Thursday, November 10, 2005

Here's Food For Thought

In light of this week's good news for liberals and progressives, someone looks back (mind you, Sherman Yellen wrote this long before this week):
Lies and evasions have become the coin of the realm in the hands of our national leaders. A clever, well spoken woman boldly lies to the congress and the congress votes to confirm her in office as Secretary of State. This will not be the first time in human history that political leaders lie and redefine patriotism to mean loyalty to a radical ideology and the suppression of information. We have a President reluctant to answer an intelligent opposition, salting the press with fawning, sometimes paid acolytes, just like some South American dictator, determined to answer to no one except his God, and fortunately for this president, he is convinced that God speaks through him. He will not let himself be accountable, will not admit to error, will not accept responsibility for errors made by others during his administration. Accountability is something that Mr. Bush has never recognized in his personal and profession life. Never has the bully pulpit of the Presidency been more accuratly named, serving a bully President.

Many say that we Democrats lost the election because we long ago lost the solid South. As soon as Lyndon Johnson and the Democrats pushed through Civil Rights legistlation that solid Democratic South cracked. The sainted Ronald Regan was eager to exploit this, but he had a sense of shame, a sense that is not shared by his Republican successors. Republicans, willing to pick up the broken pieces of Southern bigotry, reassembled them and founded a new radical conservatism on it. "Conservative" replaced segregationist or bigot as the term of choice. By finding sympathetic figures in minority groups, the new radical conservatives were able to deflect the charges of bigotry. Who needs Bull Connor with a fire hose and a bludgeon when you have Clarence Thomas ready to vote against every law that will lift up his own people? We can take heart when an old Southern segregationist like Senator Byrd speaks up for minority rights, speaks out against the duplicity that brought us to war, his is a rare voice of reason in the Senate.

All this has been done through the manipulation of fear and terror, following the tragedy of 9/11. Never have so few attempted to impose their radical views on so many, not since the Stalinists - those other true believers who serve as a role model for the right in its tactics and in its blind, intolerant certainties.

Sady, the liberals allowed themselves to be redefined as soft on terrorism and crime without putting up much of a fight. One could see it coming years ago when the very name Democratic Party was reduced to "Democrat" Party by its opponents, eager to detach the idea of democratic ideals from the adversary party, smirking as they coined the new truncated name for the opposition. Did we call them the Republic party in return? No, we left them with their "can" and their smirk intact. It sounds so childish, but by letting the radical right corrupt the language, and frame the debate, a great deal of democratic ground was lost without a battle.
Go read the rest of your wake-up call.