Our nation is faced with historically urgent problems, yet our political discourse is focused on lunacy. We must negotiate two wars, economic collapse of historic proportions, a dwindling middle class, working poor on the edge of oblivion, entitlement systems that must be reformed lest they completely crush our system (or become unavailable to those in need).
But the current conversation has the sole intent of misleading the populace into voting Republicans back into office in 2010. The far right message machine is brilliant — faced with a worldwide economic crisis, anyone elected in 2008 would have been required to bail out the global financial system. Pre-painting Obama as a "socialist" knowing he was going to do what McCain would have done set up the entire subsequent dialogue.
We wrote the robber barons who created this crisis a blank check. They had a gun to our heads. Pump money into the system, or we face an unprecedented depression. This was done.
The teabaggers are protesting the very things that could one day save them from penury. Yet any attempt to pump up the fortunes of the common working man — those very people the entire world economy relies upon to buy its goods and services and return our dilapidated system to some semblance of normalcy — is dubbed "socialism."
I do not withhold my ire from the liberal and media elites. By ignoring, mocking and further disenfranchising the far right, we bring our country quite literally to the brink of Civil War. People are scared. We face unprecedented challenges. The media has collapsed and is incapable of anything but political name calling.
Real issues — and an honest debate about how to address those issues — is impossible in our current political and media climate. Our fate and the fate of the entire world hangs in the balance.
Our partisan divides will suffocate us. We need a White House that is clear in its vision. We need brave and resolute Republicans. We need a real Maverick to stand up among the Republicans and Blue Dog Democrats — someone like the John McCain of old — not to further fan the flames for short-term political gain, but to say: "yes, we must fix this, and this is how we will work together."
Patriots among us — let us not continue to screech untruths, let us seek to fix the seemingly insurmountable issues that face us. If you do not have a constructive alternative, if your only recourse is to yell "liar" or "socialist" or "right-wing nut jobs" then, please, look around you. Work for real, constructive change.
EXCERPT FROM FRANK RICH COLUMN 9/13/09:
The reason is that health care reform, while an overdue imperative, still is overshadowed in existential urgency by the legacies of the two devastating cataclysms of the Bush years, 9/11 and 9/15, both of whose anniversaries we now mark. The crucial matters left unresolved in the wake of New York’s two demolished capitalist icons, the World Trade Center and Lehman Brothers, are most likely to determine both this president’s and our country’s fate in the next few years. Both have been left to smolder in the silly summer of ’09.
As we approach the eighth anniversary of the war that 9/11 bequeathed us in Afghanistan, the endgame is still unknown and more troops are on their way. Though the rate of American casualties reached an all-time high last month, the war ranks at or near the bottom of polls tracking the issues important to the American public. Most of those who do have an opinion about the war oppose it (57 percent in the latest CNN poll released on Sept. 1) and oppose sending more combat troops (56 percent in the McClatchy-Ipsos survey, also released on Sept. 1). But the essential national debate about whether we really want to double down in Afghanistan — and make the heavy sacrifices that would be required — or look for a Plan B was punted by the White House this summer even as the situation drastically deteriorated.
Also posted to The Turner Report