do not entirely agree with, I enjoyed reading.

    • don: “Once again another well put together post, that although I do not entirely agree with, I enjoyed reading.”

      thanks don, appreciate it. as far as the use of the word “ban” i actually think there have been proposals put forward in different states about bans. certainly there have been about the “morning after” pill. but regardless, to those who can’t make ends meet the word “ban” is semantics. they can’t get ’em.

  4. Zach, Couldn’t agree more. One other thing in Obama’s favor is he’s trying to put his stamp on positive movement below the radar screen to cement his policies regardless who the next President is. So the idea is to put in as many folks as he can in high positions in the Government, but, crucially, many of these folks aren’t political appointees. Bush did the same thing. So my brother, who is the Chief Deputy overseeing Medicare and Medicaid for the US, had to wait many months before he got his appointment because Obama chose to make is a government job. So now, if Romney wins, he can’t get rid of him. He might reassign him, but he has to stay at the same level. Anyway, I guess the point is that sometimes it’s hard to figure out what positive things a President is doing.

    • mike–it pleases me to hear that certain positive changes might outlive obama’s presidency, but we’re so behind the eight-ball that we need a new progressive movement of us and the around 50-60% of those who don’t vote to really right the ship. not an easy do, but one that’s absolutely necessary.

  5. Zach,
    I gave up a long time ago on the idea that there was any hope for working or poor people through the Democratic Party.

    Nothing I see today changes my mind.

    • Jed: “I gave up a long time ago on the idea that there was any hope for working or poor people through the Democratic Party.”

      I agree with you. But if these New Republicans win, it’ll make it even worse. At the moment, voting is a defensive act. But sometimes to get into position to play offense (organizing a Progressive party) we gotta play defense.

      Thanks for checking out the post–appreciate it and please tell your friends. Thanks.

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