Saturday, November 1, 2008

The Cross-roads Defining Who We Are

This election truly is a cross-roads. Americans seem to sense it, and I believe that the number of people who vote will be off the charts from what we saw in 2004. One candidate speaks of hope, and opportunity. One candidate talks about fear and guilt by association. One candidate seems to be able to articulate specifics, one rhetoric atleast two decades old. One candidate calls upon Americans to stand up, one calls upon us to retrench to failed philosophies that have led us into the abyss we are in.

I wrote a personal essay after the 1994 election, where I stated, "America hungers for a positive voice, a hopeful voice, and we somehow failed to give it in 94, but what is troubling, is the extent to which Republicans won on such a negative voice." That negative voice dominated our discourse for over a decade, and even created it's own propaganda ministry to further it. It took prolonged warfare, economic collapse, and a new type of Democratic leader to awaken Americans out of the dark, regressive slumber of conservatism.

Barack Obama tries to let conservatives off the hook by going after Bush and his neocon chronies, but never attacking Republicans as a group. I understand the wisdom of doing that if you are to govern effectively as President. But as someone who will not be governing, I'm willing to throw a few grenades into the Republican mindset, and emphatically state, that the problems we have today were your making, not mine. I keep hearing Republicans talk about the need for accountability and personal responsibility, but it was you who gave this incompetent President a blank check, not me. I doubted the wisdom of the Bush doctrine of attacking a country on the basis of what they might do to us in the future. You did not. When I expressed those concerns, my patriotism was questioned by many of you. My love of country was dependent upon slavish agreement with bad policies that you supported blindly.

Ok, enough of my rant. This election will tell us whether we as a nation look forward to address our challenges or look backward to scapegoats. Barack Obama to his credit looks for solutions and keeps an open mind. Myself, I'm still coming around because I see plenty of scapegoats and many of them are my neighbors and people I care about. I'm trying to look forward, but am haunted by failures of policies that I spoke against for the last eight years. Like John McCain, I see scapegoats and am struggling to move beyond them. But it is a different set of scapegoats. I see the Republican party as the scapegoat, and he sees immaterial people who have been effectively out of power as the scapegoat. One of us lives in the real world, and one does not. John McCain is living in a dream world and should not be trusted with the mantle of Presidency of our Republic.

Ok, I feel much better.


bekkieann said...

I like that juxtoposition: on the one side hope and opportunity, on the other side guilt and fear. Those are our choices. For me, that's not a hard one.

Anonymous said...

I think the imminent victory by Obama is not a repudiation of conservative principles, but rather a a rejection on the group of people who failed to live up to conservative principles.

If you recall what the GOP promoised to do:

On the first day of the 104th Congress, the new Republican majority will immediately pass the following major reforms, aimed at restoring the faith and trust of the American people in their government:

FIRST, require all laws that apply to the rest of the country also apply equally to the Congress;
SECOND, select a major, independent auditing firm to conduct a comprehensive audit of Congress for waste, fraud or abuse;
THIRD, cut the number of House committees, and cut committee staff by one-third;
FOURTH, limit the terms of all committee chairs;
FIFTH, ban the casting of proxy votes in committee;
SIXTH, require committee meetings to be open to the public;
SEVENTH, require a three-fifths majority vote to pass a tax increase;
EIGHTH, guarantee an honest accounting of our Federal Budget by implementing zero base-line budgeting.

Basically they did none of these. And independents and conservatives alike are appalled at what the GOP leadership has turned into.

If the GOP had followed through on their conservative principles which some majority of Americans adhere to, then the rout would be the other way.