Well here we are -- all done with the 2012 elections. The President has been reelected and the various groups are either consoling themselves or celebrating the continuation of those policies and practices that have brought us to where we are today. I wish I could say I am shocked by the outcome, but I am not. Back in January I wrote this post, Just My Opinion, where I set out my suspicion about the Romney campaign. Unfortunately, it proved to be an accurate prediction.
So what lessons do I take away from these elections? There are a number I would like to lay out, just for the record.
To those who support the Democratic Party the twin ideas of personal integrity and responsibility are not terribly critical when voting for a candidate. What the election of Elizabeth Warren has shown is that with the help of a bias media and sufficient money she was able to stonewall or bury the lies she has told about her heritage and the legal work she did while a professor at Harvard where she failed to maintain a license in the State she was practicing in. The rules that others are supposed to follow really don’t apply to the few who gain favored political status. I think her elevation to the Senate will serve only to further polarize that chamber. Apparently, that is okay for most Massachusetts voters and in a broader sense half the country.
Voters don’t need to consider facts as much as witty posters that agree with what they want to believe; as opposed to what the reality before them is. We can’t have a legitimate debate on woman’s rights that goes any deeper than government funding for contraception and birth control. A discussion on gender equity, opportunities, and voice are really not important to woman’s rights. When discussing the War on Woman it is obviously the Christian right that wants to do all the bad things to them, even though if you look at equality for women in the administration, or college campuses it becomes hard to find. The political bias against the Christian right creates a need to ignore the reality that Islam actually does consider women subservient and men are able to maim and mutilate them without significant risk of penalty. The morality behind any of these issues seems far too easy to dismiss for the sake of political expediency. It is so much easier to hide behind clichés.
The advent of class warfare is not new, but as long as the Republican Party insists on accepting the mantle of a party for the rich, they will lose national elections as an ever-increasing percentage of the nation becomes dependent on government subsidies and self-achievement is denigrated. There is an inevitable, and perhaps unavoidable, tipping point where America and other western civilizations will fail based on the pure mathematics of having more people taking from an exhaustible resource, than are putting back. We have only to look to Europe to see the consequences of the path we are set upon but as the numbers of people dependent on government subsidy increase so will the pace towards that tipping point. Apparently, this is not a concern for the majorities of either party since they both continue to insist on bigger government, it is only in priorities they differ. Clearly the priorities of the Republican Party are out of touch with the population centers where people are most dependent on government largess.
Finally, race continues to play a central role in American politics. I wonder what LBJ, JFK and MLK would say if they saw how we have transitioned from the civil rights movement of the 1960’s where southern Democrat’s fought so viciously to suppress equal rights, to today when the black leaders and the media talking heads have framed any debate on welfare and government subsidy as a racist attempt to steal the rights of the black man. At the same time, the party of Lincoln, the party that actually was responsible for most of the civil rights legislation has accepted into their fold all the children of those southern Democrats and it sure does appear to be a party where diversity is not welcome. If the Republican’s want to survive they have got to stop being the party where old white men tell everyone else what to do.
I would be a liar if I thought there was much chance to see a more effective government over the next four years, or that we will see an actual shift towards bi-partisan governing. The American people don’t want it, so why should the politicians? I think what we will see is an actual loss of healthcare for the elderly, a burdening of the medical system as the government tells doctors how to treat their patients and pays them what they feel like. I think businesses will shift more and more employees to part time, or they will pay the mandated penalties rather than pay the increasing costs for private health insurance, and those people who lose that coverage will be forced to purchase insurance from the government. I think we are in for interesting times, but they are the times we have chosen.