Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Trying to reboot

I am starting to get those butterflies, those who flip and flutter about the gut in excited anticipation of an upcoming presidential election, one with real hope for change.

I have matured greatly since the last debacle we suffered, when a nation blinded by ignorance and foolishness defeated the promise of progress and chose to fall further behind the pace of the rest of the Western world. I've never really been an echo, but I never had the intellectual maturity to win a debate. I was like a jammed M-16, dangerous because I could explode and hurt myself while hurting others, too, but having the potential to hit my mark if only I could clear that stuck round from my rifle.

Over the last year, I've become obsessed with the interconnectivity of history. People seem to think that history is history, that once it happens, it is over. But history is a living, breathing organism that has been shaped by its life experiences. It makes choices based on what happened to it in the past. It sometimes learns from its mistakes; it often does not.

Most people live only in the present and do not realize that this life, the way we live right here, right now, is not the end all. Somehow I feel I've always known that was wrong. I have my suspicions that this insight into the way the world turns earned me a lot of department scholarships in college due to a paper I wrote during the first semester of my freshman year proclaiming Francis Fukyama's End of History essay as bullshit. At the time, it was the dumbest thing I've ever heard, and I think it still may be. Here is a supposed intellectual as blind and foolish as an uneducated Joe. He has since distanced himself from the whole neo-con movement that proclaimed there was nothing beyond free market capitalism. How a whole supposed intellectual movement could believe that history stopped is beyond me.

People are starting to wake up. Yesterday, Greg Anrig of the Washington Post wrote a column about the end of the neo-con movement.
But now, seemingly all of a sudden, conservatives are the ones who are tongue-tied, as demonstrated by Sen. John McCain's limping, message-free presidential campaign. McCain's ongoing difficulties in exciting voters aren't just a tactical problem; his woes stem largely from his long-standing adherence to a set of ideas that simply haven't worked in practice. The belief system and finely crafted policy pitches that enabled the right to dominate the war of ideas for the past 30 years have produced a relentless succession of governing failures, from Iraq to Katrina to the economy to the environment.
History never stops. Before there was corporatism, there was capitalism. Before capitalism, there was mercantilism. Before that, there was feudalism. Before there was communism, there was no communism.

So why is this presidential election different than the others? Why do I think that this time it matters?

We're moving into a transition phase in our country and the world, a world tired of unbridled corporatism, tired of being ruled by special interests and ready to press the play button after thirty years on pause. Or rewind?

Barack Obama and a Democratic Congress, one filled with a lot of newbies, have no ties to the dinosaurs of the Cold War era, the Cheneys, the Rumsfelds, the Feiths. The neo-con dinosaurs are dying out, both literally and figuratively. Unbridled free markets don't work - you can't have this giant invisible hand governing people. People govern people, even if they are working for corporations. Yet corporations exist for profit, and human history is littered with the misdeeds of those in search of money. That is why we need government, one that isn't dominated by profit seeking whores.

Yet the Democrats will have to be careful. Instead of working against big business, they need to work with them. Instead of engaging in neo-isolationism, they need to engage in the world in a non-warring manner. But they know this, these new Democrats. The tired old Limbaughesque rhetoric that proclaims all liberals to be communists Stalinists is already being mocked by those who once sympathized with it.

Electoral-vote.com, my favorite website every four years, is looking promising today.

We'll see if I can get this old blog up and running again, get back the readers, start writing about things that matter.

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