Monday, November 13, 2006

When Demagogues become Statesmen, and Republicans become Republicans

The Zeitgeist

I’m trying to sense the zeitgeist of our present moment on this earth. The political will of America at this time seems to be saying, “It’s time to make the world a better place.” I think the need for blame is gone with this election. The U.S., and the world, are looking for solutions.

We want to find a solution for the war in Iraq, for terrorism, for the Israeli-Palestinian problem, for global warming, and for globalization. I think we are tired of the same old cycles. We want something done.

Demagogues, Corruption and Broken Promises

The Democrats, the party of lies and demagoguery, won this election fair and square, with their lies and demagoguery. The Republicans, the party of truth, lost this election with their corruption and broken promises. This can be a time of spiritual awakening for both parties. They can both “go straight.” The Democrats, now that they have power, can choose to stop being demagogues. The Republicans, now that they’ve reaped their karma, can choose to become Republicans.

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Historic Opportunity

I think the election of the Democrats gives all of us an opportunity to look at things afresh. Fortunately, incoming Speaker of the House Pelosi seems to be taking her newfound power with some restraint. On the other hand, when you watch her opposite George Bush you can see in her eyes, words and demeanor that she is still out to conquer him. This woman is tough. I get the sense that she’d leave a baby to fend for itself on the side of a road if she found out the baby was a Republican. I suppose this is natural for a politician, but I’d rather she shed her demagogic tendencies entirely. There is no need now to continue to go for the jugular. She could make the transformation from political thug to statesman, and then all would be forgiven.

Democrats now have an historic opportunity. They have political capital with their followers, and even with the world. They can spend that capital by attacking and trying to obliterate their fallen opponents, or they can spend it by helping to solve some of the world’s problems.

Nixon visited China in 1972. This was an astounding event at the time, given that the United States and China, in fact the United States and the whole communist world, were the deepest of enemies in the Cold War of that era. Nixon was the biggest anti-Communist around, and the Republican Party was the anti-Communist Party. This is why only Nixon could have gone to China. He had the political capital to make such a gesture. The same kind of logic a short time ago meant that only Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, the “lion of the desert,” could make peace with the Palestinians by dismantling Israeli settlements. He had the cache to give away land whereas none of the peaceniks could ever get away with such a thing.

Perception and Reality

Democrats, rightly or wrongly, have built a cache for being open to peace, open to dialogue, open to international cooperation. Republicans can point and say that the terrorists are overjoyed that the Democrats have taken power in the U.S. This is most assuredly true. It is also true that much of the world rejoices in the Democratic win. Republicans know that the world rejoices because Democrats have been just as anti-American as the world has been.

Still, no matter how the Democrats got here, they’re here. They did not get here honorably, but look what corruption the Republicans engaged in. All of this can change now anyway.

A New Beginning

The Republicans can clean house and begin acting nobly again, and the Democrats can stop being demagogues. The fact is, the Democrats have no choice. They are the ones in power now, so there will be no one to blame in the future for national mistakes, other than Democrats.

My hope is that Democrats will simply start standing up for liberalism, if this is the philosophy they really believe in. I similarly hope that Republicans will simply stand up for conservatism. Then, given their opposing view of the world, they will both try to help solve the world’s problems.

The Democrats, with their newfound power and political capital, can afford to seek true solutions. The Republicans must earn our trust again.

Rock


(*Wikipedia is always my source unless indicated.)

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6 comments:

SGT DUB said...

Not to take any stock from your comments today, they are accurate and on target. Ann Coulter wrote a piece in todays Stars and Stripes showing that a typical trend of shifting of power has occurred several times during the 6th year of a President to the opposite side and that like you say, if the Democrats wish to keep that power base, it's time they come up with more than rheotric. For in just two years, the people will decide if the Democrats are able and willing to lead us during a time of war, or shall we give it back to the Republicans. The Democrats do not have the luxury of wasting time, so it will become evident very quickly to the public what their true intentions are, Lead, Follow or Get out of the way. What will it be?

paz y amor said...

Sorry Sarge, but Ann Coulter gives me the creeps and aside from her sexiness, she lacks credibility. Talk about hate-filled demagoguery! She epitomizes everything that is wrong with the media and politics-as-usual. I have to agree with Rock that Ted Kennedy is a spiteful demagougue, but Ann Coulter sits right next to him in my book.

Rock, you're BACK! Now we get to disagree!!!

"The Democrats, the party of lies and demagoguery, won this election fair and square, with their lies and demagoguery."

