THE SECOND HALF OF THE FIRST YEAR!

Believe it or not, I have friends and relatives who would be considered to be pretty far out on the right wing politically. I do. And I love them. They have qualities and aspects about them that are endearing and engaging. In some respects, they are intelligent. But unquestionably, they are naive, emotionally stunted and unable to do more than espouse angry, inane dogma rather than common sense on many subjects of relevance to our political discourse today. The right wing is retrogressive, anti-growth, anti-change, anti-sex, anti-women, anti-anything-other-than a white, male oligarchy that no longer represents the world at large. In other words, they are dinosaurs. They are going extinct, as I have written before. It's too bad. In some cases, these are good people. They are just so afraid of change and of their own feelings and impulses that they crave rigid adherence to a righteous authority that doesn't exist. The are devastated by the reality that the leaders of their institutions and corporations have been lying and fleecing them for nearly a half a century, so devastated that they are in denial. "The free market! The free market!" They cry - as if continuing to trust Daddy is the answer, even though Daddy is a drunk and a cheat and a philanderer.

That being said, I don't really have any friends who I would consider to be on the far left wing. Interesting, huh? You see, I find the far left to be very unappealing personally, in some ways worse than the ignorant and angrily dogmatic far right. I find the far left to be de-energized, pseudo-sexual, open-minded but not open in their emotional bodies, and therefore relentlessly intellectual in a way that lacks wisdom, grace and real juice. In some ways, like Al Gore, the left is more correct on the policies that matter to our world's well-being today, but they are useless in implementing those policies. Al Gore's insincere dry mouth presentation made it impossible for me to vote for him in 2000. Of course, I couldn't vote for Bush, either, because he was a childish moron, so I didn't vote. Same in 2004.

Obama is different. He is neither far left nor far right. He is simply an adult, but that is a rare commodity in politics today. Indeed. So, in 2008, I voted. I am still hopeful about the results of that choice, even though the left and right are doing eveything they can to thwart the president's efforts. We shall see. So begins the second six months.

1 comment:

loff56 said...

Hmmm... I didn't post this on your blog at the time, but rather posted it as a Facebook note. Dated November 5th 2008:

For my fellow Liberals out there, and for my few Conservative friends take caution and solace respectively in the fact that Obama's win is probably more of a win for the center than for the left.

What's the evidence? California Prop #8. And that Dems didn't reach their goal of 60 in the Senate.

Remember that Obama has never come out in direct support of Gay Marriage. In fact I find it to be one of his most wishy-washy issues. And because of that very wishy-washy-ness on issues like that he pulled in a lot of independent voters who maybe gave him the benefit of the doubt on that issue or others in order to vote for someone they believed could fix the economy and our dreadful foreign policy. But the fact is, the same state that gave him such a huge margin of victory, also voted to ban Gay Marriage. That shows that given the choice they wanted someone to pull the country back to center on a lot of issues, but didn't want policies themselves to go too far to the left.

The much discussed, Right-Left Pendulum is really something to keep an eye on. Obama has been referred to as the most liberal senator we have. True or not, he can't govern like that, because he'll get easily ousted in 2012 if he does. As is evidenced by 2004 and now in 2008, those independent or centrist voters are very finicky and can very easily sway one way or another.

My opinion is that Obama won because we had drifted so far to the right of center, (and a few economic catastrophes didn't hurt either), that the collective will of the American population decided that we needed to steer back to center. Even if that did mean electing what some people consider the most liberal person possible.

I don't think this is a win for liberalism or a loss to conservatism yet. Obama's got a huge balancing act ahead of him in order to appeal to everyone so he can keep his job in 2012. If he does want to ultimately introduce a more progressive approach, he's gonna' have to do that extremely carefully and delicately convince those in the center and on the right that it would be good for everyone.

So liberals, don't get too excited that he's going to amend the constitution to allow Gay Marriage, or set up a completely Universal Health Care system just yet. And conservatives, don't get your panties in a bunch yet expecting we'll turn into a communist country by spring. It just ain't gonna' happen.

However, I think we all, liberals and conservatives should hope that Obama will bring a little more tact and perhaps thoughtful diligence to the White House that has been woefully missing for 8 years. I think even my most conservative friends will agree to the lack of that in the George W. Bush administration.

Congrats to all though, it is an extremely wonderful historic moment for this country.

Jason

 

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