Hot Corner: Bumper sticker politicsWritten by Don Burnard | | firstname.lastname@example.org
I’ve been a student of politics for a few decades now, and in all that time, I’ve never seen a weirder political season than the one we are currently experiencing. The collective nation, regardless of which side you’re on, seems to have lost its mind. On one hand, we have the Right. This year, the moneyed powers have decided that it is in their best interests to ally themselves with some radical fringe elements to raise the collective fear of the following that they can usually dupe, to new heights of fear.
With a hodge-podge of candidates that in most years would be readily dismissed as crazy, and the backing of a number of deep pocketed money interests, like the Koch brothers and Rupert Murdoch, and the Wall Street bankers who feel their gravy train possibly grinding to a halt, they’ve managed to make a lot of normally bright people believe that they actually have THEIR best interests at heart. They’ve worked up their newly expanded base into a frenzy, assisted by the Supreme Court decision that allows corporations to put hundreds of millions of dollars of unregulated cash into elections.
They are so arrogant about it that Rupert Murdoch, owner of Fox News, can come right out and say he delivered a cool million to the Republican Governor’s Association to benefit his good friend John Kasich, who just happens to be running for governor of our fair state. Yes sir, when an Australian billionaire feels free to attempt to buy the governorship of our state, it’s a sad state of affairs. For decades, all the GOP has had to offer the public at large, is the fear du jour. Their real base doesn’t live in places like Toledo Ohio. Mix in a healthy dose of twisted non-facts in these corporate bought ads, and they’re off and running.
On the other side, we have the Left, a disorganized collection of disparate interests that mean well, but certainly wouldn’t want to offend anyone by actually doing something that might actually go far enough to truly address a problem. The Democrats seem to have this pie in the sky belief that bipartisanship actually still has meaning. To that end, they will water down any bill until it is basically ineffectual to try to get a Republican vote or two. If they fail in their attempt, we’ll become so despondent that large numbers will just give up and not even bother to vote. In the last two years, they managed to squander the largest majority in Congress in decades and pass some well meaning but woefully watered down legislation for fear of offending someone. In a word, basic governance has become nonexistent.
Now I’m just a poor dumb electrician, but here’s the way I see things. I worked heavy construction for 35+ years, so I’ll couch it in terms with which I’m familiar. For eight years, the Bush administration and the Republican controlled Congress, aided and abetted by a number of gutless Democrats, dug this huge economic hole. They gutted regulations and relied on the financial industry to “police” themselves, trusting them to do the right thing. We know how that turned out. In 2008, Barack Obama was elected. He was handed the shovel and tasked with filling in the hole. From a construction standpoint, I know that if you tell the average worker that you have 21 months to fill this hole it took 8 years to dig, he or she will probably tell you where to stick that shovel. Yet, this is apparently what the voters expect Obama to be able to do. Oh, and while you’re trying to fill in that hole, we’re going to hold on to the handle of that shovel so that you can’t fill that hole in. This is what the Republicans did with their blanket obstructionism.
If the numerous polls and pundits are right, the voters are poised to hand the shovel back to the guys who dug this gaping pit and allow them to resume digging, not only removing all the backfill, but widening the pit even further. If we allow this to happen, then shame on us. Whatever happened to the America that our fathers and grandfathers, the so called Greatest Generation, fought and died to protect? I think that my dad, uncles, and father in law would be appalled at what we are degenerating into. Corporate interests are running the show now and for the foreseeable future. I just hope we wake up from our stupor before it’s too late.
As always, follow the money. Sherrod Brown said it best; “Bring back preexisting conditions. Vote Republican.” The perfect bumper sticker.