Now Rock, I've heard you say time and again that Democrats are liars and whatnot and with this quote, you say that they won the election BASED on "their lies" so what "lies" are you taking about specifically? It seems to me that politicians on both sides of the aisle LIE, including your president (a Republican) who by your own admission has "lied" to the American public in the past few months. By saying that the Dems won based on falsehoods is essentially saying that the people who voted for them to be in control aren't smart enough to see through the lies, BUT in the same breath say you respect the decision made by the voting public. That's a bit of a condradiction there, no?

"Republicans know that the world rejoices because Democrats have been just as anti-American as the world has been."

Ouch, that's a bit of a low blow don't you think? Anti-Bush? yes. Anti-American- I don't see that one. I'm gonna need some examples to buy that....

Phil said...

Hello again Mr Rock,
I do agree with paz y amor in some points. You DO contradict yourself, this is the truth. Obviously more than the odd person can see this. But dont get too defensive on this issue, all we need to know is the reasoned explanation that allowed you to come to the conclusions that you have. Thoughts and opinions are the hardest of all things to construct and articulate. Then there is the courage to bring them to the world and hold fast to them regardless of their reception (therefore kudos), but sometimes they can come across confusing.

Also I am really confused as to the role of american politicians and who they should be. Is it true that all politicians have to be really rich and male (or really masculine women)? see the thing I am confused about is this, you have a house of representatives Yes? Who do they represent? And if they represent the people and they are half democrats, then how can a country represent itself with people that hate (anti) themselves? See wether or not you like Bush or not, or wether or not you support gulf war 2 doestn mean that you are not American. As far as I am concerned if you live in america and are an american citizen, you ARE american. Is America the only place this is not true mr Rock?

''The political will of America at this time seems to be saying, “It’s time to make the world a better place.” I think the need for blame is gone with this election. The U.S., and the world, are looking for solutions.''

And Finally Mr Rock, I've already discussed how the republicans know that the world is happy they lost. The reason the world is happy is because hopefully it means that there willbe LESS meddling in affairs that dont concern the U.S. This is the hope the world has, its misguided of course, but thats what it is. Nobody cares about your politicians outside of the U.S we only care about the (ill)effects of your (really poor)foriegn policy.

Regards

Phil

Rock said...

Sgt Dub, nice to hear from you again. You said:

Not to take any stock from your comments today, they are accurate and on target. Ann Coulter wrote a piece in todays Stars and Stripes showing that a typical trend of shifting of power has occurred several times during the 6th year of a President to the opposite side.

Yeah, I guess it was time for a change, no stopping that.

If the Democrats wish to keep that power base, it's time they come up with more than rheotric. For in just two years, the people will decide if the Democrats are able and willing to lead us during a time of war, or shall we give it back to the Republicans. The Democrats do not have the luxury of wasting time, so it will become evident very quickly to the public what their true intentions are, Lead, Follow or Get out of the way. What will it be?

How true. Good stuff Sgt. Newly elected congressmen are most vulnerable to being replaced on their second election. This means they’ll have to produce, or else. We’ll see.

Rock

Rock said...

Paz, good to hear from you. You said:

Sorry Sarge, but Ann Coulter gives me the creeps and aside from her sexiness, she lacks credibility. Talk about hate-filled demagoguery! She epitomizes everything that is wrong with the media and politics-as-usual. I have to agree with Rock that Ted Kennedy is a spiteful demagogue, but Ann Coulter sits right next to him in my book.

Well, we agree that she is sexy, and that Ted is not.

Rock, you're BACK! Now we get to disagree!!!

Yeah, here we go!

"The Democrats, the party of lies and demagoguery, won this election fair and square, with their lies and demagoguery."

Now Rock, I've heard you say time and again that Democrats are liars and whatnot and with this quote, you say that they won the election BASED on "their lies" so what "lies" are you taking about specifically? It seems to me that politicians on both sides of the aisle LIE, including your president (a Republican) who by your own admission has "lied" to the American public in the past few months. By saying that the Dems won based on falsehoods is essentially saying that the people who voted for them to be in control aren't smart enough to see through the lies, BUT in the same breath say you respect the decision made by the voting public. That's a bit of a contradiction there, no?


Yes, you caught me. This is inconsistent. Hey, does that make me eligible to run for office? Probably. Inconsistency is one of the traits most common to most politicians. Anyway, let me try to explain why I am inconsistent on this issue. If people like you apply due diligence in exploring the issues, and still come up with voting Democrat, what can I say? I must respect you for your opinions. If, however, you heard your mantras on Bill Maher and said, “Yeah! Right on!” because Bill Maher makes you feel cool, then I can’t respect you. I see most Democrats doing the latter. They don’t read anything but left-wing stuff, and listen only to liberal news outlets. They spout “mantras” at parities and are shocked, simply shocked, that anyone could have a different opinion than their own. Plus, they’re not interested in facts at all, just emotions. So, these people, not you, I do not respect.

