I’m getting a lot of desperate emails from the Democratic Party, democratic candidates and progressive groups requesting money and reporting some scary data about outspending by republicans. It does scare me that they are so scared. It does seem like the supreme court’s ironically titled “Citizens United” decision has opened the way for a Putin-style power grab by a somewhat unpopular and quite destructive and nasty republican party. I have probably been dwelling on this theme too much over the past few years. I love America so much and it is so sad to see everything that is good here squandered in such a sad way. But here are a few thoughts:
1. The emails I get from the aforementioned liberal voices feel like too little too late. Democratic politicians have been so consistently weak, even in the face of great advantage and victory, that it is hard to really want to dash to their aid. I’m just not sure what they are going to do with my money. Furthermore, I can’t figure out how they can’t defeat a party that blatantly and openly voted to eliminate Medicare two years in a row, not to mention many other things that would seem to be great political gifts. And once they get elected, they behave even more weakly. They don’t seem to realize that they do have an effect on the discourse. If they assent to the whole libertarian hogwash, then all they are to us is pale republicans who have only vestigial concern for the wellbeing of the non-rich, but no will to do anything about it. “Sure government doesn’t create jobs, but could we use it to create just a few jobs, please? No, ok, well, could we do a few less bad things, please?”
2. I’m not sure I get the whole republican thing. What is the end game? Can anyone tell me? Is democracy really that loathsome to them? I don’t see a dictator or strongman behind this whole thing; so it just seems like mass hysteria in the direction of how jerky can we get away with. But oh how many people are hurt by their policies. I guess because they’ve set themselves mainly as opposed to anything from the democrats, and the democrats cave so much that the republicans have to be ever nastier and meaner to find anything to decry about the democrats.
It’s all kind of like watching a very slow rockslide or something. I’ve watched this decline (of both parties, public discourse, the well-being of most Americans) happen for almost 20 years, and I kind of knew what was happening, but at each turn I think the next thing isn’t going to happen.