Participatory Spirituality for the 21st Century
No real surprises here, just a really clear, thorough explanation by Kurt Eichenwald:
"Contrary to how it might seem, I am not a partisan bomb thrower. Throughout most of my adulthood, I have been just as likely to vote for a Republican as for a Democrat – in local, state and national contests. I have cast my ballot in presidential races for both Republicans and Democrats. But in the last four years, the GOP has transmogrified into something ugly and vicious and, more important, something wedded to the politics of fantasy and ignorance. It has rushed so far from its moorings that I cannot conceive of voting for members of this party until, hopefully, they pull themselves back from the precipice of self-destruction, paranoia and delusion.
Today, for Republicans, up is down and front is back. Lying has become so ingrained into the conservatives’ national dialogue that they are now dangerously demagogic or, worse, severely unhinged. Blind rage at the election of Barack Obama has wrecked a once great political party. Its leaders have made so many deals with the devil in their almost pathological obsession with unseating Obama that they have pushed the GOP into its own version of political hell – unable to speak truths to their now-rabid and conspiracy-addled base and unable to right the party back onto a path of responsibility..."
Thanks for providing this. I've made many of the same points in various of my blog posts. This is my first introduction to Eichenwald and will cite him. Unlike him though I've rarely voted for a Republican, though I do give them kudos when one makes a good point.* Which of course has been more rare these days for exactly the reasons he explains. Although I am not a partisan Democrat, often criticizing most of them for being bought off too. I am however partisan for the progressive caucus of the Democrat Party,** which really is another animal altogether. One that will never be found in the GOP.
* Morning Joe Scarborough is but one example, but the GOP calls him a RINO (republican in name only) given he often criticizes his Party.
** Communists according to this wingnut.
I've just about always voted Democrat, and though I might wish to call myself "transpartisan," I have to admit I lean decidedly progressive (and communitarian). For a couple of years back in the day I was registered as Green, but re-joined the Democratic party. This is mainly because the liberal / progressive candidates that have any realistic chance of winning are Democrats, not Green party members.
Partisan politics, though, is so often such a dirty game and I despair when I see the manipulations, compromises and betrayals that are frequently required for a U.S. candidate to have any chance of becoming and remaining viable. And I wonder if the disturbing (imo) political polarization in this country is a necessary phase that will lead to something healthier, or a symptom of something incurable.
Despite these concerns, I will ALWAYS vote. And this is the one thing I am worried about for this upcoming election -- the number of people who say they have simply decided not to vote because they cannot ethically support either candidate. So I've been sharing this Eichenwald piece in hopes of showing why it is still important to cast a vote. I know that both major political parties tell lies, and I can understand why people are disappointed in some of Obama's choices -- but when one (Republican) party is being swayed and/or led by demagogues, extremists, and the willfully ignorant, it behooves citizens not to leave the upcoming election up to "fate" or chance.
And I know that most Republicans are not extremists. But if the party I usually align myself with were taken over by people catering to its extremists and demagogues in a deceit-paved and hell-bent attempt to win, I would do what I could to stop them -- by casting a vote against them.
I have watched several of the speeches this week (particularly by Michelle and President Obama) and appreciated both of them. I voted for Obama before, and do think he is the better choice again this election, but I also have some very significant concerns about some of his decisions. Partisan rhetoric and outright lying is at such a high this year, it is hard to know what to trust, but I am quite concerned, for instance, about Obama's reservation of the right to kill American citizens abroad without normal (Constitutionally required) due process. Holder may assure us that Obama wouldn't abuse this power, and he probably wouldn't, but a move like this opens the door to very disturbing -- non-democratic, autocratic -- implementations in the future. This has to be contested and reversed. I am disturbed that Obama thinks it is appropriate or defensible to open a door like this, and I'm not sure how progressives defend this (or why there is relative silence around it).
Yes, I'm disturbed by that too. And in fact, this is the main thing that I see people (who voted for Obama in 08) pointing to when they explain why they are not voting for either candidate this year. Perhaps a lot of progressives are relatively silent about this decision because they trust that Obama won't abuse this power. I don't think he would, either; but it's a really bad precendent! OTOH, the U.S., through the CIA, has covertly assassinated people (citizens and non-citizens) in the past. So, while I do not support this choice of Obama's, I appreciate that he's not being covert about it. (At least as far as I know!)
A related article (on GOP extremism) by George Takei (aka "Sulu") -- The Gorilla in Their Midst.
(I wanted to add, re: Obama's apparent "non-covertness" -- Who knows? Maybe he wants it to seem like he's not being covert ...)
Yes, this -- and some related moves -- are the main sticking points for me. I will most likely vote for him*, to vote against Romney/Ryan, but I am not comfortable with such a vote appearing to be a mandate to keep doing what he's doing. Some of what he's doing, he needs to stop, as far as I'm concerned!
* Like your friends, I have considered not voting at all, but -- as the articles shared here also argue -- I've been concerned the consequences of an R/R win would be even worse.
Michael Moore is also pissed at some of Obama's policies, but in this piece he entreats us to get over it and get active. For you'll get all those things you hate about Obama multiplied a thousand-fold with the opposition. If only the greater evil in this race were the likes of Cthulhu. But Romney and Ryan make Cthulhu look like Jesus washing the feet of the downtrodden. No exaggeration.
Terry Patten's article:
Terry Patten and the Integralistas weigh in: The Integral Case for President Obama.
Hahaha, here we go with our mysterious brain synchrony again, Mary! I just posted the same link, right above, less than two minutes ago. :-)
LOL, Bruce! Children of the damned, we are!