Sunday, September 25, 2005
America's Bipartisan Failure of Leadership
The thin gruel which passes for public morality these days isn’t the fault of mammon-worshiping Republicans alone (though you might get that impression from this blog.) Liberals and democrats have contributed amply to this decline (witness the shameful collaboration of so-called liberals such as Thomas Friedman on the Iraq war.) The Democratic party has shrunk to its current sorry state in part because of its unwillingness to stand up for its convictions, or to even have any worth standing up for. Where has the Democratic party been for all these years while government has steadily turned its back on the poor, abandoned the environment, and cheer-led one war after another? The disappearance of leftist and socialist populism has fueled the rise of radical right-wing populism, which has poisoned contemporary discourse with its recognizable strains of paranoia, xenophobia, anti-intellectualism, and unabashed militarism. While Democrats were busy triangulating, Republicans first seized and then consolidated their grip on the nation’s institutions of power. In the meantime, there has been no one guarding the shop. With neither party apparently responsive to the needs of ordinary individuals, most Americans have fulfilled Timothy Leary’s prophecy and simply turned on, tuned in, and dropped out. Hence the “culture wars,” which are really artificial distractions from the work of dismantling and looting the country which is taking place behind the scenes. The question for Democrats at this point is whether they will respond like a late-arriving burglar, looking to grab the last chandelier before the lights go out, or whether they will at long last offer Americans a reason to withhold our cynicism and favor democracy with at least the respect we lend the Oscars.
Posted by weazoe at 12:10 AM