Saturday, May 06, 2006
Play with 'em. But don't break 'em.
Oh oh, I'm beginning to sense there's an election just around the corner. How's that, you ask? Well, there was this little article in yesterday's paper telling how a panel in the Senate pushed onward with their proposed amendment to the constitution to ban desecration of the American flag!
God in heaven! I was wondering what the hot issue of this fall's election would be? Maybe flag burning! Or, who knows? Maybe it'll be a ban on abortions or family planning? Gay marriage is hot. How about prayers in schools and commandments in public buildings? And, oh holy shit....there's always the threat of gun control--that omnipresent threat to our 2nd amendment rights.
These are certainly topics deserving of a front burner because, as every American knows it's issues like these that so threaten the very fabric of American government and our way of life.
But maybe a word of caution would be wise here to all those in D.C. up for reelection. You may not want to really resolve any of those controversial issues.
Why? Well, if one looks at the big issues of Bush's first "election," it was those of moral decay, corruption and the scandals in Washington. These are things Bush republicans can no longer harp on. That's because they've neutralized them as issues with their very own corruption, scandals and moral decay.
The 2004 election preyed on fear. Americans responded positively to the stronger security Bush offered them. Of course now, as weekly revelations reveal, even "slow Americans" are beginning to display growing doubts about a president who can't even find Osama bin Laden and who attacked the wrong nation in response to 9/11. And then there was Katrina.
The war's approval is dramatically sinking while Bush threatens to ignite another one. Perhaps that will increase every slow American's sense of security Bush provides, resulting in more astounding victories in the November elections as Bush hopes. And who knows, maybe by nuking Iran and with a little nudging of the numbers from electronic voting machines it will.
But with dissatisfaction growing dramatically among Americans with their checkless and balanceless government, it may become extremely difficult to steal another election; to reconcile such enormous disparities between public opinion and paperless computer vote tallies. At some point, it may be that even overly docile apathetic Americans will get pissed!
But I kinda doubt conservative republicans will want to use security as an issue this fall. That's because insecurities are up, not down, thanks to Bush policies.
Some of Bush's other past "hot" campaign issues seem to be resolved or compromised too. Like his anti-big government advocacy and keeping big government out of private citizen's lives. That's because we now enjoy the biggest government in history we can't afford. The nation is bankrupt! Meanwhile, the FBI and NSA are tapping American's phones, reading their e-mails and spying without warrants causing us all to feel less secure, not more. It's enough to leave one wondering which is the far graver threat? Terrorism or our own government?
Then their was that criticism of our weak military under Clinton. Keep in mind, this comes from an administration of chickenshit war hawks with little or no military background. But Rumsfeld has banished that critique! I don't think many conservatives will be riding that beaten, dead horse into November.
Another recurring Bush theme is his advocacy of state's rights over the federal government's. But this is full of inconsistencies on issues such as assisted suicide, gay marriage, medical marijuana, food labelling. And then there's the tendency of the federal government to blackmail state policy by withholding funds for highways if states don't pass federal legislation desired, or schools that don't permit students to be recruited as much needed government fodder for our global militant ambitions.
So conservatives must be careful. Most of their high ground morality is either sinking or now being co-opted by an eager opposition party wanting to claim their share of the responsibility for wars, unaffordable deficits, shrinking rights, increased insecurities from further Homeland Security intrusions into our lives, etc.
Other issues, such as energy, healthcare costs and burgeoning numbers of uninsured, vanishing job security and pensions are shared by both parties. That is, there's little discernable differences between them. Neither seems inclined to solve these problems themselves. They're much too controversial, which makes them far too risky politically. Better to let their insurance, pharmaceutical, oil and other industry benefactors make the laws. They know what's best for all Americans!
So okay, with elections on the horizon and most issues either compromised or too hot to handle, go ahead and roll out those passionate perennials. Play with 'em, toss 'em around, but for god's sake, don't break them by solving 'em. Leave those flag burners, gays, bible thumpers, abortionists, NRA folks hangin' another two years. We're gonna need some kind of really significant issues to delineate our differences in the '08 elections.