Tuesday, August 26, 2008

There's Something Happening Here

Some events that have unfolded recently have made it possible for even an old skeptical curmudgeon like me to feel some hope for our country's future and to consider the possibility that the grip on American culture by the rabid Republicans and their ilk may be weakening.

For example, according to a poll conducted by the Pew Research Center, slightly more than 50% of Americans do not want to mix religion and politics. What's significant is that the for the first time in 12 years those favoring this split were in the majority. Even more notable is that the biggest shift was among conservatives themselves. For more on this fascinating study, see "More Americans want church and politics separate: poll".

Another encouraging development is that American organized labor has put aside its differences and has joined together as a solid front to rally for the Democrats in the November election. (See "Organized Labor Reunites to Vote for Obama"). Apparently the previously antagonistic factions realized that the dire situation of the American worker called for burying the hatchet and for working together. This is not to say that the American labor is blameless for their erosion of power. Could the likes of Reagan and George Bush been elected without the vote of union members?

Then there is the speech delivered by Obama's wife Michelle at the opening of the Democratic National Convention. Her address was unmistakably populist in content—not a word in praise of Capitalism or the free economy. And there was the stirring address by Rep. Dennis Kunich which was strongly progressive. Finally, there was Hillary Clinton throwing her full support to Obama and Bill Clinton's speech likewise also endorsing him. It was gratifying to see the Clintons−as galling as it might have been for them− taking the high road for the sake of party unity.

But we are not yet out of the woods as long as President Bush is in office. He will likely continue such Rabid Republican policies to the bitter end of his term, such as making hash of the concept of Americas' privacy (See A New Rush to Spy. )

Further, there is a socially reactionary development in California. As reported in "Gay marriage foes mobilize for ban in California", religious religious fundies there are working to overturn the State Supreme Court Decision's legalizing gay marriage by placing a proposition on the November ballot, which would outlaw such unions in California by means of a constitutional amendment.

So the November election will be pivotal on many levels. I really believe that we are at a crossroads. If McCain wins, he will finish the job that Bush started, and with the rest of the rabid Republicans he will put America on the road to hell from which only the wealthy and the well connected will be protected. If Obama wins, he may not live up to all his promises, but I think that he will set America on a new direction of political and economic redemption that will give all Americans an opportunity for a decent future.

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