Yes, I find it hard to believe that Democrats do not see through the lies of their leaders. My only explanation is that they think it’s cool or politically correct to be liberal. I think they are intellectually lazy. Again, present company excluded.

"Republicans know that the world rejoices because Democrats have been just as anti-American as the world has been."

Ouch, that's a bit of a low blow don't you think? Anti-Bush? yes. Anti-American- I don't see that one. I'm gonna need some examples to buy that....


On this one I don’t think I’m going to convince you. I just hear my liberal friends, and Air America and Michael Moore and Stephanie Miller saying all day long that America is bad. We are racist homophobes, imperialist oil grubbers, war mongering liars, and environmental destroyers of the world. I don’t agree with any of this, and feel it’s patently false, and reveals an anti-Americanism, a self-hatred—much like American Jews who are Israel-bashers.

Rock said...

Phil, good to hear from you. You said:

You DO contradict yourself, this is the truth. Obviously more than the odd person can see this. But don’t get too defensive on this issue, all we need to know is the reasoned explanation that allowed you to come to the conclusions that you have. Thoughts and opinions are the hardest of all things to construct and articulate. Then there is the courage to bring them to the world and hold fast to them regardless of their reception (therefore kudos), but sometimes they can come across confusing.

As you know by now, Phil, I just addressed this in a post (before giving this reply, you've seen the post). Essentially, if somebody does investigate these things and then comes up with a different conclusion than mine, I have to respect them. If, however, they naively listen to lies and “mantras,” then they are culpable. I respect anyone with any opinion, even if they disagree with me, if it’s based on a true grappling with the issues.

Also I am really confused as to the role of American politicians and who they should be. Is it true that all politicians have to be really rich and male (or really masculine women)?

You pose some interesting questions. I should be able to answer, but I haven’t thought about this issue. Let’s see, yes, they do seem to have to be rich, because of our misguided campaign finance laws. Male? I think this is changing, and Hillary Clinton could be President, and Nancy Pelosi will be the House Majority Leader.

See the thing I am confused about is this, you have a house of representatives Yes? Who do they represent? And if they represent the people and they are half democrats, then how can a country represent itself with people that hate (anti) themselves? See whether or not you like Bush or not, or whether or not you support gulf war 2 doesn't mean that you are not American. As far as I am concerned if you live in America and are an American citizen, you ARE American. Is America the only place this is not true Mr. Rock?

I don’t quite understand the question, Phil. I do agree that Democrats have injected so much hatred lately into politics that we do almost have one side hating the other. Democrats are full of Bush-haters, and I mean haters. It has something to do with his being Southern, religious, and seeming less than bright (which I disagree with). The gay population, except the Log Cabin Republicans (gay Republicans), for example, despise Bush. They think his opposing gay marriage is akin to racism. I too oppose gay marriage. I am for civil unions and all equivalent gay rights, but just want to reserve marriage to a man and a woman. Many gays hate this position.

And Finally Mr Rock, I've already discussed how the republicans know that the world is happy they lost. The reason the world is happy is because hopefully it means that there will be LESS meddling in affairs that don’t concern the U.S.

The world always seems to want U.S. intervention, as in Darfur or Korea, but then when the U.S. intervenes, they hate us for it. I find it to be a double-bind, damned if you do, damned if you don’t. I see no finer country in the world than the U.S. at this time, but I guess the world disagrees with me on this.

This is the hope the world has, it’s misguided of course, but that’s what it is. Nobody cares about your politicians outside of the U.S we only care about the (ill)effects of your (really poor)foreign policy.

I agree we lack cultural sensitivity. I think this is our great sin. We don’t know how to relate to other cultures and ways of life, values and systems. This is a fatal flaw, I know. One that hurts us in Iraq and in Europe, and the world. On the other hand, I would think the world could see through this failure of ours and be able to see the essential goodness of our nation, our people, and even our foreign policy.

To think, for example, that we invaded Iraq for oil, is just preposterous. Yes, we want to guarantee access for the world to the oil that Iraq has, but we are not there to steal the oil. America could take over the world if it wanted to. It’s the first big nation in history that could have conquered the world but has chosen not to do so. It is against our values. We are not the Imperialists that Europeans imagine us as.

Rock