It’s damned near impossible to have an honest policy disagreement in the political mainstream these days. Fear spreads like a disease. People who are afraid will try to make others afraid. Often, this is unintentional. Sometimes, though, it is deliberate.
Recent Republican policies are unpopular with most Americans. So current Republican strategists and their financial backers and beneficiaries also fear an honest policy discussion. They believe that most Americans would turn against them. They’re probably right.
To make matters worse, the Republican campaign is genuinely afraid of Barack Obama. They fear Obama’s policy stances. For example, his promise to restore a progressive tax code. For most people, and perhaps America as a whole, progressive taxation is a great reduction in economic burden without sacrificing government revenue and private investment. However, it also means a little less money and power for a few Americans who are already extremely wealthy and powerful. Some of these wealthy Americans fear even the littlest loss of their wealth and power. They don’t care that it strengthens the lives of their fellow Americans and America as a whole.
Fear breeds hatred, divisiveness, cynicism, and more fear. The Republican campaign strategy is very cynical, hateful and divisive:
- Make people afraid of Obama and his supporters to prevent discussion of real issues relevant to ordinary people.
- Prevent the majority of Americans from becoming informed, active participants in the democratic process.
- Cry foul whenever someone else attempts to respond, defend themselves or otherwise get a word in edgewise.
I know this ghost. The American political landscape doesn’t just need a new candidate. We need an exorcism. Maybe then we can have an honest policy debate, and see where the candidates really stand.
For the record, I am for the people taking both the Republican and Democratic parties back from the wealthy elite, through electoral reform. While we’re add it, let’s throw a few more political parties into the mix. You know, so people can vote for them without throwing their vote away.