Saturday, July 27, 2013

What separates Republican and Democratic voters? ... by gimleteye

Amidst abundance -- we live in a nation where everything "works" if you can afford it -- our generations are defined by fear of scarcity and not promise of opportunity.

People are afraid they can't keep of hold of what they have much less what they had. This narrative runs through the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. Despite cost of living statistics that continuously show we live in a time of low inflation, anyone paying attention knows that the metrics don't hold up to reality.

This doesn't prevent Republican and Democratic elected officials from fiercely competing views or battles over the appropriate role and size of government to deliver a better future.

The growing income disparity shows that at least the top half of one percent'ers have cemented their relative gains: destroying the capacity of government to do anything, really, so wealth creation -- on their own terms -- will never be impacted by scarcity.

These thoughts may have been in the back of former president Jimmy Carter's mind when he recently told a private audience in Germany that the United States "is no longer a functioning democracy". That statement was meant to shock and it should shock (although Carter has gone silent since the Der Spiegel report). 

No political party has won the hearts of voters by beating the drums of dismal decline. No one knows this better than Jimmy Carter whose re-election may have been doomed by his pointing out the moral corruption of fossil-fuel based economic policies.

Conversely, tapping public anxieties and fear is a successful tactic of baiting voters. Along those lines, the parties do separate. The message machinery of the radical GOP right has cultivated the notion among voters -- mostly keenly represented by the amorphous Tea Party through corporate funders like the Koch brother billionaires -- that government is the problem, not scarcity. For their part, Democrats struggle to prove that stripped-down functions of government can still deliver the promise of the social contract and protection of the public commons.

It is said that history is what historians agree upon. With climate change impacts knocking on the door, it is not going to be possible to mask the transition of the American promise. Scarcity and the costs of sea level rise and food shortages will begin to be strongly felt by the end of this century, forcing decisions that will require the full utilization of the national security state. It is likely that Republican leaders are fully aware of this dismal scenario; how else to explain the fortifications they have built against change? For their part, Democrats seem less organized, operating from the premise that a rising tide lifts all ships without being able to articulate how fairness and equity is the only insurance against mean days ahead.


Anonymous said...

Mean days ahead? How about mean days now? In Miami-Dade County, this is illustrated by the current pitched battle over funding for essential services. All the sudden, its austerity time for preschoolers and pets and folks having heart attacks and running away from fires while the Mayor and county commissioners think nothing of writing $6 million checks annually to the Heat owners and doling out hundreds of millions more for baseball and football stadiums and contemplating lavish convention centers on the mainland and beach. They are enamored by billion dollar tunnels to nowhere while sewage from an underfunded decrepit system creeps at their heels.

Anonymous said...

"You know things are bad when librarians are marching in the streets." Today, folks left out in the cold of the county funding deals holding a rally at the Concord public library at 2 pm., 3882 SW 112th Ave., Miami (off Bird Ave and 112th Ave.)

Anonymous said...

Are we at anarchy yet against both parties & politicinas as a whole? I just take one look at Reid & Beohner to tell me it's time. Locally, it's even more polarizing between Gimenez & Lynda Bell it's a toss up of who is worse, one has more power but I cannot figure out which one. Both parties are to blame for different reasons on different issues. Both are funded by enormous corporate machines who actually run the government. The Pol's are just their puppets and the taxpayers are enslaved by them, across the board.

Belinda J said...

When I heard about the difference of the two: democrats appear to be more liberal and the republicans have tendency to be more conservative. I guess voters add a little diversity in politics and candidates have much options and privileges to choose for their constituents. Thanks for the great insights about what separates the Republican and Democratic voters