Curtain Raiser

They’ve Lost But Won’t Concede it, Colltalers

Not even a week after President Obama’s victory, not in a bombastic but still in a reassuring way, with a few Democrat seats gained for his party in the Senate to boot, and the counter-reaction is already apace.
From sore losers, who’ve spent the past week blaming everyone and their Kenyan grandmothers for the result, to well-meaning souls, who believe that now should come a time for national healing and the meeting of the minds to solve the country’s greatest problems, it seems that Election Day happened years ago.
Both sides seem to operate under the assumption that the over 61 million Americans chose a side and a political direction, and that’s fine, but now it’s time to put aside the ideological divisions and try to work together. After all, we’re all interested in the common good and all that.
Don’t buy it. Behind this patronizing rhetoric of ‘finding the common ground,’ and ‘working through our differences,’ there’s a well-orchestrated intention to undermine what the American people has just made a point into underlining: our vote does count and should always count.
What slightly a third of the U.S. population (it could be more, and one hopes that it will, the next time around) has sought to demonstrate is that the presidency can not be brought, not even for billions of dollars, not yet anyway, even though that we don’t know for how much longer.
And the majority of that third chose President Obama because he’s vowed to prioritize social policies over financial fears, and a fair tax code over privilege acquired during the long economic stability this country’s experienced since WWII, thanks to its working classes and well defined regulations.
You wouldn’t get this idea this past week, though, by watching media pundits and political operatives alike scrambling to justify their profoundly mistaken view of the American citizenry and the wisdom it’s demonstrated at the polling stations.
Still, the president who has shown a gift for rousing rhetoric and uncanny charismatic ability to win over even those in doubt, by just the sheer brilliance of his mind, and impeccable ethical credentials, has a poor record at the negotiating table.
It’ll be up to his supporters to gear his administration up, towards the goals that will benefit the majority of Americans, and in that case, yes, there’s no political division about who stands to benefit from social programs in this country.
For, despite all political gerrymandering, it’s curiously the states where the GOP candidate has won who attract the most federal dollars for social networks, and one wonders whether even more should be allocated too, since those are also the poorest.
And if’s about who’s really a taker, no one else has received more Washington funds, tax breaks, and special subsidies than banks, big agricultural business, organized religion, and the military, all traditionally ideologically alined with right wing conservative causes.
Apart from that, we’re entitled to expect more from the president’s last term. Issues concerning foreign policy and its goals set according to military priorities, which includes the unregulated use of drones, should be now up to discussion.
The same with domestic surveillance and the constitutionality of holding military trials for alleged non-uniformed U.S. enemies, detentions without due legal process, tapping and privacy violations by both government and corporations alike, the list goes on and on.
The perfect timing of nature’s intervention, in the eve of the elections, has brought climate change back again to the front burner, but it’ll be a long struggle to keep it boiling and relevant, and to force the development of new policies to tackle its implications.
By all means, the president must consolidate and implement his signature initiatives in health care, immigration, gender issues and women reproductive rights. But a whole new, previously overlooked, agenda towards moving the U.S. forward also needs to be tended to.
Above all, we do expect the president to be more attentive to the demands of grassroots movements, such as the Occupy Wall Street initiative, and be serious about reform in Wall Street, which after all, has been less than supportive of his reelection anyway.
We don’t advocate a revenge-driven second term, lest that that remains the sole territory of unrepentant losers and the millions of dollars they’ve wasted on his defeat. But we do hope he revisits his 2008 playbook, to effectively quarterback us all for the challenges ahead.
In many corners of this great land, there are those who can’t bring themselves to understand this potentially new era for America. Frankly, if they haven’t understood it this far in the game, they probably never will. So let’s let fringe be fringe.
But if the president wants to inscribe his name among the greats of the past, he needs to realize that the ideological extremism that doomed his opposition will remain just that, extreme, and it’s unlikely that it’ll be willing to meet him halfway to solve our problems.
It’s Veterans’ Day in the U.S. and behind all innocuous homages and political discourses, there’s a genuine desire from most Americans to thank profusely those who served, and are still in harm’s way, hundreds of thousands of miles away from U.S. soil.
We wish to join our voices to them, hoping for their safe return sooner rather than later, and to welcome them with way more than just parades and dates, but with the effective health care they may need, and a role in the American society only them can fulfill. Have a great one. WC


One thought on “Curtain Raiser

  1. Jerry Ashton says:

    Another lovely blog. Are we on for dinner at 5:30? Write me directly at I lost your email.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.