We all have very high standard and ideals and are desperate to see this country great again. That feeling is felt to the left and right of the spectrum. We want a sense of safety and security back, yesterday.
Problem is that safety and security are completely subjective views.
Though the sense of desperation is shared, we each offer slightly different opinions on interpreting Obama’s motives so far in this general election. Until we see how he governs, we will never be able to truly judge if his decisions on foreign surveillance were strategic necessity or integrity about an issue the left disagrees with. I prefer to use the totality of what I know to judge Obama on this and any other issue I disagree with him on. I am not a single issue voter. I never believed Barack to be a classically liberal democrat, so I have not felt “betrayed” by anything he has done. I considered him an electable and pragmatic second choice to Dennis Kucinich. Dennis dropped out before our primary or I would have voted for him instead of Barack.
The general election is about a nation, though, and not just a political party. A general election requires all of us to expand our minds and see at three or four or five dimension. Especially now, when the stakes have never been higher. If somehow we can disagree with Barack’s stand and yet increase our support instead of ditch him, we will all come across as grown-ups to the many folks who don’t bother commenting on these threads but are probably reading them the same reasons as us. (If you think a couple hundred bloggers drives enough ads to keep the lights on at TPM, I have a great investment opportunity for you.) Assuming there is a silent audience, imagine if we come across as pragmatic and willing to forgive the duped even as we punish the guilty?
Republicans want closure too, they just think we are conspiracy theorists. Guilt will need to be proved in a court of law. Does that make them evil? I don’t think so. Just classically conservative. Most republicans aren’t neocons, despite the brilliant takeover of the party by those PNAC/Nixon-era wack-jobs. I think all Americans are idealists in one way or another. I would have much rather debated the offending legislation as a policy issue vice a “Barack sold us out!” issue.
My ideas on transparency would make this legislation immaterial. I say let them have all the data. Every transaction, every second. Won’t be long before it is way too much. Of course, that would require many other safeguards and changes to work, but Barack is certainly not liberal enough for me on this and other issues. I also understand I am not the mainstream of America right now. I can be patient and take a long view on this.
The American center is heading back toward the left. It is inevitable, but we can delay the process by being unreasonable during this time of reconciliation and transition. Reagan won his landslides by convincing his “enemies” that all of his horrible ideas where in America’s best interest. You didn’t have to agree, but by God we would fulfill the mission.
America is very mission oriented.
Put the GOP on a Green Mission for God and Country if you want to see movement on progressive ideas. Let’s create an environment where the republicans and the democrats argue over who has the most sustainable policies, despite the methods they use to get the job done. Let’s use this opportunity to make labels immaterial with regards to our larger shared goals as a nation. A president can create that kind of change, but only if we get him elected first with a governing majority.
To win with a governing majority we must be willing to forgive our conservative brothers and sisters for being victimized by the neocons these past 40 years. We must dispense with labels long enough to feel like Americans first if we are going to fix the many problems looming on the horizon, let alone those already under our feet. We need to grow up a little and admit the possibility of gray areas.
We have reached the limit of labels to contribute to anything other than the continued desecration of our nearly-dead Republic.