Louisa Enright's Blog

Mainely Tipping Points

Books, Documentaries, Reviews: Maybe We Still Have A Democracy

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Review of the Election:  November 8, 2012

Maybe We Still Have A Democracy

I had my doubts.

I was really afraid for what could happen.  After all, Hitler got elected in an economic downturn when people wanted more and were scared…  He promised to make the trains run on time…

There was so much money pitted against what’s left of our democracy.  So many lies made in order to win at any cost.  So many ads that lied.  So much fear-mongering.  So much hatred.  So much voter suppression.  So much media that portrayed the sides as equal, when they were anything but equal, especially in terms of money.  Rachael Maddow reported on November 7th that Romney’s side spent two-thirds of the campaign money, versus Obama’s one-third.

The media portrayed the election as a horse race and totally ignored any role to reveal what is true and what isn’t.  The mainstream media didn’t cover the voter suppression story or point to the awful racism, like the ads that lied that Obama had banished work under welfare.  Or, that  the auto bailout didn’t work because Jeep was taking all the jobs to China anyway.  Why should we be surprised?  The media is now big business; their plutocrat owners made a fortune off this election.

And, then, there was the alternative reality created by Fox Commentary, for even they say they don’t do “news.”  In the process truth, science, real polling data, and on and on just got erased, smeared, stamped on, eradicated.  They create a horse race every day between so-called conservatives and liberals, and they laugh all the way to the bank.

I went to bed Tuesday night after 2 a.m. and could hardly sleep.  The people “got” it.  They voted.  Some of them stayed in line for 8 and 9 hours to do so.  And, they shellacked the Romney ticket.  They said “no” to the buying of this election by the 1% who have so much money they can’t even spend it all.

I don’t want to call the Romney organization the GOP, because these folks are not the GOP I’ve always known and, many times, admired.  (I even worked for Ronald Reagan at one point in my life as a political appointee and have long cherished folks who conserve, who care about their community, who build businesses that are ethical and moral, who fear foreign entanglements, and who will fight for their country when it is needed.)  The folks in command of the GOP right now are Far, Far, Far Right Ideologues.  Most of them are wealthy and don’t have a clue what a worker in America faces every day–witness Romney’s 47% and Ryan’s 30%.  Nor have most of them served in the military.  What I realized Wednesday morning is these folks will never win in this country as long as women and workers can vote fairly.

I woke up feeling profoundly grateful for the American people, for their willingness to act on their belief that we are all so much better off when we work together then when we go it alone, for their belief in the need for the kind of government that “has their backs” when something like a storm like Sandy hits, for their refusal to let wealthy men buy this country, for their refusal to believe the lies–and on and on.  They knew Romney couldn’t produce jobs because he does not have that kind of work experience–he only knows how to get rid of good American jobs by eliminating them or sending them to China.

Because of the American people, health care will become a right and pre-existing conditions won’t stop people from getting medical attention.

Because of the American people, women will retain the rights to their bodies and will have equal pay for equal work.  (No more vaginal probes please!)

Because of the American people, workers will retain basic civil rights to organize in the workplace.  If workers don’t operate to balance owners’ excesses, we all suffer.  And if workers aren’t paid fairly for their work, they don’t have enough money to buy owners’ goods.  It’s simple math.

Because of the American people, gay people will gain civil rights across the country faster–to include being able to marry legally.  That law passed in a number of states this election.

Because of the American people, we will all enjoy a more stable economic possibility.  The GOP’s Austrian School of Economics practices (called erronously “free” market principles when it is anything but) blew out our economy.  Doubling down on it would crash the world system AND would create a hell for workers worldwide.  We would have chaos and anarchy in our streets.  Read my earlier blog entry about Crony Capitalism to see, in part, what I mean.

Because of the American people, Obama will be the one to appoint two and maybe three Supreme Court Justices.  The Supreme Court will get turned around from its ideological, pro-corporate stance.  The hollowing out of laws so that they favor corporations and stop people from being heard in our courts can be stopped.  Roe V. Wade will stand.  And, maybe, Citizens United will be stopped.

Because of the American people, something will be done about the difficulty of voting and voter suppression.

Because of the American people, Americans will stand a much-improved chance at getting real, good jobs, especially in the energy sector, in the rebuilding of our roads and bridges, and, maybe, in a return to the land as we turn toward healthy, clean food.

Because of the American people, our soldiers will come home from TWO unfunded wars.  And, when they do, they will be taken care of properly.

Because of the American people, real science will be valued.  Climate change will be recognized.  Rape will be rape.  Fetuses will remain fetuses and not persons until they have brains and can breathe.  Hopefully, toxic chemicals will be banned from the environment.  And GMOs will be labeled.

Because of the American people, FEMA will not be privatized.  Nor, our schools.  Nor any more sectors of our economy that should remain in place for the common good.

Because of the American people, maybe we are done with giving Donald Trump a stage.  And, John Sununu, who is a vicious, racist bigot.

Because of the American people, we will continue to be led by a person who is not perfect, who does not claim to be, but who is steady, careful, reliable, dignified, and who tells the truth.  We will be led by someone with real strength and character–not someone who is a shill for the plutocrats, who thinks he is strong when he mindlessly, ruthlessly, and rudely attacks, and who cannot open his mouth without lying.

Because of the American people, we will continue to have a Democracy, not a Theocracy run by Plutocrats.

I am deeply grateful and have renewed faith that maybe we do still have a democracy, however flawed it is.

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