I hear talk about an “enthusiasm gap” in the mid-term elections, and I have to say I am not surprised. There’s a lot of enthusiasm on the right, they say, but not much excitement anywhere else. And anyone with two good eyes can see that the “enthusiasm” exhibited by Tea Party protests is powered by billionaires with axes to grind. As for the rest of us, what do we have to be enthusiastic about?
Things aren’t going well in America – or anywhere else, as far as I can tell.
And to people like me, most politicians from the two major U.S. parties are as alike as Heckle and Jeckle (illustration above). The Republicans represent rich and powerful special interests entrenched in the U.S. establishment. And the Democrats represent…. themselves?
A lot of Democratic politicians seem to be motivated by just one thing – the desire to be re-elected.
I concede that there are some Democrats who are willing to fight for the poor and the middle class, but not enough of them to get any progressive legislation passed.
Take the recent health care reform, for example. A bunch of Democrats resisted universal coverage and government provided health care on the grounds that their constituents wouldn’t stand for such “radical” change. So the legislation that eventually got passed was watered down beyond recognition.
Now, it turns out that most Americans think the legislation wasn’t radical enough. The majority of Americans want universal health care and a government “option.” I imagine now that they’ve seen the poll numbers, the chicken-hearted Democrats are kicking themselves for fighting a more progressive bill. And I imagine the so-called “moderates” who put their own careers ahead of the good of the country will be voted out, anyway.
Then there are the Bush tax cuts, which are scheduled to expire at the end of the year. Again, there are Democrats in Congress who are fighting the president’s proposal to extend the cuts only for families making up to a quarter-million dollars a year. Why would I be “enthusiastic” about voting for folks like that?
So, my only motivation for voting in this election is to keep the Republican Party from regaining power. I lived though the last Republican regime, and I don’t want to go through that again.
But I definitely wouldn’t say I’m “enthusiastic” about the Democrats.