The Battle of Ideas

Is what politics is under the surface.

‘The Left’ is ostensibly for Liberty, Equality and Justice at all costs, but implemented responsibly.

‘The Right’ is for…well I am not really sure what The Right is for anymore.  When I was growing up politically, they were for strong defense, fiscal responsibility, and mainly, it seemed to me, the necessity of deferring to the authority of the Government and the Church above individual liberty. Conformity. Citizens setting aside some (most?) individual liberties for the good of the state. Somewhere in there was some stuff about the government staying out of your lives, at least when it came to guns…but not when it came to the bedroom or your uterus.

The Center was where these differing ideals are supposed to meet. A responsibly moderate place where the concerns of the good of the State were balanced with the good of the People.

That may be all wrong, but those were/are my impressions. I think that has all changed, or is about to.

I am NOT wrong about the Battle of Ideas. It is the very purpose of politics.

I just don’t know what the Ideas are anymore. Wait, maybe I do. I think maybe in this election the Battle of Ideas is much simpler than we think. There was a coup in this country. A deception at the very least. America got conned. They bought the okeydoke of a Far Right closet dictator “Uniter not Divider.” A wolf in sheep’s clothing. A man who pretended to be something he wasn’t. The worst (in concert with Cheney) example of the Right’s innate tendency towards totalitarianism and fascism.

Then there was a terrorist attack that got turned into a Global War on Terror. An excuse…and nothing more than an excuse…to indulge every excess of the Right Wing. From the Government having more rights than the individual to imprisoning and torturing innocent people without as much as a trial. In just six short years of the Right Wing’s total control of the Government, vastly aided by an incredible propaganda effort (including their own TV network) that fooled most of the people at least some of the time, America slid nearly all the way to the bottom of the slippery slope of all of the Right Wing’s worst fantasies come true. In perhaps the stupidest decision the American voter has ever made, the con job lasted through the 2004 election. I don’t think America can ever live that down. This was the greatest victory for the right ever. When asked what they believed, the Government run by the RW Authoritarians or their lying eyes, the American voter bought the okeydoke again.

By 2006, enough people had come out of the haze of purposely imposed fear, jingoism and propaganda to elect a Democratic Congress. As much as we despise the missed opportunities to turn things around by these spineless cowards who continually choose capitulation over courage, one thing must be admitted. They slowed the slide towards fascism. Iow, they could have been worse. That is the highest praise I can muster.

Though there are many issues to debate and many things we would like to see happen, and that we…as The Left…MUST continue to fight for this election has only one real idea. Stopping the slide into Right Wing Fascism.

Yes I do want fries and a coke and health care and the Constitution with that. But I am starving. I’ll take whatever scraps of freedom, equality and justice I can get. I will fill my belly with them and continue to struggle to build the world I know we are capable of building.

I want that world; I will still put my heart and soul into getting there. But after centuries of struggling up the hill, we were pushed far back down that slippery slope. Far from the mountaintop. All I ask now is that we stop sliding backwards. Anything else is a bonus.

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  1. Photobucket

    Sure, why not

    Expectation? Just more okeydoke.

    Grim determination and perseverance and patience while working our butts off?

    Now we’re talking.

  2. But I am starving. I’ll take whatever scraps of freedom, equality and justice I can get. I will fill my belly with them and continue to struggle to build the world I know we are capable of building.

    That sums it up.

    • brobin on July 2, 2008 at 8:47 pm

    He was certainly never my cup of tea, so to speak, but for the people here at DD, I feel this is mostly true:

    We knew who Barack Obama was early in the game.

    We understood that Barack Obama was a DNC Democrat.

    We told everyone in loud voices that this is how it is.

    We gave him a chance to bloom and excel.

    We have watched him become what we knew he was.

    We need to make sure that a Democratic Congress is given a chance to grow in numbers and allowed to work with Barack Obama as President of The United States of America.

    We are progressives.  Barack Obama is a politician.  

    Perhaps his game plan will make sense once he is in office with a Democratic Majority in Congress.

    Perhaps he will do America right.

    Perhaps we should take that chance as opposed to Bush’s third term.

    I’m going to.

    • Robyn on July 2, 2008 at 9:20 pm

    I could edit if you want. 🙂

  3. I said:

    Between then and now, work for the most progressive State Legislatures, House and Senate we can possibly achieve, and then mid-November get back to work to do an even better job in 2010. Work on building a movement that can hold a Democrat to task and at the same time get Republicans unelected.

    But for goodness sake … that’s in parallel to getting the opponent we want in the White House, rather than John McCain. Being disappointed in the real world Obama falling short of the carboard cut-out of Obama that was created by some of (h/t MB) his supporters on the Daily Kos does not mean voting for the continued descent of the US into fascism … it means working that much harder to get as many progressive elected at as many levels of government as possible.

    I know about great minds being on the same track, but I don’t have any cliche to cover this, its just spooky.

    • Edger on July 2, 2008 at 9:25 pm

    is the kind of essay this place used to be is famous for.

    I am NOT wrong about this. It is the very purpose of this place.

    Nice to see you pulling back from the edge, Buhdy.

    Jesus, you really piss me off, you know that? 😉

  4. I’m starving for that too.  When you think about it, we’ve had more than just 7 years of RW rampant destruction.  The RW Congress during both Clinton’s terms did their best to bring down his Presidency, and neutralize his effectiveness.  They even managed to Impeach Clinton, though they didn’t have quite enough power to convict him in the Senate.  But, it was enough to pave the way for 8 years to complete the hard right turn of this country.

    I think we’ve got to focus on getting the RW out of the Presidency.  That’s going to be a tough enough battle, as the RW is throwing everything at the Dem candidate that they’ve got–and the polls are showing a very close race–it’s NOT in the bag for Obama, by any means.  I guess I’m looking at the multiple crises in America as casualties lining up in the ER–we’ve got to do a triage that will keep the patient alive to get well enough to do what he’s got to do.

    We’ve got to grab the wheel & start turning it back from the right.  At this point, I’ll be satified with making a beginning, and willing to keep working toward more progress toward sanity.

  5. Here are two of my favorite quotes that get back to original concern: “I don’t know what ideas are anymore.”

    “One difference between the way the right and left organizes is that they organize for electoral power– even between elections. We organize for self-expression. They focus on the goal of power. We encourage everyone to do whatever each individual wants. Is this the way to gain power? Do we want to wield power? This is a discussion the peace and justice movement — in Vermont and elsewhere needs to have.”

    – Marty Jezer, local activist in southern Vermont

    “When a social movement adopts the compromises of legislators, it has forgotten its role, which is to push and challenge the politicians, not to fall in meekly behind them…Whatever politicians may do, let them first feel the full force of citizens who speak for what is right, not for what is winnable, in a shamefully timorous Congress.”

    – Howard Zinn, scholar and bestselling author of The People’s History of the United States

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