Friday, November 9, 2012


For nearly forty years the right has waged an unrelenting assault on some of the ideas that help hold our society together.

The belief that anyone would want to make a career of public service is derided. Career politicians they’re called and not to be trusted. When the cat is sick I don’t go to the Buick garage and when the car needs work I don’t go to the vet.  The myth that rank amateurs can do the nation’s business leaves the door wide open for the think tanks and lobbyists to assume control. Paul Ryan never did explain his budget plans if R & R were elected. Rumor has it that his budget and suggestions for the budget came from lobbying organizations and think tanks such as the Heritage Foundation which might explain why he couldn’t explain the figures. Forgot to do his homework.

Which brings us to the second umbrella idea.  The law and the judges that interpret it. From the time of Edward Coke in the seventeenth century most of us have accepted that there has to be a final arbiter. And individual judge or a panel of jurists with the final say on what the law says. I don’t always agree with the results, but I don’t try to undercut their authority just because I don’t agree with the results. Over and over we hear the term “activist judge’ when the right doesn't agree with the results. And that the majority should rule. Never admitting to themselves that there might be a time when they are in the minority and needing protection. There has to be a final, hopefully neutral arbiter.  And we all need to remember that where there is one there is a majority of one and the courts are the last protection for those majorities of one.

Now on to the teachers and the education system. How can teachers do their jobs when the respect they need to do that job is constantly undercut.  Laws that allow wet behind the ears kids to refuse to learn what they need to know to compete in science with other countries because it might go against their belief in a cobbled together, cherry picked set of scriptures that were never meant to be taken literally in the first place. I was taught genetics in biology at the U of O by guys who’d been put up for the Nobel Prize for heaven’s sake. I’d have no more dared question them than I could fly to the moon. At least until I’d taken a few classes. And yes I question my faith but it wasn’t caused by anything I learned in the science class room.

And in the last two election cycles we’re being warned to distrust our fellow citizens. With a solution in search of a problem the drum beat of “voter fraud” has been heard in state after state. Even though there is almost no evidence of voter fraud. And the little we've seen this election cycle appears to have been almost all on the Republican side. 

So who benefits when the groups that help hold society together are discredited and demoralized. The would be puppet masters. The would be puppet masters who may have to wait just a little longer to remake America in their image. And the excuses that are coming out of the right are absolutely delicious.  

If I ran a business that took a shellacking on the scale of Tuesday's election I'd be on the phone to my customers wanting to know what the hell was wrong. And I wouldn't sit there telling them that my product was just fine, they were wrong. You know when you drop a hammer on your toe and it hurts you don't keep dropping that hammer over and over and over.  

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