I can’t try to play to the middle anymore, because the middle is downright confused. All I can do is tell the truth as I see it; I can assure you that will usually be far from the middle.
Or will it?
Do we really see the middle? Most of the people I know think a lot like me, we share a wavelength even though we’re on different channels. We support Obama, kind-of-sort-of. We believe in offering our neighbors a helping hand when they need it, and think that would be good policy for our governments as well. So maybe I’m not so far away from the center as I think, it just seems that way because that’s what I hear. The Occupy movement has taught me there are still many people, young and old, who share my wavelength, so it’s not just that I’ve surrounded myself by like minded people.
Maybe the middle is further left than we’re being led to believe.
As I said, I kind-of-sort-of support Obama. Last election was different; I supported him 104%. But the hope he offered then has been largely unrealized. “Yes we can” has turned into a shrug of the shoulders and an offhanded “maybe.”
The main problem is the opposition party. Literally “the opposition party,” not specifically the Republicans but the concept of opposition. That’s how our government works nowadays. I oppose you, you oppose me and to hell with what’s good for the country. Both sides are guilty, but the Republicans have developed the fostering of this duality into an art. Right now, they’re the official opposition. In January, after the elections, who knows?
Obama has seen his share of opposition since his election, which I take into account when evaluating his first three and a half years. However, I’m bothered by Gitmo, for reasons I would hope to be obvious. The health care package we were handed is little more than an empty box, though even that’s a great improvement over what we had. The escalation of the use of drones into Pakistan and the laissez-faire attitude about “collateral damage,” a euphamism for killing and maiming the helpless and innocent, are unimaginable to me.
I am mostly bothered, however, because it appears that we might still be losing our humanity.
That fear for our collective humanity is the reason I’m voting for Obama again. As disappointing as he’s been, he must be reelected. The Democrats, wrongheaded as they can be, are miles ahead of the Republicans in understanding that government action should support the needs of its citizens before the needs of corporations. The Republicans are a green party only insofar as that’s the color of money.
Gitmo, drones and collateral damage cause me to worry about Obama’s moral compass, even though he seems to be a decent enough guy. He’s definitely smart. Certainly he’s more trustworthy than Mitt, whose moral compass would seem to be missing in action, if he ever had one.
Three justices are likely to retire during the next four years. Mitt or Barry, one or the other, will shift the court to a clear majority, one way or the other, with their appointments. I’m tired of Reagan and I’m tired of Bush, both of them, just as I’m tired of a court that’s split almost evenly down the middle. “Almost evenly,” in this case, means the bankers and bean counters usually prevail.
I’m tired of sitting around for thirty-two years waiting for this country to quit moving backwards. Thirty-two years during which the court has more often than not obstructed progress while other nations moved forward. I’m old enough to remember some good courts, such as Warren. Don’t listen to what your parents say.
I have no idea what Mitt would do with the White House, no matter what he says or promises. Certainly there would be a further erosion of rights through more “temporary measures” that will never go away; Romney and his party are adroit at crafting regulations or legal obligations so that the elite are immune from paying any freight. Impacted least under Romney would be the corporation-as-a-person, which sort of defines the difference between “person” and “the people” in the newspeak dictionary.
I’ll be supporting Obama, but I’ll be working behind his back to push to get our government to serve the American people rather than Exxon, Monsanto, Lilly or Kraft Foods. There is a great and powerful force of people on the streets, the Occupy folks; there has to be a way to utilize this voice of the people with positive results instead of with unfortunate unintended consequences.
The wingnuts, another great and powerful force of the people, work against their own interests because they’ve fallen prey to faulty logic, believing themselves to be only one lottery ticket or one class-action lawsuit away from joining the ruling class. Unfortunately, we yell at these people, belittle them and call them names, which does not and will not make them likely to want to understand our position, which is sanity. Perhaps we should try to engage them in civil dialog.
It’s time to figure out where we’re going and where we want to go, which may change from day to day because sometimes changing one’s mind is necessary. We need to discuss ways and means, and make sure not to play too much the game of follow the leader. First we have to get Obama reelected. Then we have to figure out how to turn control of this country to its citizens.