In recent years, when America has been in crisis such as the Great Recession of 2008-09, or the recent and current COVID pandemic, Republicans become extremely miserly. They resist providing necessary financial aid to those who are suffering the most.
If there is a single word that best describes what is key to being a good friend, and also being a good Democrat, it is empathy. You care. You care about people who you know, and equally important, you care about those who you may not know, but who are in need of support.
Mandates are not all the same. It is helpful to divide them into two categories. The distinction between the two largely defines the differences between the Republicans / Trumpsters and Democrats / Progressives.
1. Those mandates that protect the liberties of individuals.
2. Those mandates that protect the common good for society as a whole.
Federalism was a brilliant idea that our founders conceived. It helps us determine publicly beneficial answers to a myriad of questions about “Who Decides.” But it is based on good will among citizens of different political persuasions. We will never recover from the damage of Donald Trump and his legions until they recognize the importance of governing by the rules that have provided us with a large measure of stability for most of the past two and a half centuries.
Yes, the absurdity is very clear to progressives; not at all to conservatives. This is why conservatives are winning so many of the battles these days. They get to use firearms as their weapon of choice; progressives use a basic right on human reproduction. If you can’t see a power imbalance in this conundrum, look again.
The alternative is for progressives to discuss abortion and sex at the same time and describe how abortion policy without a realization that “sex happens” will never reflect reality, empathy, and respect for basic civil liberties. Come on progressives. News organizations now let us use the ‘F’ word as an expletive; why can’t we talk about it for what it really means. It will greatly help the whole country better come to terms with the abortion issue and make more logical and empathetic decisions.
2020 ranks with 1968 as one of the most unsettling years in American politics. The similarities between the two years are striking, but it is difficult to find shared catalysts explaining what caused them to be so filled with dysfunction. However, a common denominator might be found further back, in 1954.
I just finished reading Barack Obama’s book, “A Promised Land,” and it made me think that if Jesus Christ descended upon the U.S. Senate, Mitch McConnell would immediately say that he would make him a one-term savior. While Barack Obama may not be a savior, in many ways, he is about as good as it can get for a U.S. president. His commitment to the common good, to integrity and ethics, to protecting individual liberties are remarkable in an era of cynicism and alternate realities.
In the early 2000s, conservatism–excuse me, neoconservatism–was mainly focused on implementing austerity and fostering the War on Terror abroad. After the election of Barack Obama, we saw right-wing discourse shift in a libertarian direction.
Ellen DeGeneres was pictured palling around with former President George W. Bush at a Dallas Cowboys game and a lot of people were outraged. Ellen was unmoved and in fact she was indignant about their outrage.