Monday, January 23, 2023
I was thinking this morning, trying to determine – when did it all go wrong? When did it start?
Was it with that woman in Florida who insisted on making the ballots in a heavily Democratic county in Florida prepunch so that when they ran through the vote machines they got hanging chads, which led to the ridiculous scenes afterwards of people trying to determine what the voter intended, which led to the Roger Stone led “riot”, which led to Gore losing votes in that heavily democratic county, which led to his losing Florida and the Presidency by 357 votes?
Or did it start with Newt Gingrich and his scorched earth approach to dealing with the Democrats when he was Speaker of The House?
Did it start with Reagan and his denying the air traffic controllers their union, which led to the decline of the middle class? Or was it his deal with the Pope that led to the end of the Zero Population movement? Or was it his removing the solar panels off the White House?
Tip O’Neil pointed out that when he was in local government in Massachusetts the Republican speaker of the house was a nice guy who liked Tip, even liked Tip’s ideas, but he wouldn’t vote for them because Tip was a Democrat. forget reaching across the aisle.
Was it Joseph McCarthy and his House Unamerican Activities Committee?
Was it Jim Crow?
Was it the Southern Baptist movement after the Civil War, which housed the racist agenda that was Jim Crow?
Was it the Civil War or what led up to it?
Was it the Constitution that declared negroes to be less than one person?
Were their local state movements like what happened in Virginia for decades where the Republican government used their power to suppress local jurisdictions and pressure the Federal government, all the while knowing that what they were doing was unpopular so they hid it behind legislation that sounded good but was actually sinister? “Right to Work “is an example. (That means a company has the right to fire you for any reason or no reason at all.)
Although these people decry socialism they love it when it applies to a hand out for them, not their voters – just them. Well, sometimes their voters get a bit – look at grain subsidies. Or look at how quickly any of these Republican congressmen will take credit for money flowing into their districts on a bill they voted against.
When did it all start? It’s seems it has always been there. It’s like trying to trace back the spot in the universe where the Big Bang originated. Any spot you choose can trace back to a spot, a different spot. I know, it makes no sense.Yet, that’s the best that can be shown to be the case. What can one conclude? Only that it’s always been there? ( What? The Universe. Which makes no sense given that it looks like the Universe is expanding and therefore had to start somewhere. )
Alexis de Tocqueville when touring America in the early 1800s said American was in a race between its vitality and it decadence. Nicely put. Hasn’t changed. However, it seems recently the rottenness has been winning out.
Most historians say democracies are periods of transition and last about two hundred years. If so our “Great Experiment” is near the end of its life. I think of the fall of the Roman Republic or Constantinople. Both fell because, in the case of Rome the citizenry assumed it would always be there, and in the case of Constantinople it had never fallen before so why now? Well, the “now” was an outside invading force, new technology in the form of a cannon, and the rest of their allies saying, “Hey, don’t worry. They’ll survive; they always have.”
The people who support the Republican Party seem to have grievances and fears, but not solutions or ideas. Well, they have grand sweeping thoughts that when asked about or one tries to apply to a practical situation don’t work. Remember Obama going to the Republican meeting in Baltimore? Boehner was holding this thick document to his chest that Paul Ryan had written. At the time Ryan was being foisted off as the boy wonder. It was Ryan’s budget and implementation plan. Obama grabbed that thing, opened to a random page and read what was on it. He then said, “You can’t govern from that.” or words to that effect. And Ryan’s budget had no numbers in it, except for page numbers.
I mean it’s nice to say, “I hope one day all men will be free.” (And women – yes.) but that doesn’t get the job done. You need a plan and people who understand and are willing to implement the plan.
There’s always this undercurrent of grievance with these folks:
The U.S. will have its troops led by the U.N.
They are coming for your guns.
The. IRS, FBI, CIA some organization in government is doing something terrible to you, or will soon.
Someone is taking your job, your way of life, or getting something for free or something they don’t deserve.
There’s nothing new here. It’s the same old drum beat. And it has never shown to be the case. But that doesn’t matter. It has been lies. Now with Fox News having to defend themselves from the evidence that they knowingly lied, repeatedly and for profit what will happen?
How about that “They are coming for your gas stove!!!” thing. Turns out a Federal agency said if you use gas in your home and you are asthmatic it could effect your health and you might want to switch out your gas stove. That’s it. OMG! Run for the hills!
But if you live in rural parts of this country most of the media is controlled by a right wing media group and that’s the only stuff you get. I won’t call it news because it’s not. it’s propaganda masquerading as news. We could, I guess, debate whose propaganda. Right wing? The rich and powerful? Russian? Southern Baptist/evangelical/Christian? White supremacist? Nazi? Neo-nazi? Quanon?
And if all you are fed is this stuff, most will end up believing some part of it.
It is a fight for power, for control. They want to tell YOU what YOU CAN DO, and what you can’t.
What you are allowed to believe. Speaking of belief, I don’t care what you believe, until it effects me.
It’s odd but the folks running around with “Don’t Tread on Me” license plates seem to be the folks that want to tell you what to do.
How about some other “Don’t” phrases, like:
Don’t tell me what to do. (Thank you Leslie Gore.)
Don’t tell me who to love.
Don’t tell me what I can do with my body.
Don’t tell me where to live, how to pray, what to believe.
or to put it positively:
Leave me alone.
Yet, the very people who cry and moan about this the most are the very people who want to inflict their beliefs on you.
In this country I’m afraid it will only get worse. I don’t see a way out of the situation. If you look at the population map of the U.S. you will see that it is concentrated in California, the southern border, and the New York area.
Or to put it another way the majority of the population of this country is located in 16 states. That means that 34 states have a minority of the population, but the majority of the senators and that controls what happens in this country. I have proposed before that we split up California into five or ten states, giving it 10 or 20 Senators depending how we split it. That would kind of even things out.
Consider the majority of Supreme Court Justices have been selected by presidents who won a minority of the popular vote and that six of those justices were put in place by one man working behind the scenes with a lot of money from dark places, what chance does democracy have to survive?
It’s not a hopeful picture. Now those dark forces are after our safety nets and our basic underlying things that have allowed us to survive as a democracy. They are attacking Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Veterans benefits, and they are trying to strangle public education.
This is not a time to be complacent. This is a time to stand up and speak out.