#428 – Dick Bernard: A Mutiny aboard the Ship of State

I hear all sorts of opinions in the course of an average day, from all sorts of people. Part of this is due to being retired, and thus having more varied opportunities. A larger part is a desire to hear, and engage with, more points of view than one gets as a ‘bird of a feather’ in some special interest constituency or other.
While I’m a hopeful optimistic kind of guy, things look hopeless in this country into which I was born, have lived my entire life, and will likely die. It seems that we’re all involved in a collective mutiny on the ship of state; we want what we want; and we’re rapidly killing ourselves in the process.
Just in the last few hours we were at a political fund raiser for a Congressional candidate, a Minnesota Democrat, and a small group of us were in quite a passionate discussion of what will happen in 2012, and why. Before leaving for that fundraiser, came an e-mail from a good friend on the political left, who said about the President: “I think his brand of politics doesn’t inspire confidence. I’m not confident in him. In fact I’m leery and distrust him, but will vote for him because a Republican would be worse.” What he was saying is that President Obama isn’t progressive enough and ‘don’t expect much help from me to help reelect him’. And this friend is moderate as left-wingers go.
I ask folks like my friend, “so, what is the viable alternative?” There is never an answer to this question. The hard word is “viable”.
The strategists for the polar right, the opposite of the progressive left, and the Republican strategists in particular, understand the left-wing animus towards Obama, and expertly manipulate it.
The issue is winning, after all, not our country surviving: “Divide and conquer.”
Early this morning came a New York Times column about a moderate Congressman, long in Congress. It’s excellent and a tiny piece of hope. If you’re not into reading columns, at least consider reading the last three or four paragraphs of this one which convey a little hope. The rest of the column reminded me of our own visit to the U.S. House of Representative gallery Halloween night in 2000.
Politically, we are a very odd and self-destructive bunch as we enter into the political warfare of the next 14 months.
Many of us despise our system. Can it get much worse? It will get worse, unless we collectively get a grip.

It is not unusual to despise a leader, especially one who has to lead warring factions who despise each other.
For 30 years I’ve done family history, and among many others, I’ve recorded the stories about what some influential family members – all of them common folk – thought about Franklin Delano Roosevelt. At the same time FDR was about the business of saving the country from itself, he was loathed by some of the very people he was helping save, often for emotional and not rational reasons. And my family was likely very typical back in the hard times of the 1930s.
What was the viable alternative then? I submit that the FDR haters wouldn’t have liked the alternative, and our country would not have survived to be what it is today had their loathing become reality….
What is the viable alternative now? If by some awful chance the mutiny succeeds, and we throw the bums out and start over, there will be no captain of the ship, and we passengers on this mutinous craft, along with the misfits who pulled off the mutiny, will collectively sink.
Do we want this? I hope not.

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