This Creepy Election

I haven’t been writing about the election. I find the level of debate extraordinarily discouraging, which reflects, I think, a certain naïveté on my part. For years, I’ve been watching the intelligence of the American people go downhill. What’s there to be shocked about? When you have this kind of worship of celebrity and wealth—classic decadent empire—it’s to be expected.  Self-government requires intelligence and engagement. We’re facing some extremely serious issues, none of which are being addressed. One example is human-caused climate change, which most scientists seem to agree does exist. Not to discuss it is crazy and dangerous. But neither candidate dares to touch it. Another example is the economy. It’s discussed, but not the real underlying problem. The truth is that we’re seeing the end of a fantasy belief, that of constant economic growth for generation after generation. It was always a logical fallacy, an utter impossibility. Neither candidate can save the economy—at least not the old-style economy that we’re used to. We’re entering a new era and we need to start looking at it realistically. Does Obama need to lose so that Romney can demonstrate that the Republicans’ ideas won’t work either? I have little doubt that if either candidate told the truth about what’s really going on, the people—who claim to want their politicians to tell them the truth—would turn on him. So democracy—self-government—is failing in America. If it were working it wouldn’t matter how much money any particular candidate raised. People would have seriously studied the issues and would judge a candidate on the clarity and truth of his or her ideas, not on their ad campaigns. Money would be irrelevant. I blame much of our current state on computers and the Internet. We have not gotten any smarter since their introduction. To the contrary. (I’ll be writing more about this in the future.)

In any case, I’ve already voted, and I voted for Obama. I have to wonder if the worst happens and Romney does win, will the Republicans, given the last four years, be so hypocritical as to demand national unity? I’m sure they will. All the old insanity, all the old lines like “why do you hate America?,” and talk of non-Republicans being treasonous will once again tiresomely fill the air. Our only solution is to step back and take a non-ideological, objective-as-possible look at who we are and what we believe. What we believe must correspond to what is true, not what we’d like to be true. We can still do it. It may take another economic crash and a few more monster storms, but we can still do it. It’s not too late.


Tags: , , ,

12 Responses to “This Creepy Election”

  1. rainnnn Says:

    I am still hoping for the best that Obama will win; but if he does, the Republicans are likely to continue their destructive path. How they can ask Democrats to not do likewise if Romney wins is just a sign of the times and what you said about the lack of logic in the thinking of too many Americans today.

  2. Tim Mueller Says:

    Mark, out here on the east coast, I’m voting for a third party candidate. The only reason I’m doing it is because I believe we should vote every chance we get. I don’t care if my vote doesn’t “count”. That’s not why I vote. I vote to make a statement. As far as a decline in intelligence, I couldn’t agree more. Modern technology is a two-edged sword: it brings comfort and ease, but it also brings laziness and insensitivty.

    • markbittner Says:

      I was tempted to vote third party. I’m sufficiently bugged by Romney’s character that I voted for Obama. I never skip an election either.

  3. Margaret Benbow Says:

    A vote for a third party is a vote for Romney/Repubs. The 2000 Green debacle that gave the election to Bush was a hard lesson, but I hope we learned it. Gore was not my ideal. But he would not have started the war in Iraq. There are hundreds of thousands dead because of that election. Third party voters? Dietrich Bonhoeffer got it right: “There are people who are more interested in their individual purity than the well-being of others.”

    • markbittner Says:

      This is always such a complicated issue in this country. I have always remembered what Stephen Gaskin had to say about this in the early 1980s: “I know the difference between Democrats and Republicans is pretty slim. But in Latin America, when they knew the Republicans were going to win, they started shooting Indians faster. That’s enough of a difference for me, for a start.”

  4. tz Says:

    I believe David Suzuki summed it up best when he said “We’re in a giant car heading towards a brick wall and everyone’s arguing over where they’re going to sit.”

    If we don’t take care of the earth, and treat all life with respect, governments are just a place to choose a seat, and watch (and experience) the destruction from the right or left windows. I agree that we are completely fantasizing to think that the future generations will experience any level of economic growth similar to what the U.S had in past yrs. That part of the cycle has passed.

    There is a new path before us and the wise will open their eyes, learn to be respectful, green, and self-sustaining. Stewardship of this planet must be our unified goal if any of us want to leave anything to children/grandchildren/great grandchildren. It’s time for our to society to grow up, make the mature choices- the ones that aren’t easy.

    I am voting Obama. I believe he is our best choice at this time- Romney cares more about raping the earth to grow the almighty dollar- and that’s “giving a man a fish, so he can eat for one day” –
    and starve tomorrow. Who will care what’s in their wallet when our earth and water is so poisoned that no amount of currency will resurrect our dead planet?

  5. linda Says:

    I voted Saturday, for Obama, I also voted for all democrats on every other office and one independent. If the Republicans retain the house, it will be another four years of obstructionism. There is not that much difference in politicians, but at least the democrats are not out to destroy the economy, the Republicans are, because that is the only way they can let the wealthy control the rest of us. I truly believe they want to establish a feudal system of government. There was little point for me to vote for an independent as they are not represented in all states and therefore not a viable alternative. I will not waste a vote on them, unless we can get a bill in congress to establish a third and fourth party system.

  6. Kay Says:

    When I read these comments, I really feel at home here. My only wish is that I might someday express my own thoughts as eloquently as you all have. To Mark’s and tz’s statements about the destruction of our environment, I’d just like to express my hope that we can all face these truths without becoming so overwhelmed that we lose our willingness to keep fighting the good fight. Do you find that maintaining a sense of non-attachment helps stave off depression, pessimism and impotence?

    • markbittner Says:

      Not always. But I think it would be accurate to say that during the times that I’m feeling depression, pessimism and impotence, I’m not detached. I have one idea that usually pulls me back from the brink, something I’ll be going into at length in Street Song. I may have to go into it here first, though.

  7. tz Says:

    to Kay- regarding detachment, I don’t really look at it like that. It’s more in keeping a universal view, believing that things are progressing as they must, karma will have her say, and the wise know that change has to start from within. We can never change the world without first changing ourselves- so we really can’t point fingers at those who haven’t yet learned this- our efforts must focus on our own paths first.
    I loved the way Mother Teresa said it, (I am paraphrasing) “I won’t march against war, but I will march FOR peace.” She strongly invited us to look for the good and put our efforts there. Wise woman.

  8. Conny Jensen Says:

    Regarding politics, realize how prominently Bilderberg features in all of it! Here are some good introductions:

    A 2 minute dutch clip

    and in-depth

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: