Friday, October 15, 2010

Caught between worlds this election...

Still I beat the drum for my party, the Democrats in case you missed it along the way, with hope that there will be renewed humility and hard work to come out of the party in the years to come. Our values are in the right place. I still believe in a broad list of progressive ideals in spite of becoming more jaded and cynical in the last five years than I've ever been before.

For instance, the reason I really like Senator Michael Bennet is because he's so darned successful at being himself. He has never looked at a problem without turning it into an opportunity to evolve. He progresses, with each job, to be of better service to those around him. This aligns with a way of being that I believe in more than a list of positions and votes. This may seem counter-intuitive to a political campaign but I find it refreshing that he's actually chopped wood and done home home, and then turned around and earned $11 million dollars by turning a failing company into a profitable one, and then turned around and worked as a Chief of Staff in Mayor Hickenlooper's office, and then accepted the challenge of heading the Denver Public Schools. That he's been in Washington, D.C., as our Senator for the last year and some months has simply been an extension of his life path -- being of service to others. I can see a congruent set of values from this apparent evolution that benefits not only his family but also fellow human beings. I simply feel good about Michael Bennet as a man, and I have faith that he will view the challenges he seeks in the Senate as opportunities to bring about those benefits to Coloradoans rather than as opportunities to get attention or power for himself.

What my sweet Republican sees is something different. He sees a conundrum of mixed priorities. He wants a clear number one priority from our elected officials and that is money in our family's account by virtue of a good job and benefits, reasonable taxes and low expenditures. Now this may seem selfish, but I assure you he is not ungenerous in any way. He simply looks at the world through a lens of survival of the fittest, and he's not feeling very good about much of anything that has come to pass over the last two years of Democratic majority. He doesn't believe in good intentions because he sees everyone in politics as potentially corrupt, so he wants their corruption to lead to better jobs and opportunities for him to make it on his own without government interventions. In fact he views congressional gridlock as a possible solution to bad choices.

I don't think he's alone folks. The mere fact that corporations do not know what their taxes will be for this year and coming years does not get blamed in my Republican's mind on the polarization of two parties, but on the leadership of the party in charge - uh the Democrats. He sees the Democrats as effeminate, and over-sensitive to a fault. (Yes, I'm a feminist and I just said that.) He calls our President "no balls" and obviously this is somewhat painful to him as they are both black men of the same generation, succeeding at a level that seems predetermined no matter how high on the ladder they get. He wants President Obama to hold his own rather than explain and explain and explain how it is going to work someday when everyone agrees.

This makes me think of Co-Housing. I used to have a fantasy about living in Co-Housing. That's how liberal I am. At least that was until I learned that everything is done by consensus in Co-Housing. I do believe this is a principle Democrats of a certain age believe in fervently. Perhaps it comes out of the basic "Question Authority" bumper sticker age. The enmity and suspicion of anyone who claims authority is often palpable in crowds of Democrats. We're not the kind of people who want someone in charge who actually believes that they are in charge. It seems almost fascist to us somehow to think of a structure where one person, or a very select group of people are allowed to run with decisions and make it work.

I know that some Democrats, Independents and Republicans plan to sit out this election because they're disappointed, but folks this action is not going to have the impact you want. I understand it is important for everyone to have a voice, but we live in a Republic of representative government, and someone has to stand her or his ground. That is what is ahead of the next Congress. That is what is ahead in the State of Colorado. Open your eyes and think about who you want to have stand his or her ground for us in Congress and at the state level.

I do believe the slate of Democrats we could send to Congress and to our local State House are a unique group in that they are willing to stand their ground, even if it isn't perfect for everyone. We must accept the incremental process of democracy. It was designed to move more slowly than your PC, but it must become more efficient than it has been for the last two years. This country looks like it is for sale right now. There is a big sign on our front lawn, and foreclosure is a real possibility. If we keep the attitude we've been nursing, that everything must be decided by consensus, then we will face harder times in the years to come.

When I look at the alternative Republican candidates I am appalled, frankly, by their point of view, no matter that their priority seems to solidify behind the idea of making money some how or other. It's a question of who is going to profit and how they will benefit Colorado? From Dan Maes and Ken Buck to my local State Senate candidate, the over-riding attitude of disregard for the well-being of women, for our education system (which is our future), for the world we live in makes me want to vomit. That we would actually choose to sink backwards towards this disregard and into a world that is only profitable to a few seems hopeless to me and evidential of our failure, Democrat's failure, to unite this country behind a concept that seems to be second-nature to Gubernatorial candidate Hickenlooper, Senator Michael Bennet, Representatives Salazar, Markey, Perlmutter and Polis -- SUCCESS.

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