Democrats, liberals, and progressives:
We elected Barack Obama enthusiastically, not just as the only alternative to the disaster waiting to happen that John McCain and Sarah Palin would have been. Our enthusiasm was based on a strong hope of a serious and long-needed alteration of the way America related to the rest of the world, and a hope for laws and policies that would protect all Americans from the greed and influence of corporate power.
We also elected as many Democrats as possible to help get this done. Those of us who were realistic knew that none of this would be easy, and that the new President and Congress faced unprecedented problems, most of ithem the direct result of the incompetence and malfeasance of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, though some of the economic disaster was the culmination of the policies begun by Ronald Reagan.
Nevertheless, some of us were disappointed at the continuation of the Afghan war, a conflict just as pointless as the one in Iraq. We are disappointed that Guantanamo is not yet closed, and that too few war crimes have been prosecuted.
Still, despite an extreme and heavily corporate-funded full-scale attack by the right wing, the record of achievement of Obama and Congress has been impressive. Not everything; not perfect, but better than any other President has done in so short a time.
Now that right-wing attack threatens to cripple further progress. Under normal conditions, the extremists running as Republicans wouldn’t stand a chance, but 10 percent unemployment is not normal conditions.
That figure, last seen during the Reagan administration, makes enough people nervous and unhappy that they listen to any opposition, no matter how untruthful that opposition may be.
We know that unemployment can’t be fixed overnight. We know it is the result of a Republican caused recession. And we know that Democratic policies will improve the economy sooner than Republicans would.
But because the economy isn’t fixed yet, more people will believe lies because they are looking for someone new to blame.
Regardless of any disappointment we may have, this is no time to abandon the cause of progress. The alternative is not just lack of progress, it is regression: going backward. Backward into the bigotry of yesteryear, the authoritarian control over our private lives; the cold disregard for the needy; the loyal service to corporate wealth.
Two years is not nearly enough time on which to base a judgment of a President and a Congress, especially not in the middle of a recession, and not when we are being attacked with ever dollar and every lie the Republicans can muster.
We still have the structure of a government of and by the people. The extent to which the people are not in control is exactly as much as we fail to care, fail to act; fail to vote.
They have the hate, the money, and the greed, but we have the numbers to save our dream; to save our country.
Let’s do it.
-cosmic rat, October 27, 2010