The results of the 2010 mid-term elections are important and telling. Changing the people in power may not be the real key to needed change at all, as most of them, of any specific Party, seem to share some common delusions with many voters.
After the expenditure of hundreds of millions of dollars that might have gone to a more compelling useful purpose and in the wake of the expected and sadly accepted campaign hyperbole from everyone involved, the election has been held, tabulated and is history. Now, the voters will see whether or not and in what way their selections have made any difference.
The major changes, at a national level, seem to be 1) The shift in the majority in the House of Representatives from the Democrats to the Republicans, 2) A narrowing of the Democratic majority in the Senate, and perhaps most importantly, 3) An overall expression of frustration and impatience with the apparent inability of the current Executive administration to bring about sufficient positive change in the economy to gratify the degree of hope that was generated in the last Presidential election.
The three major concerns that follow this most recent exercise in people taking advantage of their franchise in our clearly struggling democratic republic are:
1) That the goal of restoring our country and economy to what it was prior to this extraordinarily powerful and sustained recession is simply unrealistic. The Party in power and their philosophy of government is likely a red herring. The concern is that the system we have grown and known is collapsing on itself and the next step is not restoration but reinvention. Concern that this is an unpopular and consequently not apt to be acknowledged or spoken of reality is a deep and powerfully consequential situation.
2) That the shift toward the ‘˜right’ isn’t. That is to say, the Republican gains and the rising popularity of the ultra-conservative varieties of themselves (the Tea Party, etc.) will fare no better than the Democrats have and that in two years, unemployment will remain too high, major corporations with more international and self-serving interests will remain in unchanged fundamental control of our (and everyone else’s economy) and that the voters will, yet again, think that voting out the incumbents offers a better hope for change. The concern is that 2012 will become 2010 redux with the added element of a Presidential election, and
3) That both major parties seem now to have embraced the idea that taxation is somehow unnecessary and almost evil. They appear to have arrived at an ideationally politically expedient collusion in this regard. Should this notion continue to develop along its current trajectory, there will be less and less money available to fund services needed by more and more people. The underlying concern is that the American voters want it both ways. Necessary services, good education for their children, access to adequate healthcare, drivable roads and the realistic anticipation of a retirement not steeped in deprivation and poverty without having to, somehow, pay for these things.
Resources (read: money, taxes) are necessary to provide services. In the words from the old song “Love and Marriage”, ” — You can’t have one without the other!.”
Honest assessment and the discarding of politics-as-usual to address the reality of the common good and needs would be necessary to build a foundation upon which meaningful and effective change might be constructed. This seems sadly unlikely at this time.