Don’t Get Me Wrong, A Little Less Evil Sounds Pretty Good
I want to clarify my speculation yesterday about what the Democrats will or will not do if they are allowed to take over control of Congress. In the grand scheme of things, I honestly don’t think much will change, at least not right away. The war will go on, the polar ice caps will continue to melt at an alarming rate, the President will still sign bills into law with signing statements attached that allow him to disregard them, we will still be subject to arrest and imprisonment without recourse and war profiteers will continue to rake in the dough while the rest of us work harder for less money each year. We have a two party system in this country (theoretically anyway) and the rich and powerful invest heavily in both sides to ensure that either way, they come out on top. But at least with Democrats in Control of one branch of government, there will finally be some oversight and a check on the power now held by the Republican Party that has corrupted them so completely.
There are still far too many Democrats that support this occupation and that think the answer to our failing mission in Iraq is sending in more troops (can you say Hillary Clinton?)! A Democratically controlled Congress isn’t likely to stop funding this war or demand that our troops come home. They, like the President, seem content to delay any meaningful decision on the occupation until they can figure out how to make it a political win. But at least a Democratic Congress will investigate this White House and make public the lies that led us to war and the failures of execution that have created a bloody mess in Iraq.
I also don’t see the Democrats clamoring to repeal this torture bill that, in my opinion, paves the way for a legalized fascist state. This administration has seriously altered how our country functions and has run roughshod over our values and traditions as a democratic republic. That is what I want Democrats to address yet what I fear they will not touch. That said, I do understand that many little things will change if the Democrats take over. For one thing, it will stem the bleeding somewhat and they will likely stop or at least provide some opposition to new usurpations of power by the White House. That alone is worthwhile at this point.
There is the short-term and the long-term to consider. Yesterday I was ruminating on the long term, but here is the short-term argument in favor of Democrats. As bad as things are right now, they can get much worse and at a pretty rapid pace. Now is not the time to disengage from politics or shirk our responsibilities as citizens. In 2000, few people realized just how bad things could get, I used the Reagan years as a reference, silly me. I thought that we would suffer four years of funneling public money upward, a vilifying of the poor, social conservatism run amuck and covert wars for control of resources that don’t belong to us but that corporate America somehow thinks should. I never could have envisioned what we got instead.
This administration has taken the lessons of Reagan, Nixon, Joe McCarthy and the rest of the worst examples of leadership in American (and world) history and rolled them into one giant political philosophy of winner takes all and the ends always justify the means. We the people have become the enemy, and we will continue to be treated as such until there is a power shift in DC that gives us some authority back. We must come to accept what corporate America knows intuitively, that you get the representation in government that you pay for. If we want to be considered, we must pool our resources and buy our own members of Congress. The reality is that the Democrats are all we have, and at this point, a little less evil sounds pretty good.