photo by Sheri Dixon

Monday, February 24, 2014

The Circle of Politics

So I've noticed something.

There's always been a huge segment of American society who consider themselves 'moderate'. Republican and Democrat, they are moderate. Everyday folks who get up, point the kids towards school, drive to work, put in their time for the paycheck to pay for shelter, transportation, food, utilities, clothing and maybe a modest vacation once or twice a year. They don't pay much attention to politics, but they do vote and they do expect a basic set of stuff from their governments.

Protection of society as a whole- Roads, bridges, schools, libraries, police departments, fire departments, parks, utilities- all the things that make a civil society and keep us relatively safe.

Protection of individuals- The rights of free speech, religious freedom, equality between human beings without fear of reprisal or discrimination.

Protection from those in power- oversight and regulations making sure corporations don't poison us, work us literally to death, blow us up or destroy the environment, and making sure bankers can't tie us to the railroad tracks if we are unable to pay our bills on time.

See that? ^^^ That shit up there is basically all most folks want from their governments. And as long as the roads are drivable, the police show up when you call them, you aren't personally seeing any overt and blaring discrimination and the water out of your own faucet can't be set on fire everything's cool.

If you're used to voting R you'll pull that lever and if you're used to voting D you'll pull that lever- always for the guy who's picture you've seen the most and whose name you recognize from the tee vee ads with the flag and the eagle screaming in the background. Yay, America!

There's always been some form of 'far Right' and 'far Left', but those were small and chuckled at, regardless of how fierce they tried to look.

Then along came the Tea Party. Oh, it started out innocent enough- people who wanted to follow the constitution, and who thought the current administration isn't doing that. That the former administration(s) hadn't done it either is immaterial. They just now noticed so it just now matters.

Then they got a HUGE boost in funding from the Koch Brothers- you know, for America.

And now the Tea Party is a big ol' Fundamental Christian, gun-worshipping anti-government machine that has pretty much crapped all in the cogs of how things are supposed to work in DC. Guess they figure if it's not going their way, they will just blow it up. Because compromise is a dirty word. And any American who doesn't agree with them isn't a REAL American anyway and should just move to Hawaii. Because that's apparently not part of the US. But Canada is- right Ted Cruz?

The Right has been pulled so far to the Right that it's fixin' to tip right off the edge of this here flat planet. And what a loss THAT would be.

What that did was pull the Left not just towards the middle, but into what used to be Right, JUST to keep up with (the perceived) call for a more conservative nation.

Moderates on the Right are shaking their heads and thinking, "What is THIS shit?" when they see the bibles being thumped and women's rights being trampled and voter suppression and fucking Ted Nugent on the campaign trail with a serious candidate.

Moderates on the Left are shaking their heads and thinking, "What is THIS shit?" when they see regulatory commissions being headed by the very people they are regulating and the Keystone Pipeline being green-lighted and not a god-damn thing being done to the folks who caused the crash of '08 and who keep getting even richer.

And here's what's happening.

The moderates ARE still here- they're just on the other side of the circle. They've trotted along behind the wave of their parties until they couldn't stand the direction anymore and they've broken off- letting the batshit crazy far-Right pull the former Left off the edge of the earth and they're coming together again.

I'm Left. Way far Left. Left of Liberal, ya'll. I generally can't see a Democrat in my rear-view. The times I am able to talk (without getting barraged by FAUX News and Yell Radio talking points) to someone who identifies as Far Right, we agree on way more shit than we disagree on.

So often I hear that we need a viable third party because the two we have are not serving the majority of the people anymore.

Here's the problem with that. We're so used to a two-party system that one of our current parties is going to have to implode, literally crash, burn and not exist anymore for the rise of another party to be feasible.

Luckily, the GOP is obliging.

The danger is now. It's cornered and not going down without taking as many with it as it can- hence the many many wars it's fighting- the wars that make Halliburton and Raytheon very wealthy of course, plus the wars on women's rights, gay rights, the environment, the middle class (JOB creators? Are you fucking kidding me?)and basically anyone who is carbon-based and not incorporated.

And if you're a moderate Republican, you see the flag and hear the eagle and the narrator saying what a good American and Constitutionalist (and here in the Bible Belt, CHRISTIAN) the candidate is, see the happy smiling family portrait at the end of it and don't look any farther.

Because once they DO look, both sides of moderate generally say, "They voted for WHAT???"

And on the other side of the circle, moderates and semi-radicals are gathering and agreeing on things like personal choice for personal decisions- family planning, marriage, food, housing. Access to good healthcare and higher education paid for by everyone's taxes for everyone to use without question or stipulation- like roads and schools and police departments are now. Tax the churches. Dismantle our standing armies. Things that really ARE in the Constitution...because there's more to it than fucking GUN RIGHTS.

I believe if we are ALL vigilant and keep the death-throes of the GOP from dragging us all down with it, we'll come out the other side stronger, better and more of what we should be. Not even "what the Founding Fathers intended" because face it- the Founding Fathers were all rich landowners (and slave owners) and were forming a nation for other rich white guys- not women, not minorities, and definitely not poor people of any gender or color.

If we can survive this next bit of extreme political truly fucking dangerous bullshit, we can do what they never dreamed of.

Here on the other side of the circle.

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