Thursday, September 11, 2008

A Peek at National Politics in America with 2 Months To Go...

Well, it seems that the Democrats, particularly Obama have a new challenge in responding to the kinetic appeal that Sarah Palin has unleashed in suburbs and small towns of America. There's no denying that Palin has electrified her base just as powerfully as Obama did for his in winning the Democratic primaries.

Unfortunately, the Democrats have a way of always winning the Democratic primaries (remarkable, no?), while losing the general elections to Republicans over the past four decades. Two Nixons, two Reagans and three Bushes should cause us to pause for a moment -- especially in a year when a race which should, for all the oft-stated reasons, belong to the Democrats.

Thus, we would be well-advised that it's self-defeating and poor politics to attack Palin personally, particularly about her family, when it can look like class warfare of the moralistic, secular, urban Democrats pitying the low culture, overly religious, lower middle class Americans.

Democrats don't win on class or country in US elections. Even if it's really not meant that way, especially not to our ears, a lot of Americans hear it that way and respond by voting against their economic interests at the national level.

Clinton won twice by undermining those antagonisms and positioning the Democrats, once again, as the party of the 'boy from Hope' heartland against the Republican privileged elite (e.g., George Sr. in Kennebunkport). Now, McCain has cleverly (if disingenuously) repositioned himself through Palin as the agent of outsider change. 'Mr & Mrs. Smith Go to Washington.' Smart move! Stealing lightening from the Democratic g-ds with two months to go on the racetrack.

Clearly, Palin's captured the imagination of conservative America, hearkening back (as Reagan used to in his speeches...) to a frontier society of rugged individuals.

However, I don't quite buy the commonly identified (and self-serving...) Light vs Darkness/Goodness vs Evil/Idealism vs Cynicism metaphor, where we (whoever we are) are always the 'good guys'. Often we Democrats are equally prone to self-righteousness in our political beliefs. Whereas the Buddhists have taught us the limits of duality -- even in the political realms. Not all of these issues (any issues...) are simple either-ors.

They don't call it the "Middle Way" for no reason...

Although I do believe that putting a woman on the ticket was a major undercurrent of the campaign this year. The resurgence of the feminine principle and mother goddess within America's shadow was exceptionally powerful for many this year.

'Anima rising' as Joni Mitchell has sang on her 1970s 'hissing of summer lawns' album...

No matter who wins, give McCain credit for plucking that wise and long overdue balanced Jungian insight from the slick alternative of Mitt Romney's preternaturally coiffured hair.

So, time again for Obama/Biden to remind the country that much of the Republican administration has been a 'bridge to nowhere' for the past eight years. Forget Sarah for now and get back to real worries of the American people.

Get off the less-than-subtle cultural divide and back to the pocketbook, the economy (bye-bye Lehman Brothers...), the mortgage crisis, the fuel crisis, quality education and a wiser response to the endless war against external terror.

When it's time to vote in November, those concerns will be uppermost in the minds of the skeptical, independent, working class voters who will decide the election

(and our near-term future...).

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