Wednesday, November 03, 2010
Well, That Was Interesting...
Interesting in the sense used in that old Chinese curse:
May you live in interesting times.
Election night was interesting.
And the next couple of years are going to be interesting.
Buckle your seat belts because I don’t think the Citizen’s United Corporatist are done with us yet. This is just the beginning of the next chapter in America’s new plutocracy.
Do I sound bummed out and depressed?
Maybe I am. But mostly I am disappointed.
Up until the votes were counted, there was hope.
Hope that my fellow citizens were not as ignorant of history as the Tea Party Express wanted them to be.
Hope that my fellow citizens were not as shallow minded and cruel as the Koch Brothers and Karl Rove’s 3 big donors wanted them to be.
But they were and probably will be again.
Mostly I am just sad, because I know what this political landscape looks like.
I have lived most of my adult life from this position.
With a government flooded with representatives that represent the richest people and corporations in the world while aiming their social marketing at well meaning but misguided tribalists and fundamentalists who will vote against their own interests just because they have been trained to jump when people say “freedom”, “god”, or “patriotism”.
I feel pretty sure I have a solid grasp of the direction history has been moving in the last couple of hundred years. And I am pretty sure expanding human rights and a growing intellectual capacity to overcome brutal tribal tendencies to xenophobia and violence are the way things are trending in the long run. We are growing in empathy and reason on the whole.
So it is disappointing to only have a few advocates of the same progression in the government, while the majority fights evolution and progress in the name of the rich and powerful.
It is frustrating watching conservatives fight against evolutionary trends.
But evolution is not always elegant or kind.
I know what kind of minority I am in.
And I am used to being in that minority.
And I am used to looking long term.
And I am used to trying to do the right thing, the thing that will help humanity grow as a species, even when it is not the popular thing or the most advertised thing.
So the last 2 years were a strange political anomaly for me.
It was weird seeing so many progressive issues pushed forward.
But the pendulum is swinging again.
The pendulum will swing again, and again, and again.
And each time some small amount of progress is made.
Each time we have at least the opportunity to grow as a people.
If conservatives had won every political fight there would be no women in politics.
If conservatives had won every fight there would be no “minorities” in politics.
If conservatives had won every fight there would be no weekend for workers to recover.
If conservatives always got their way, there would be no America—we would still be British.
I know my conservative friends think that This Time, they are on the side of right; that this time they must draw that line in the sand, the line that cannot be crossed.
But things keep moving forward.
And the next generation of conservatives will one day be saying: “Of course there are gays in the military and everyone has a right to health care. We are not contesting that; that’s a given. But we are drawing a line in the sand on this issue. On this particular issue we will not budge.”
And progressives will help them across that line too. Because it is the right thing to do for everyone. And what is good for everyone, is good for everyone—even if it costs you an election now and then.
We live in interesting times.
Now that my rant is finished, you may return to your regularly scheduled life.
Posted by Jay Larsen at 11/03/2010 04:32:00 PM