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After the Golden Age by Alvin Schwartz
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AFTER THE GOLDEN AGE for 06/16/2003
Volume 2, #81

The Muddled Middle Democrats

The dems have sure set themselves up.They've practically conceded 04 to Bush

Isn't that kind of strange? Think about it.

They've got Bush where he lives in a dozen places, on WMD, on post-war governance, on tax-cuts, on destroying the tripartite balance between the executive, the legislative and the judicial that this country was founded on; on the economy, on the budget, on support for low income families, on putting drug benefits into the hands of the insurers, on alienating so many of our European friends... the list is so long, abortion rights, separation of church and state, propping up and consorting with the worst chicaneries of big business, restaffing the oversight agencies with big-business friends, strengthening the oligarchy and destroying the democratic process with attorneys general like Ashcroft-- it would fill up several columns like this.. An anti-people's revolution is happening and the dems are silent! Incredible!

I should mention one more neat stunt, the rhetorical trick of turning the terrorist presence into a "war", so that he, Bush, can always be seen as leading the charge of the troops. Anyway, this is stuff everybody knows. Even the dems know it. But since the American people don't seem to know it too clearly, the poor dumb dems are not going to stick their necks out and make a big issue of it because they might lose.

The logic is remarkable. They're going to lose anyway, as things stand. But individually, in some important districts, they might still get re-elected, if they keep their mouths shut and don't alienate the American people. Has no one thought this thing through? Does no one among the dems truly understand what "the middle" is? Because, yes indeed, the American people are in the middle. That means they'll stick with the staus quo, because essentially the "middle" is muddled. The middle is, in fact, a rather crowded and uncomfortable place in the bell curve of today's politics, where, as we stretch out toward the right and left ends of the curve, everything is very flat. Now, as a statistician, that tells me the center is about to explode. It can't simply stay like that for good. But with the dems giving up, it can only explode rightwards. Why? Because no one is telling the people anything different.

Let's really look at this. The dems are afraid to take on these questions because they might be on the losing side, even though, by their own admission, they're already on the losing side. The democratic policy committee has already dragged the dems out of their traditional populist stronghold for eight years under Clinton. Yes, Clinton survived because he was clever, not because he had any great ideas about the polity. I'll admit I voted for him twice, even though I always held my nose.

But Bush is not in the middle, he's at the far right.

No one's position is really hard in the middle. The middle is where you go when you can't see on either side. But with everyone crammed into it, what an opportunity to take a chance and CONVINCE the muddled middle to expand its view. Afraid you won't get elected? Well, why should you get elected when you don't stand for anything? The sailing days are over for the dems--waiting for a favorite wind by sticking up a finger to see which way it's blowing. Make your own wind--then maybe you'll get somewhere and be remembered for something. Otherwise, you're all just the "me too" boys.

So, we need a shift out of the choking, demoralizing center where people think it's all right to win a war based on WMD that actually don't exist. They think it's all right to go to war to knock off a tyrant. So why not Iran, and North Korea, and maybe even China, and half of Africa. And what about the tyrants in Saudi Arabia and Egypt? Why the hell can't the dems just step out there and tell it like it is. Why don't they step right out into the morass and tell the American people the reality of the situation. They won't get the money? Hey, they can, right from the grass roots, by going all out on the web, for example. By enlisting those church groups that support separation from the state, and there are many. By enlisting the women who want Roe vs Wade protected. But since they're not saying a word, they're revealing themselves as a bunch of self-seeking uninspiring mediocrities who'll do anything to get elected. In short, as of now, the dems stand for NOTHING. Yet, there has never been a greater or better opportunity to turn things around. Never have so many Americans clung so nervously to the middle, waiting for a voice that can really tell them how things are? Damn it, tell them, TELL THEM---TELL THEM LIKE IT IS.

Granted that it's a difficult mission because, like Ancient Rome, we now run one of the mightiest mercenary forces in the world. That's precisely it--mercenary! Like Rome. Because the draft has ended and we no longer have a citizen army. Our youth are more interested in video games than politics because they're uninvolved in the whole thing.

Am I advocating restoration of the draft? Not yet. Right now, it would really be political suicide. But I do have some ideas for advocating a Youth Corps that would focus on environmental issues and could begin in the states and through the states where it's relevant. We have to get our youth involved again. But more on that at another time. For now--there's an emergency. If the Dems don't start some real action, that swollen middle is going to burst and drown them. But maybe there's still time to take the stand that will drown the other guys instead.

There are a few comic strips that have taken a real stand. Like Doonesbury. But we need more in the mainstream, or at least in the alternate comics field. For the most part, DC and Marvel are still fighting the last war. They're corpses. How persuade them to switch to a contemporary perspective? I'd like to hear suggestions, because there's a war on now too. And I don't mean in the middle east.

--Alvin

<< 06/09/2003 | 06/16/2003 | 06/23/2003 >>

Discuss this column with me at my Round Table.


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