Wednesday, April 11, 2012

A Promise Deferred

Let's get over the reality that the Democratic party is centrist and corporatist, and that no president arising therefrom will forward a truly progressive agenda. I've heard from several people that they so loathe Obama they will abstain this election. They are disappointed, disillusioned, and disgusted.

I don't know why these otherwise very grown-up people held close to their breasts such fantastical expectations. Can't we maintain a healthy and warranted sense of cynicism and still make an effort? Although Obama is probably guaranteed re-election, I exhort the abovementioned to lump their broken-heartedness and go through the motions of voting for him again. Let's make this win stick.

People are still mourning Mr. Change's apparently unfulfilled campaign promises and are excoriating his concessions and failures. I myself am rather impressed at how he's kept it together. I think Bush's eyeblink disappearance down the collective memory hole glossed over the tremendous damage that idiot's administration (to use the word kindly) did to America. My assessment is that Obama has earned a passing grade in putting out a myriad fires, staving off disintegration, and preventing tragedy and drama. Yes, there's so much more he could have done, but he, as I expected, failed to overcome the mindset that demands cowering in the face of Republicans' fatuous potshots and childish asides. Democrats, I'm afraid, will always give the opposition too much credit -- they will never stop assuming the other side possesses legitimacy, cogency and relevancy, despite conservatives' wholesale unwillingness to touch base with the real world at all. The result: our infrastructure languishes, Social Security remains imperiled, the economy continues to teeter, and America is only momentarily secure against its own self-destructive excesses. But that's no reason to get passive aggressive and hand the reins over to people whose biggest issues are darker fellow humans and Planned Parenthood.

If I may make a re-election campaign promise on behalf of a president with whom I've been pretty much okay: Expect Obama as a lame duck to throw caution to the wind and truly implement a constellation of policies we can count on to preserve America for at least a couple more decades -- a pretty bold goal when one considers the context of modern human existence as a whole. When I look at the current White House from arm's length I see conservation of energy, an executive that has preserved much of its mandate since 2008 in anticipation of a second term during which it will do its damnedest to revitalize our economy, conserve our resources, take some possibly successful stabs at preventing collapse, and preserving the few civil liberties we haven't lost. Our way of life as Americans is ultimately doomed, but I still see hope in retaining some of it for longer than we have a right to.

I'm not optomistic about humanity's future, but I think the wonkish will be pleasantly surprised during the next four years, and I implore my fellow citizens to hold their noses and go through the motions with me at the polls this year. I'm not saying it will get better, but this is our best shot at preventing it from getting horribly worse very soon.

Gimlet eyes: did we ever think we were doing more than forestalling the inevitable and sticking fingers in dikes? Let's not throw our hands up in surrender prematurely.