California Dreamin' - And Schemin'
California is having a primary election this Tuesday, and the race for the gubernatorial nomination makes me glad that I'm not a registered Democrat. Both of the front-runners started out with what looked like good records, and it would have been hard to choose between them. In fact, many California newspapers are either endorsing both - or neither.
But when the mud began to fly, too much of it stuck. I haven't followed it closely enough to speak factually, but it looks like both men asociate themselves with shady characters. Even if neither man actually did anything close to that of which they are accused, one could not support either just because both showed poor judgement over who can influence them.
One has to wonder how the California GOP would have handled this if these two men were their candidates. I suspect that the one with the better connections would have gotten the nod (and the campaign support), and the other would have been redirected into a campaign for another seat. They would have avoided the sort of mud fight which has damaged the reputation of two Democrats to the point I as an independent cannot support either.
You guys lost me as a registered member back in 1980, after your party organization was so broken down post-Watergate that Jimmy Carter was able to present himself as a serious candidate to a nation that couldn't bring itself to elect a GOP crony politician on his own merits.
Jerry Ford was clearly tied to elements of the GOP that didn't give a damn about the welfare of the nation with his rushed pardon of Richard Nixon, and Jimmy Carter was the best the Democrats could come up with? That's why Ford almost won anyway. Had Diebold been around in 1976, Ford WOULD have 'won'.
During Carter's term, the beginnings of the current corporofascist state sprouted. Outsourcing, downsizing, leveraged buyouts, the earliest attempts at globaization (ironically, the Ford Motor Corp. 'world car') corporate fraud resulting in retirees losing their pensions - they all began during a time when both parties were so fractured and injured by the bruising fights over voting rights, civil rights for minorities, Vietnam, Watergate, political assassinations, and Johnson's 'guns and butter' inflation that they couldn't keep out the opportunists.
The sad part is that we still have them all thirty years later - in both parties.
We let you down, George. We proved NOT to be a wise people. We didn't make it our interest and duty to discourage and restrain the common and continual mischiefs of party spirits. If anything, we encouraged the very illness you tried to innoculate us against through laziness and disinterest. It has gotten so bad, in fact, that even blatant evidence of the most dire consequences cannot arouse the people to action.
So will it be this Tuesday, when the people should be speaking loudly to select the best person available, not the last one standing. After the primary, the choice is usually narrowed down to a survivor, who then has to enter the real battle already wounded. In our case, this is already being read as a good thing for Der Gropinator, and could even help Bush hang on to vital California House seats in November as simple-minded voters choose party discipline over a change in players of the status quo.
If the Democrats are ever going to be again considered as the clear choice of the people, they themselves have to start making some clear choices. They are going to have to purge themselves of the opportunists who bring soiled reputations to present to a people badly abused by that sort. They are going to have to stand FOR something which even the dullest Red Stater can see would be beneficial, and not just posture as the lite version of the other party.
If they don't, they will join the Whigs and the Know-Nothings on the detritus pile.
It's time for the Democratic Party - nay, all American parties, to clean the mud off their glass house windows, and evict the mud slingers who got them so dirty in the first place. Clear the opportunists off your withering front lawns and plant some new grass roots - healthy ones which can withstand and grow in political heat, economic drought, and the polluted consequence of widespread corruption.
We have to work the fields we have and not the fields we wish we had instead. We helped to make this mess through our laziness, and now we will have to toil to repair the damage. It begins - at least in California - this Tuesday.
Shut off the damn electronic propaganda machine, at least check out the endorsements of your local newspaper (there is little time left to do much else!), get down to the polling place (they will be open here in CA from 0700 to 2000, soldier!) And put in your two cents worth - while you still have it to do so.