Using Technology to Deepen Democracy, Using Democracy to Ensure Technology Benefits Us All

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Sunday Sermon

Throughout August the Villagers handwaved that Obama's efforts to "stay above the fray" had allowed the healthcare message to get away from him, and now they handwave that his "overexposure" is allowing the healthcare message to get away from him.

These silly gossips don't know what they are talking about. These people are experts at getting on the tee vee, not experts in any of the actual subjects about which they hyperventilate. They just go where the shiny is and the noise is and then pretend that whatever spin incumbent interests put on things to their own benefit constitutes reality.

Obama won the Presidency despite their repeated declarations that this or that drama of the moment doomed him. Remember "bitter"? Remember Reverend Wright? Remember the Reagan comment? No? Why would you? Obama is our President, and America is the America that elected him.

Healthcare reform numbers remained surprisingly steady despite the noise and confusion of August. The progressive left has remained firmer than it has done in over a generation, and the Public Option is not dead, whatever the gossips handwave to the contrary.

The bill we get won't be the one we want and the process will be ugly as these things always actually are (as will be EFCA, as will be the second stimulus, as will be climate change legislation, as will the two or more Supreme Court nomination battles to come) but what we get will be both incomparably better than what we have now and better than what we fear we might get. In the years to come we will build on what we get to get better and better.

The teabaggers, the birthers, the deathers, the tenthers, the gun-nuts, the Christianists, the Randroids keep re-staging the election they lost, because they can't believe a black man was elected President, that they live in an America that would elect a black man President.

These sad wingnuts easily draw the cameras of the silly gossips to the spectacle that they are making of themselves. The gossips want spectacle and few are capable of useful analysis. But all the facts remain as they are, the President is still the President, America is still the America which elected him. Every time the wingnuts re-stage the election, they re-stage the fact of their defeat, they expose their ugly face to the world and the America that elected Obama rejects them over and over again.

They told us who they are in their Palin rallies, and what they exposed was unelectable in America. They lost because of who they are, and what America really is. Even when they sold themselves for so long as a "Moral Majority" they represented a marginal minority, even when they declared themselves a permanent ruling majority the demographic writing was on the wall and only electoral shenanigans (in 2000 actually amounting to a coup, the crime that set the stage for the gangsterism and war-crimes to come) kept the superficial appearance of their prevalence only precariously in place, a mirage their True Believers then indulged to the fatal cost of any palpable connection to reality.

Republicans now have no real leaders who are actually in elected office, their Base is energized by media personalities who not only do not hold elected office but could not be elected by actual majorities. La Palin has actually quit elected office to become a media personality. Limbaugh, Beck, and the rest attract attention but their views cannot win anybody any votes.

The Republican Party is a leaderless, rudderless, ridiculous neo-confederate rump, engaged in a spectacle of suicidal self-marginalization, catering by necessity to a Base that is all it has and which it therefore cannot afford to lose without losing everything in the short term, but which ultimately isn't worth having in America as it actually is and so ensures Republican will lose everything in the long term.

The corporatist and Christianist coalition that drove Movement Conservatism into running things and ruining things never made any abiding conceptual sense. The corporatists and Christianists didn't really want the same things since much that the Christianists disapprove of is profitable and much that the Christianists care about is unprofitable, making their relation essentially one of deception and predation. But both desperately wanted to live in a world that wasn't going where 1968 seemed to say it was going, and the instability and cynicism of the Movement Republican coalition could be hidden and disavowed so long as it maintained its desperate momentum, a momentum that could last only so long in the face of stubborn reality (about which more in a moment).

The "victories" of Movement Republicanism in the aftermath of the New Deal and Civil Rights movements -- whether in its resentful frowny-faced Nixonian visage, its vapid smiley-faced Reaganomic visage, its mean huckster-faced Gingrichian visage, its killer clown-faced Loyal Bushie visage -- always only amounted to petty cruelties enacted on the most vulnerable for the benefit of the most ignorant and fearful of the poor (kept as ignorant and fearful as possible by the policies of the Republicans themselves) under cover of which they looted the inheritance and ongoing work of public culture and the ongoing investment of public works and infrastructure for the benefit of the already rich.

There are and can be no accomplishments the Movement Republicans can point to in the aftermath of their ruinous generational prevalence, theirs was a work of looting and dismantlement in essence. They have no substantial legacy to testify to, their short-term pleasures evaporated at the site of their consumption, their ill-gotten gains can be re-taxed away in a fraction of the time they took in stealing them, their whomping up of ignorance and fear cannot sustain itself in the face of the pressure of planetary peer-to-peer formations educating, agitating, organizing.

America is a multi-racial multi-cultural secular democratic nation... catastrophic climate change exacerbated by reckless petrochemical civilization is really happening and can really be addressed by policy... there are some things that only good legitimate accountable government can do... the Constitution has indicated from the first that promoting general welfare secures the blessings of liberty... markets are neither natural nor spontaneous and far from representing a replacement for good governance they need government themselves to enable what they do well... people cannot flourish unless they feel they belong however many belongings they have... "Defense" is largely welfare for the already obscenely rich... all we are saying is give peace a chance... those who benefit most from civilization should pay their fair share of the maintenance of that civilization in taxes... healthcare is a right and nobody in the countless nations on earth that provide it as a right want to lose that right or feel themselves to live in tyrannies because they have that right... the faithful rarely believe that those who do not share their particular faiths are therefore not good people or fellow citizens... scientific knowledge can and should be acquired and applied to solve shared problems... everybody has sex... women can and do make decisions for themselves... diversity makes the world more beautiful and more interesting... everybody should be able to vote, to speak their mind and own up to what they say, to run for elected office, to have access to reliable information, to make decisions free from threats of force or ruin... people should take responsibility for what they have done... people in trouble should get the help they need to get back up on their feet, because everybody needs help at some point in their life and everybody in the long run is capable of contributing to the world we share, peer to peer...

Republicans are not speaking to these realities right now in even remotely realistic ways: They are caught up in panic and delusion in the face of change, rage and loathing in the face of difference, greed and laziness in the face of the work of public good, moralizing and denial in the face of the planet.

Corporate-militarist dems are dinosaurs and slow-moving slow-witted "centrists" are nudging like snails in the general direction of reality. Some won't change in time, some will do great damage to no good purpose, some will cloak themselves in change without changing themselves and will betray those who count on them.

Politics is ugly, interminable, perilous, and utterly indispensable.

There will always be gossips on the tee vee. Take what they say with a grain of salt, keep your perspective, participate in the struggle for social justice in whatever measure you can and with that participation will come the knowledge you need to protect you from fraud, betrayal, or despair.

Understand that we are at the beginning and not at the end of a progressive epoch and that our efforts will culminate either in a sustainable equitable consensual multicultural planetary democracy with liberty and justice and welfare for all, or in the destruction of human civilization in the bursting of the petrochemical bubble of modernity without making provision for a sustainable successor to it, in the unnecessary stressing or destruction of the planetary ecosystem's capacity to maintain life as we know it, or in an idiotic orgy of war-machines.

Have a good week.


Jackie said...

What a rhetorical tour de force! You have such brilliant stylistic command of the language.

This is, of course, besides the fact that what you are saying is also completely true.... but form is one with content, right?

Thank you for keeping us inspired and assured.

RadicalCoolDude said...

I agree with Jackie!

It was amazing!

More of this please!