The elections are finally over with and I thought to myself that at last I'd probably be able to open e-mails and unblock certain friends without having to see really gross ignorance, even stupidity, on a daily basis.
This doesn't even include the most irritating "election materials," which were clearly racist in nature. Well, I was wrong. The most extreme elements of the Republican right wing are still at it, filled with too much personalized hate to just accept the election results.
First I began receiving e-mail after e-mail about movements to secede from the union. I think we all know this is not going to happen, and why would anyone in their right mind see it as a good thing to even make the attempt? I mean, an online petition signed by a coalition of right-wing extremists and racists is supposed to make me happy somehow?
A collection of one-issue voters and religious and political zealots should influence my thoughts and actions? No, I don't think so. After all, I'm able to think for myself, and can even investigate the reality or truth of the junk political materials I'm sent. I'm not sure why so many just pass them around without taking the time to do that, but unfortunately, there are an awful lot of otherwise intelligent folks that do that.
One example, one of the best examples, is the birther-Obama-is-a-Muslim crowd. Please people, if you don't like the guy's policies isn't that enough for you? Do you really have to dive into Fantasy Land for your political material as well?
Don't you understand that passing around materials from the Bubba crowd just makes you look as ignorant as they are? I must say, I don't particularly care for President Obama's performance thus far, and I absolutely dislike the rest of the Democratic "leadership" - Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid. But when it comes time to vote am I going to vote for a party that supports idiots who claim a pregnancy resulting from rape is a gift from God, or claims as a scientific fact that a woman can't get pregnant from a rape, that her body somehow shuts down? Or how about supporting a ticket with a vice president who actually co-sponsored a bill to redefine rape, all in the interests of preventing any and all abortions? Nope, can't do that, sorry, even if that was all, it was reason enough to vote for the Democratic ticket. There was a lot more, and still is, nothing since the election has changed my mind one bit.
Remember the fuss when President Obama made the remark that private businesses didn't build the roads to their plants?
Guess what people, it was absolutely true when he said it, and it's still true. People who claim to not need government "largess" generally are unaware of what they get from the government on a daily basis, or just to choose to leave it out of the argument. Millennium Parkway anyone? Well, that may be a lot more like Alaska's "Bridge to Nowhere," but it's an example of government at least TRYING to help private business, albeit a poor one.
Anyone but me wishing that Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney would just shut up? Ryan makes it clear where he stands, blaming the loss on all of those "urban voters." Wow, why didn't he just come right out and say "People of color" or maybe just pull a Carl Paladino and use the "N" word?
Now it makes sense why the Republicans made such a strong effort to make it difficult for all of those pesky "urban voters" to actually cast a ballot. And then Romney shooting his mouth off about all of those "gifts" without of course naming one single specific? I'm sure NONE of the Republicans have ever gifted any of their supporters. Seems to me the gifts the Republicans gave to the richest Americans led us into a gigantic recession. Of course, they'll deny that. One man's entitlement is another man's gift, as they say.
The election is over with and anyone but the more ridiculous elements of either party ought to be united, at least temporarily, on dealing with real issues.
The Republicans need to understand that many of their political positions are rooted in small but vocal minorities. The majority of the country does not support placing politicians in our bedrooms. The majority of the country doesn't want the government to define morality for individuals. The majority of the country doesn't have an issue with raising the tax rate on the richest Americans before cutting programs to the poorest in an effort to reduce our ever increasing deficit. Somehow they need to understand that a loose coalition of staunch Second Amendment supporters, the Religious Right and the richest Americans is not going to cut it. Neither will a steady drift even further to the right.
Why would I care, as clearly I'm not a Republican? That's an easy answer for a registered Independent such as me, and that is that the Democrats steady drift to the left is at least as responsible for any Republican successes as anything else. I do not like, nor support, large parts of the Liberal Party agenda. The Liberals have changed the Democrats from the party of the working class to the party of the Liberal fringe. Much of their agenda has driven traditional Democrats to the Republicans, one reason that economically disadvantaged and blue collar Americans are aligned with the same people that are farming their jobs overseas based mostly on greed, not business.
That support has led to the election of politicians whose main job seems to be to expedite that shift of jobs and wealth to fewer and fewer people. So, if the Republicans look more to the middle, and away from the extremists in their party, the Democrats would have to do the same. I have to believe that if both parties were more to the center, that cooperation between them would improve dramatically.
Our hope and salvation for what this country used to be lies in the middle of the political spectrum. The left- and right-wing extremes can be represented as they used to be many years ago, by the election of like-minded people from specific districts. How they ever got to control the reins of the entire party, left or right, is worthy of some serious study. San Francisco should not be defining the goals for the entire Democratic Party. On the other hand, Bubba from the rural south needs to take a step back from the Republican agenda as well. Both sides are stuck with the impact of large money. But again, a drift toward the middle for both major parties could return an awful lot, of power to average voters once again.
Paul Christopher is a Dunkirk resident. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org