Aren’t we due for an American Spring? Shouldn’t we at least take to the streets to express our unhappiness with the foolish and damaging direction the country is taking? The downward path toward serfdom? Like the Arabs are doing?
We know where our problems all came from. They came from capitalism without controls. We are ruled by a political party that has rejected reasoning, and is interested only in promoting goals that are demonstrably wrong. Whose sole purpose is to oppose the President and all things Democratic.
It’s not that things cannot change. If you look at the general situation of the world in recent decades, great and rapid improvements have been made, sometimes when least expected. Europe, in spite of its current economic mess, no longer engages in endless warfare. Latin America has emerged from the despotism of the IMF and US neo-liberal hegemony. The Arab Spring is the most optimistic development in the region in decades. If you need a further boost of hope, check this. Rebecca Solnit gives us oxygen to pump up our flagging spirits.
Everyone seems to have an X-step process for restoring some sort of sanity to our political processes. Here’s one by Nobel economist Joseph Stiglitz:
(1) Repeal the Bush-Obama tax cuts for the richest Americans. (2) End the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. (3) Get Americans back to work. (4) Reform Medicare Part D. Lots of others have similar lists. All noble goals. But we have noble goals by the ton. The question is how to pull the country out of the rightward-twisting death spiral we are in.
Here are some observations: Republicans may control the House, and plan to force a foolish, unconstitutional, and irrational Tea Party agenda on us, but a large majority of Americans have much better understanding of reality, and we are disgusted with Congress. Only 21% believe Congressional politicians should be re-elected, and the national confidence in the economy continues to erode. 43%-31% is the difference between those who trust Democrats vs. Republicans to do a good job.
A majority of Americans support gay marriage. The general support for abortion is more for than against. A healthy majority want us out of Afghanistan. Far more people believe unemployment is our main problem than the budget or national debt pushed by the politicians. Most people are not impressed by the Tea Party. In general, beliefs about health care are liberal. Nobody is fooled by Republican voucher proposals; most think they would be worse off. And this goes on. The people do not support the agenda of the right.
Therefore, the first goal should be, I believe, to supply the President and Congressional Democrats with a refillable prescription of spine fortifier. Democrats have been cowed because the right makes a lot of noise. The President’s attempts at cooperation have been a complete failure. They should listen more to what their constituents have to say, and should hear from us that their constituents do not like the way they have drifted away from the liberal and common sense positions we all know are right.