This was written after Bush's re-election, but I found on reflection it holds up well for my conservative friends today.
The point is, we've been there. Democrats have been where you are now, liberals have been there repeatedly. But we got off the mat, we compromised with one another, we organized, we came back.
That's the essence of our democracy. I know you may call it a "democratic republic," but that is a distinction with little difference. Here, the people choose the government, and though the system may be imperfect, it works. The "revolution" Thomas Jefferson spoke of can happen any time, in any year, in any place. Change is possible in America, and that fact should reduce your paranoia.
Think of this as Volume 16, Number 52 of A-Clue.com, the online newsletter I've written since 1997. Enjoy.
The difference between 2013 and every
year that has come before, for liberals, is offense.
Liberals have spent a generation
playing defense. We have spent over 40 years getting beaten by
conservatives, whenever push came to shove. We have considered it a
victory when some gain from the past was kept safe, if only for now.
And we have watched conservatives use those limited victories for us
to raise ever-more money and drive ever-deeper wedges between us, to
the point where “pissing off liberals” became a convenient excuse
for any policy, no matter how wrong-headed.
This should not surprise. Conservatives
felt just this way in the early years of the Nixon era – it's what
fed Nixon's paranoia, which was organic, and came from his followers.
They assumed that any policy victory might be taken away, or
co-opted, at any moment. They assumed they were the minority, and
acted like one, right into the Reagan Administration.
A few thoughts in the wake of last
Whether you call it “extreme gun
ownership” or “gun fetishism,” the attitudes behind the mother
who bought these weapons are common on the American right today.
Many people are struggling to put this
new attitude into context, and explain it to foreigners, but my own
writing gives you a frame.
These are hippies. And what happened
last week, what is happening across the country as these incidents
spiral, is very similar to what happened with the “leftist kids”
in the wake of of 1968. Kid who'd been innocently tripping out on pot
turned to harder stuff, they turned to cocaine and heroin. A lot of
Think of this as Volume 16, Number 50 of A-Clue.com, the online newsletter I've written since 1997. Enjoy.
I have spent most of my professional career as a Democrat writing for Republicans, while coming back here to my typewriter in order to try and put all that into perspective.
What I have learned, through my study of American history and its cycles, is that disgraced Power, a combination of Myths and Values created in an earlier time, never takes responsibility for the excess that results from its abuse of that power.
There were never Confederates who could admit in their hearts that maybe Lincoln had a point. There were never Populists who accepted the idea that an organized, regulated economy would bring prosperity, that it was the right way to go. Republicans who opposed the New Deal went right into fascism, either excusing Hitler or embracing him, while few Democrats who fought Nixon ever saw that, maybe, he had a point about the Cold War and the need to maintain social peace through discipline.
So it should be no surprise to me that my readers at Seeking Alpha and TheStreet.Com, who are mostly firm believers in the Nixon Thesis, and who supported the excesses of George W. Bush each step of the way, are more than a little reluctant, even now, to see any error in their ways.
I was slapped in the face by this realization when the following was rejected by Seeking Alpha. Plenty of similar commentaries, from Republicans, about the "Fiscal Cliff" and the issues of the budget had been published. One, most memorably, was titled "Has Paul Krugman Gone Too Far?" Yet this was deemed to be overly political.
Lesson learned. If you want to speak truth, do it on your own time. My view on the matter is contained in the headline at the top of this. The piece, as submitted, follows: