Friday, March 12, 2010

Break The System - Vote GOP ?

Along with the "qualified" endorsement of the Senate HCR bill came a question - doesn't passing these kinds of band aides and electing so-what Democrats just extend the mess we're in? That wouldn't electing good solid GOP majorities advance the systemic crash and teach people a lesson? This is the school that says without real pain real change won't happen.

I do agree that the FYIGM* school rules a lot more widely than is generally acknowledged and that unless that "I got mine" lose it real change won't happen. FYIGM is more commonly applied to the Libertarians than the public at large, a mistake - it is just the Randroids ruling philosophy versus the more general and less "principled" neglect of the public. The difference with me is that I don't believe that the pain has to be due to utter disaster.

The Right likes to claim that we've become a soft nation, maybe we have ... or maybe we've come to expect more of our governments' competence. I don't believe it takes complete disaster and wide spread suffering and death to create real change in this country. We were in the beginning of the worst recession since the Great Depression when the last election occurred. The worst is an economic term, rather than a social one, the actual social damage was quite muted thanks to extensive safety nets and the plowing of vast Federal resources into the problem. (I don't claim there wasn't real pain) In the face of that limited damage, discomfort as opposed to disaster, Barack Obama was elected President. Looking at the social aspects of that election should be instructive; a young black man with a funny sounding name and a non-Christian descent with limited national service was elected in competition with an old white 3rd generation Annapolis POW media darling "maverick" with a "Mc" prefix. If you consider that I am simply middle-aged and can remember watching on TV as civil rights workers were dug out of a dike you might understand the real social magnitude of that election. There was no disaster and yet a social change of shattering magnitude occurred.

Electing Republicans might well accelerate a number of failures, some, but would bring with them a lot of gratuitous collateral damage - theocracy and widespread scapegoating along with unnecessary wars are just a start. Most of the failures, plutocratism and dislocation of wealth, vanishing jobs, disintegrating health care, and crashing general income levels are inevitable considering the course charted over the last three and half decades. That crash will happen but the course to it and its size need not be disastrous to have effect. Discomfort amongst enough of those who vote will do the deal. The uninsured in this country today are not politically significant, you get junk like the Senate bill because the pain has not spread far enough into consistent voters and donors. FYIGM will fall apart when the middle's employers come to them and say, nope can't afford it and they can't afford it and keep a house. That crunch will happen pretty quickly and won't just whack the bottom of the scale and nothing in this bill will put that off to a significant degree.

There's no reason to believe that giving the keys to the Huns will result in Reformation. History shows something different in the face of disaster - Hitlers, Stalins, Pol Pots are the general result, not FDRs. This was a dangerous world when Hitler came to power, it is logarithmically more dangerous today. NO, electing half-assed Democrats (or even today's middle Democrats) will not stave off the bus going in the ditch, but it may well mitigate the pain.

Cassandra says the walls will be breached, but in this case the place need not burn to the ground. This 21st Century GOP needs a stake driven through its heart but giving them control to get there is crazy.

* (F^^k You I Got Mine)

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