What's happened to the American people? They seem dissatisfied with just about everything, but, they're almost totally disengaged from American politics. Our political system seems bankrupt. The news media keeps harping on Sarah Palin or the Tea Party - as if these are serious, viable sources of leadership. That shows how low we've sunk.
The Tea Party is a damned joke and I'm sick of hearing about it! It seems every month, we hear about a different "controversy" involving whether some Tea Party activist or participant at a Tea Party demonstration said of did something offensive or racist. We then hear some spokesman from the supposed "national" Tea Party denying that the particular incident had anything to do with the goals of the Tea Party. We witness the networks or cable news shows giving air time to discussion of these conflicts - as if they're important to us all.
Well, you know what? I still haven't seen much evidence indicating the Tea Party should be taken seriously. Yeah, I know that in a couple of states, Tea Party-backed candidates have done well, supposedly, but, my point is that any "party" that is constantly encountering, or, creating an environment that stimulates one offensive or racist incident after another should not only be questioned, but NOT taken seriously! All of the leaders of that party should repudiate any individual or action that is offensive or racist! Instead, we hear debates about how bad incidents are.
This is all pathetic. If the Republican Party cannot strongly disassociate itself from these ugly elements, then they should be held accountable for them. The media, however, keeps giving time to the Tea Party because it is entertaining - and that's what counts the most today.
Of, by the way, I read recently that Newt Gingrich is thinking seriously of running for President in 2012. That's a perfect "fit," don't you see? Gingrich speaks intelligently, but, in "black and white" terms, about issues. He will have an easier time getting crowds fired up between now and 2012. People want simply "answers." People want simple scapegoats.
Recently, people are telling pollsters they're "dissatisfied" with Obama and the state of the country. Well, I wonder why. I guess people expected Obama would waltz in and wave a wand and make problems go away. With people's incredibly limited attention spans and unwillingness to accept the "gray" and the difficult times we live in, it figures they want to put a new person up on stage.
The people wanted Barack Obama, miraculously, to improve the economy in a few months, even though we were headed toward a depression. Then, when Obama and the Congress passed a huge economic stimulus package (recommended by economists of every kind) some people began to bitch and moan that Obama was supporting too much federal spending.
When the banks and large financial entities like AIG failed, and Obama bailed them out in the interests of minimizing harm to the economy, some people whined that Obama shouldn't have done that. He should have let them fail.
Americans want the best health care system in the world - one with, basically, universal coverage - but, one that ensures they have maximum choice and minimum premiums.
They want tough new laws on financial regulation, but, they don't want the President to be "too tough" on banks or businesses.
They want to get tough on illegal immigration; remarkably, a near-majority, I believe, now support the concept behind Arizona's new immigration law, which enables law enforcement officials to be aggressive in new, disturbing ways in order to identify illegal immigrants.
I could go on and on here, but, the theme is clear: The people want a lot, but, they're not prepared to sacrifice much of anything and they don't want to acknowledge how poorly the US economy is doing and how hard it'll be to find a "quick fix."
Americans do not want to worry about the threat of any more acts of terrorism by Al Qaeda, yet, they also want us to remove troops from Afghanistan. I agree with people on this point, but, again, I think there is a cost to pay and a burden to bear if we really want to wage a fight against Al Qaeda - whether in Afghanistan or Pakistan or elsewhere. Do people want to discuss the "tradeoffs" of doing more or less against Al Qaeda OR do they want the goverment to make Al Qaeda go away?
I'm just sick of the American people making no contribution to this mess. It seems the main "involvement" of people is to show up in polling numbers that are read on television, and, often, the polls make people look stupid. The polls reveal that public attitudes change with the wind. One minute, people are up on a topic or leader and the next thing you know, they've lost all patience.
Now, with the mid-term elections a few months away, most agree the Republicans are likely to win some seats. Some think they could even re-take the US House of Representatives. Gee, this makes a lot of sense. The Republicans have done almost NOTHING since Obama became President. Their primary, open objective has been to oppose and damage Obama's image so that he'll be more likely to lose in 2012. They've offered very few ideas on how to improve things in many areas. The "Party of No" earned that nickname.
So, now, the American people, in all their "wisdom" that we hear so much about, are actually thinking of electing Republicans simply because they'll be preferable to Democrats. All they've done is be obstructionists and people want to reward that?
Maybe it's time again for a third party - or two - in this country. People are confused. They're distracted by and mistakenly paying attention to an unthoughtful group like the Tea Party and contemplating electing Republicans?
I think the only answer is for the American people to become more engaged in politics again - so that they can notice the stakes and the true differences between the parties and our leaders.
Maybe things will have to get even worse before they get better. That's what I fear.