Although approximately 82% of American voters favor the rights of women to some form of legal abortion the Supreme Court has voted to overturn Roe vs. Wade. Let’s remember that number because it’s a number not too unlike the other poll numbers that suggest majority support for a plethora of other legislative possibilities.
When a majority of voters have opinions on gun control, public healthcare, campaign financing, voting rights reforms, decriminalization of marijuana, tax reform, environmental stewardship or abortion rights, etc. and those issues remain unaddressed and therefore go on representing the minority point of view, then we know, logic demands of us, that we recognize that the problem is not in any one particular party or in one particular branch of government or even the failure of one particular effort of advocacy by passionate activists. The problem is running through both parties, all 3 branches of government, through our media and even running its corruption through activist organizations that are spied on, disrupted, co-opted and set up for failure. So except for a minority of voters, I think that it is safe to say that we have all been set up for failure.
Now of course the argument that many will make, will be that it’s all the fault of the Republicans who push for these unsatisfactory and down-right repulsive outcomes. The Republicans, the party leaders that is, certainly are known for their strange positions and legislation but even so, we should remember that these positions and political agendas aren’t always supported by a majority of Republican voters in the same way that Democratic leaders are not always working in the best interests of their constituents.
But rather than having to look at the pretty-much-complete failure of the, for the people, by the people, democratic government thing here in the US what we will almost certainly do is to viciously turn on each other. The old “divided they fall” line is really playing out in fantastic ways. Let’s see if we can remember that for every rotten piece of legislation that comes up we have an equally rotten response to it. The play seems to go this way, the Republicans propose some insult of a piece of legislation and the Democrats hold their noses, shake their heads and wag their fingers. Repeat. Repeat. So whether all this is intentional (shades of conspiracy!), or not, the public takes the hit. It could be said and has been said that to not fight against evil is as bad as fighting for evil. While the Republicans are guilty of promoting bad agendas the Democrats are just as guilty as Republicans in their inability to fight against that evil. This is how we end up with crazy ideas such as there being a lesser evil in today’s menu of political candidates or parties. Evil, it turns out, takes many forms.
Now unless our only reason for voting is to get an (R) or a (D) elected for their looks and labels, we could I think, actually expect something in the form of leadership from these well-paid and protected representatives that get elected. Leadership was once considered to be a real asset in government but the Democrats are notoriously bad at raising up from their ranks anyone who would even think of being an inspired leader. When one somehow gets past their well-tended gates for a moment of fame and influence, a Bernie Sanders or AOC for instance, they are soundly corrected and sent back behind the line and the Democratic voters let the bosses get away with it with hardly a peep. They are well-disciplined voters who have been taught to not strike out against the status quo or against their beloved party/cult. Republican Party success is no excuse for Democratic Part failure.
Trump (I hate to even bring up his name), for all his faults and ultimate exposure as a total fraud, had this one thing going, which was the secret of his appeal to some, he came out as a leader, a terrible, despotic and self-serving leader yes, but a leader all the same. Americans are desperate for a leader, so desperate that a bunch of them went marching after Trump. As the saying goes concerning blind leaders, it wasn’t long before they all fell into the pit. The great fear is of course that some other “leader” may now appear, who might be even worse than Trump but one who has some grasp on reality, enough that is, to make their despotism stick.
Politics, like nature, abhors a vacuum and where no excellent or even good leader is not found, that space will inevitably be filled by a lousy leader. Our government is full to the brim with this sort. Another old saying that comes to mind (my mind is full of old sayings) when considering leadership is this;
Lead, Follow, Or Get Out of the Way! This advice might be just the thing for us to embrace as we move into the next phase of searching out the next bunch of politicians we choose to represent us.
As time goes marching on there is currently no reason to expect anything but more of the same. Republican leaders go deeper into their shock and awe politics, Democratic leaders move about like zombies looking for fresh brains to consume and voters on both sides, the American people that is, fight for their right to life, liberty and a bit of happiness. The best cover for the politicians is that we fight each other. The second best cover for the politicians is that we splinter ourselves off over each and every issue. The best bet for us, the American people, is that we come together and restore or should I say that we begin the democratic experiment in earnest, that we fight to throw these self-serving masters from off the top of our backs, and see if we, without their help, can live up to the ideal form of democracy, a democracy lead by the people that is, not by corrupt and ill-intentioned party bosses. We cannot move through this period in American history by serving the same masters that we must later fight against.
In the end, we will find that democracy is not about having great leaders. Democracy is about having great citizens.