A Sale of Two Ditties

The contrasting message broadcast by the two political parties during the election was abundantly clear. The ideological divide is growing further apart as time passes. The two sides are as far apart as this country was on the eve of the Civil War, with each staking out a place on distant shores.

Mitt Romney by Gage Skidmore

Mitt Romney by Gage Skidmore

Certain conservatives love to blame both parties for the radicalization of American politics, but this nation has only one radical party. The Republicans are moving ever further to the right, with each candidate trying to outdo the other to seem more conservative, and more right-wing.

The radical right would have us believe that as far as they are to the right, the Democrats are to the left. This is untrue, as with much that Republicans would have us believe. Democrats, and in this I include our President, are not left wingers, they are nowhere near the Socialism with which they are tarred, and even further from the Communism that Alan West of Florida accused Democrats of being.

If anything, Obama is a Centre-Right Democrat, as is much of his party. The political left-wing in this country has been destroyed by the financial muscle of right-wing capitalism. The carcass of the left is being stripped by the moneyed scavengers on the right.

Democrats give far too much away to corporations, and precious little to the Middle Class that made this country the wealthy nation that it is. Since the 1980’s, the Middle Class has withered, stricken by the greed of the wealthy, and the wealth of the nation has suffered as a result.If the wealthy continue to strip the Middle Class of its wealth, the nation will continue its slide into Second Class nation status.

The message issued to the people by the Romney campaign and his surrogates in the Republican Party was clear. The people are unimportant, they are only convenient vessels used to propel the Republican agenda into power in the House, Senate and White House. They are there to only satisfy the limited democratic norms established by this nation.

The messages disseminated by right-wing candidates and their surrogates on right-wing TV and radio seem to be growing more disconnected from reality as time passes. Topics that were largely settled just a decade or two ago are surging to the surface, driven by think tanks like the American Enterprise Institute and the Heritage Foundation, and heavily financed by oligarchs like the Koch Brothers.

Senator Saxby Chambliss

Sen. Saxby Chambliss (GA)

Sen Saxby Chambliss (GA) is quoted as saying, “I care more about my country than I do about a twenty year old pledge”. This refers to the pledge that every Republican in office signed refusing to raise taxes under any circumstances. This shows how far from the realities of governing a complex nation Republicans have drifted.

To sign a pledge to someone not elected by the people of this nation not to raise taxes regardless of the consequences just shows how irresponsible Republicans have become. There are any number of reasons that we should raise taxes, to finance a war, like the war in Iraq, which was never paid for; to deal with natural disasters and the damage they may cause to infrastructure; to build or maintain roads, bridges, ports, airports; or to educate children who have fallen behind the rest of the world.

Conservatives ignore these realities to belong to a club of mulish, cantankerous old white men whose finest quality is a rigid pig-headedness. Any thought of actually doing the work of the people and running a well-oiled economy is hostage to immutable orthodoxy. The result is a deteriorating infrastructure, an illiterate populace, a rising tide of unemployed and increasingly unemployable citizens.

Ben Bernanke spoke of a “massive fiscal cliff of large spending cuts and tax increases”, referring to the House of Representatives self-imposed suicide pact that would raise taxes and cut federal spending across the board unless the Bush tax cuts are extended at the end of this year.

If the Bush Tax cuts are not extended for Middle Class Americans, Obama has threatened to allow us to go over the cliff, which will implement these spending cuts and tax increases. The Republicans, as per usual, and as was clear during the debt ceiling negotiations two years ago, are holding the country to ransom. If they do not get their way, the country is likely to sink into recession once more.

During Romneys presidential bid, Romneys campaign advisor said, “you hit a reset button for the fall campaign and everything changes. It is almost like an Etch-A-Sketch. You can kind of shake it up and we start all over again.” What he was really saying was that you tell the primary voters what they want to hear, and once you have secured the nomination, you throw that away and tell the voters in the country what they want to hear.

Republicans really seem to believe that you can assume that all voters are fools, that they will believe whatever you say, regardless of the message.

Rape has become a legitimate topic of discussion, as though rape should ever be an acceptable social event. To Republican’s like Todd Aiken, Missouri Senate candidate, with his infamous “legitimate rape” comments, pregnancies resulting from rape do not happen, since “the womans body has ways to try and shut that whole thing down”.

Does anyone in his or her right mind really believe that there is anything legitimate about rape? To deny a woman the right to an abortion after an horrendous act of physical violence, is typical of conservative social ineptitude. The Senate candidate did lose his seat, but not by very much, which begs the question, why did anyone vote for him? Do Republican voters believe that comments like this are worthy of a candidate for Senate? On what possible basis are they voting for this candidate?

Romney appears to excel is producing quotes straight from the heart, and it showed him up for the soulless lack of conscience that is his trademark. During one of the debates, he spoke of binders full of women brought to him as he purportedly searched for women with whom to staff some of his cabinet positions in Massachusetts. Perhaps he wanted to see their portfolios too, replete with modeling assignments, or perhaps auditions for Stepford wife of the year.

The Romney comments taped surreptitiously at a dinner for wealthy donors is considered this years most quotable quote. He told this group that 47 percent of the people are lazy parasites dependent on handouts from government, and as such were unworthy of his largesse.

In his own words, “there are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what … who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims … These are people who pay no income tax….and so my job is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them that they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.”

In light of the comments by conservatives during this last campaign, and the rhetoric emanating from conservative think tanks, you would imagine that voters would be reluctant to vote for their ideas. Remarkably, and ironically, 47% of people in this country voted for Romney, despite his outlandish ideas.

I would love to understand the reasoning behind their votes for Romney, who favors the one percent of people in this country over the majority of hard-working Americans. What can they have to gain from voting for a man like this?

It is not to help their children, since conservatives want to cut school funding and education programs. It cannot be to make sure that their wives, daughters, and girlfriends will have access to woman’s health care, contraception and abortion if raped. It cannot be to provide unemployment insurance if they lose their jobs, medical care in their old age, social security at their most vulnerable. It cannot be to ensure that their water and air are clean of pollutants, their food safe. It cannot be to ensure decent roads or bridges or electricity.

I would love it if a single conservative could explain to me why voters still vote for them, when all they do is take away, punish, steal from the poor to give to the obscenely wealthy. Give me some logic, let me understand, for the Democrats will provide all these things, or as Romney so inelegantly phrased it, “Obama promised them gifts”.

In closing, a number of Obamas quotes were equally entertaining, if only because of their veracity and integrity. His quote, “If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that.”

The President is correct, no-one works in a vaccum, they rely on the engine that is America to help them be successful.

The Presidents quote, “Please proceed Governor” was delivered with perfect precision, at just the right time for Romney to put both feet squarely where they belong, in his mouth.

Despite the presidents way with words, it was Romneys inept rambling that led to his downfall, and good thing too, since we could be stuck with him as president. Sometimes American democracy does work the way it was intended. Not too often, but sometimes.

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