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June 04, 2006

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And read Steve Clemons' review of Gore's film, and his comments on Gore. Some interesting observations.

I look forward to the election with hope and misgiving.

Misgiving, not so much because I think the Democrats will pull defeat from the jaws of victory; more because I honestly have no idea what the country in general thinks about the great issues facing us today. I hang out at blogs; I read the newspapers; I listen to NPR; I do not watch TV news or talkshows at all. My sense of what "the country" thinks is therefore probably very skewed.

Misgiving, because even though polls indicate the nation at large is as fed up with Congress as it is with Bush, I'm not sure how much voters realize the Congress they're fed up with is a seamless GOP operation. I'm not sure how much voters have connected the issues in their own lives - the rising prices, the rising sense of isolation, the rising sense of insecurity - to GOP policies specifically.

Misgiving, because it's a truism that even though voters might be fed up with the GOP in general, and porkbarrell politics in general, they still tend to approve of their own GOP Representative and Senator - because they approve of porkbarrell politics that benefit their communities. It's everyone else's they don't like.

But I do have hope. I have hope for the most unfortunate of reasons: I have hope because Bush and the GOP have produced such disastrous policies, with such disastrous consequences, that even the generally apolitical and apathetic have taken notice. I have hope because people who do take their vote, their roles as citizens in a democracy, at all seriously must be aware of how vital it is to get rid of the architects of Darkness in America: all GOP, and GOP-manque faux Democrats.

Twenty years ago some college professors I had the priviledge of learning from laid out projections that were pretty much on the money: consolidation of right-wing power shrouded with fundamentalist christianity, accelerating flow of money to the top tier, greatly increased militarization with greatly decreased rights and freedoms, breakdown of media reliance and accountability. My Cassandra complex has been blinking on red alert for years now, and frankly, I don't see much improvement coming even if the Dems are elected. After all, the Dems have pretty much said they will roll over to the status quo set by the Reaganites currently in charge. I'm not sure that a strong president could survive regardless of what party he represents due to the mess and rot which has filtered down to the local level.

Now, couple that with a populace of tired and pampered boomers who really don't want to give up their SUV's and closets full of cheap, pestacide- or petroleum-ridden clothing and we have a mess. It is so very easy to manipulate us all. And we know that China and many of the other growing powers are able to see the long term better than we are, and they are able to wait--something Americans have always been really bad at.

I see the makings of a perfect storm. I am not optimistic but I am hopeful that the blows will come in waves which will allow adjustments to be made. I hope that folks will be willing to make drastic changes in their lives without killing the messengers. I hope that in forty years, institutions will still be around which will care for me with ethical compassion as I become unable to care for myself.

Wow. If that post at The Washington Note doesn't get your blood flowing, you're just going to have to admit that you're dead.

That's the kind of stuff we need to hear more of in the next 155 days - that's the kind of sentiment that will bring out the voters and turn this thing around.

It got me going, and I do have some optimism. It will be at least marginally better under the Dems, and in some areas, like civil liberties, reproductive rights,. gay rights, freedom of expression it will be hugely better. I refuse to believe our system is beyond healing. In my lifetime (since 1942) the world has been through a great deal, and we will survive Bush as well. Have faith, and keep going.

Huzzah. The Democratic party, with all its hand wringing and poll taking doesnt need to look any farther than this essay to know what its mission should be for the upcoming elections.

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