November 8th, 2006
To my Republican friends: You voted for the war and the economy. If you are correct that al Qaeda is going to get control of Iraq, you have the right tell me "I told you so". I still believe you're incorrect and I believe that our elected representatives are not going to leave Iraq in the lurch as you've said for the last few years.
The economy's harder to tell. Anyone who has heard a debate on whose policies were responsible for the Great Depression knows that.
If the media truly is as biased as you say, then we should see everything trumpeting the accomplishments of Democrats. I predict some of this will happen, but in general, I've noted complaints of bias from both liberal and conservative thinkers. I believe that to be an indication of incompetence, not malice.
I want you to think hard about all the things that you have said about Democrats in the last 6 years and see which ones come true. It's not as bad as you think. That's exactly what I've told my liberal friends when Bush was elected and re-elected.
I believe you'll find that America is still a great nation in 2 years.
To my Democratic friends: Be magnanimous in victory and gracious in defeat. Remember 2k when everyone said they were moving out of the country? Nobody likes it when they don't get their way. That's democracy. If you want things to get better, you can't keep gloating about this. There's a couple of things I want to nip in the bud:
1. Rumsfeld resigning -- Almost assuredly the right move for the country. Not because it removes Rumsfeld from the administration, but because the Democratically controlled House is almost assured to call a number of investigations. Many of those will require his testimony. With the war on and our military in the position it is, the Secretary of Defense is a very busy position. Dealing with that and investigations wasting his time? Forget about it.
Note: These investigations have everything to do with politics and little to do with whether or not he's known to be guilty of malfeasance. That's for the committees to decide. Be fair. Give him the benefit of the doubt. It's his right. He's served his country well for a number of years and that's nothing to be ashamed of.
2. Pelosi's rhetoric about running an ethical house -- while this election dealt with a lot of scandals on the Republican side, it would do you well to remember that their Democratic counterparts almost assuredly have similar skeletons in their closet. Leading up to Clinton's impeachment, Larry Flynt launched his own investigation and came up with similar cases among both Democrats and Republicans. Don't you dare be self righteous about it.
3. All those negative things you've heard from Republicans -- Think of the labels worn by liberals in the last 6 years. Think of how you railed against them. Take care not to do the same to them.
The country needs to concentrate on policy, compromise, and the dangers we have ahead of us. We don't need more unilateral politics exercising a majority to have your way over objectors. Democracy is about finding a path down the middle of the two sides; it's not the playground "majority rules". Having the majority doesn't give you the right to use it. It forces upon you the responsibility to guide the political system in a manner best befitting this country.
On a local level, I'm pleased that both propositions failed.
|Date:||November 9th, 2006 12:04 am (UTC)|| |
Hurrah, the first election post of the year that I actually felt was worth reading!
#2 and #3 there are the same issue really, and I totally agree with what you said. One of the main contributors to the partisanship bickering that's been escalating so much is that both sides tend to think of themselves as "the good guys", and lose track of the fact that candidates/officials on both sides are all HUMAN, and therefore as prone to corruption, bad management and poor judgement as anyone else. Only by open minded discussion on BOTH sides, sans rhetoric, can real progress be made. (Granted, that was probably rhetoric in itself there, but you get the point.)
|Date:||November 9th, 2006 03:07 am (UTC)|| |
The bush years were far far worse than I would have believed possible.
I voted mostly green this election cycle. I couldn't believe it myself until I looked over my own ballot. Since when did I end up on the political fringe?
I don't have any particular interest in the democratic party. There is corruption in both parties. I think the problem is the two party system (or, as some have contended, the "one party" system). The ideological quilting on both sides has just resulted in some synchretic hodge podge of talking points, political maneuvering and constituent appeasement. It has dumbed down the average American. What do Evangelical Christians and the NRA have in common? Probably about as much as white Boston socialites and poor black southerners. Being a democrat doesn't mean you're a "thinker". Being a republican doesn't mean you're a "thinker". If anything, the fact that your own beliefs fit neatly into a politically pre-packaged ideological box probably means you DON'T think. And these unthinking masses are probably precisely what makes up the "base" of each party.
Someone's been living in Santa Cruz too long. ; )
I'm going to correct you on one very important thing. Thinking the same as a political party is not the same as voting for a political party. Voting for a political party is the acceptance of realpolitik.
It would be nice if the political system changed, but if wishes were fishes, we'd be hip deep in halibut. We're in our current situation. If we are to get what we want out of the system, we have to manipulate the system.
It's like the protestant reform. You have those who believe they can change the church from within and others who believe it can only be changed by building a new church.
Building a new political system is difficult because it means building your own country. The system we have has the capability to be changed, but not by intellectual revolt and childish tantrums.
O, was that "childish tantrum" remark leveled at me? ; )
I realize that voting for a particular candidate doesn't mean you endorse their whole party or think it has a congruent message, or that you even believe in whatever that message might be. Sometimes politics makes strange bedfellows, and we have to form alliances with people we may have serious disagreements with in order to push through legislation that we want. Compromise is fine. It's when we forget that we're compromising that it's not fine. When politicians try to "invent" the ideology that unites us, they usually just end up with good-sounding but incoherent garbage. I think that a two party system is particularly prone to this because it is easy to paint the two sides as opposites on a spectrum, perhaps one "good" and one "bad" or one "sensible" and the other "unrealistic".