[FoRK] Conservative gains?

Stephen D. Williams <sdw at lig.net> on Sun Feb 3 18:43:52 PST 2008

Just noticed some things lately.

Vignettes:

On a recent PBS political talk show, they were interviewing various 
religious leaders, groups, and members from Kansas and other areas that 
had become involved in GOP support in the last 8 years.  Most of the 
people involved are rethinking their participation, support, and tactics 
as things have not worked out overall for them.

A different PBS program that I caught a snippet of today were 
interviewing a couple in financial hardship, primarily because the blue 
collar worker had little support, had not been handled well by the 
medical community (it turned out he had severe Hepatitis), were losing 
their house, etc.  They were voicing the opinion that there should be 
more of a care system for them.  How did they vote in the past?  Pure 
republican.

Sheryl Crow on the radio just now signing: "Losing your faith is no big 
thing.  They just want to control you anyway."

One of the young, female, black movie star guests on Oprah was asked to 
explain her open marriage.

So, what has changed in the last 8 years?  Here are my impressions:

Sex is less of a big deal, i.e. less of a big bad deal.  Everyone is 
inundated with fairly explicit sexually related stuff constantly.  
Annoying most of the time, but less puritanical.
Abortion's still not difficult or illegal.
It is no big thing to be, or declare, being gay or bi ("down low" et al) 
in most places and circumstances, a big liberalization.  (A continuation 
of a trend, pretty much finished.)  It's a common plot line for the 
military to be trounced in court.  (The last Boston Legal.)
It's not a big deal to have non-standard relationships (open, etc.).  (A 
large change.)
It's much less surprising to people for someone to be atheist.  (A 
fairly big change.)
There is much more interest in actual science and reality and less 
tolerance of shame/backwardness in a variety of areas, especially health 
and mental health.  (Oprah's Dr. Oz, etc.)
The economy is a mess.  The deficit is totally out of control.
Infrastructure is failing in spectacular ways and is not being invested in.
The Federal Government has been shown to be totally incompetent at even 
relatively simple tasks and chock full of cronies.  (Katrina.)
The only "public works" we've been able to get ourselves into is the 
Iraq quagmire.  See the deficit.
And, while we (America/Americans) always had some (furriners) who didn't 
like us because of jealousy of success or particular instances of 
meddling or mismanagement or our open, addictive culture (who cares 
about that rationale), we now have layers of animosity, pity, 
appreciation for how much we could screw things up if given a reason, 
and general superiority complex in all manner of furriners.
And, finally, "they" have woken up the politely napping atheist / 
rationalist scientists, quants, engineers, teachers, and others who 
really hold the intellectual power.

I have this feeling that there would have been less liberalization 
without conservatives in power.  Hard to tell, as the trend is toward 
ever more liberalization anway.

The thing about power grabs is that they wake up the opponent to the 
possibility of really losing hard.  Wishing you were better than your 
opponent doesn't make it so.

It will be very interesting to see the election results this year.  It 
is hard to see how the Democrats could screw this up.  It's hard to 
imagine a more telling series of grand flubs.  Just with Katrina, it's 
all over.  There should be some interesting battles when the parties 
turn their energies on each other.

sdw

-- 
swilliams at hpti.com http://www.hpti.com Per: sdw at lig.net http://sdw.st
Stephen D. Williams 703-371-9362C 703-995-0407Fax 94043 AIM: sdw



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