Saturday, November 10, 2012

The ultimate failure of vision

Against what (at times) seemed to be insurmountable odds, Americans have re-elected a black man presiding over a bitterly divided America still wallowing in a sludge-filled economic trough.

How did this happen?

A miracle? God's will? What happens when white men became minorities in America?  

Perhaps.


But what really happened, what really changed the trajectory of the race was the fact that one party in our two-party system has gone missing. The Grand Old Party of Lincoln, Eisenhower, Nixon, and Ford has vanished without a trace. 

In its place: madmen pretending to be rational. Pretending that rational thought governs markets. Pretending that science is somehow the provenance of lunatics. That evolution is somehow acceptable only if viewed through a biblical filter.

The GOP has been hijacked by men (and supported by rather thoughtless women) who state with all seriousness that pregnancy from rape is "God's will," - and that legitimate rape is a powerful contraceptive device

The GOP propped up a candidate in Illinois - Joe Walsh - a man who never served in war - who said his opponent, a veteran who lost her legs in combat, was less of a hero because she mentioned her military service. 

The GOP's Mitch McConnell famously stated in the fall of 2010 that "the single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president." For some, this was an acceptable use of language. For others, McConnell's rhetoric indicated that the GOP was "intensifying their confrontation" with the president, a confrontation that began the day Obama was inaugurated. 

For years, we've had a party obsessed with protecting the interests of the wealthy, a party that promotes this thinking under the guise of "the trickle down theory," a long-held GOP belief that concentrating wealth upward will somehow create a rainfall of prosperity in the nation.

It is a theory that has failed to prove true. Inequality has risen, not diminished since Reagan launched the Laffer Curve onto the nation. And inequality is increasingly being viewed as a serious problem for the nation. 

This year, four years into a terrible economic crisis that crash-landed during the waning days of the Bush administration, the GOP gave us a candidate who refused to share his tax returns, refused to elaborate on his plans to jump-start jobs for Americans, who, when speaking to an elite audience of wealthy donors, characterized nearly half of the citizens of this country as people who are:
"...dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe that government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you name it. That that's an entitlement. And the government should give it to them.

To the GOP, half the nation is filled with victims. Talk about the ultimate failure of vision. 

Unfortunately, post-election analysis by key GOP operatives continues to focus on smearing others as a way to distribute blame for failure. Rove claims Obama won by suppressing the vote. Mary Matalin claimed victory for a "political narcissistic sociopath [who] leveraged fear and ignorance with a campaign marked by mendacity and malice rather than a mandate for resurgence and reform."

All I can say - I'm glad I do not live in the world as depicted by the GOP. Because that world is fiction. And what I hope will happen is for logical, smart GOP operatives to soon recognize that that world is as much of a fiction as the "news" presented by Fox News. And they will focus on creating policy that unites the nation, rather than divides it; policy that truly seeks prosperity for all, not just a chosen few; policy that reflects the changing complexion of the nation, not just the needs and desires of white men.

What I truly wish for - a Grand Old Party that somehow regains its sanity, its principles and a true vision that will help America move forward. Do you see that coming anytime soon?

No comments: