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Can America Be Saved? # 4: The Two-Sided Dynamic of Our National Crisis

By   Follow Me on Twitter     Message Andrew Schmookler       (Page 1 of 3 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   57 comments

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In the the previous piece, I argued tha we -- Liberal America, the American people generally, and the nation itself -- are losing. I argued that the course of the nation is increasingly being governed by such destructive powers as greed, deceptiveness, the lust to dominate, rage, and the spirit of conflict.

I argued that our democracy is being steadily eroded by plutocratic forces. That we are losing ground on the ability to respond to our national challenges, including some whose neglect is potentially catastrophic.

And I closed by asking: given that the present dynamic is taking things in the wrong direction, what could turn this around?

The first question is, just how should we see this dynamic that is generating this adverse shift in our politics?

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The beginnings of an answer arise from noting that all of those adverse shifts are gaining their main impetus from one political party: the once-respectable Republican Party. Today's GOP is a relatively pure case of serving greed, telling falsehoods, fomenting rage, sacrificing the common good for political power, advancing plutocracy and, whenever they are not in a position to dominate and take us in negative direction, throwing a monkey wrench to disable our government from functioning to take us in a positive direction.

(NOTE: All that is so blatantly obvious, that the fact that it needs to be said -- and that saying it is likely to evoke objections not only from Republican supporters but even from many in Liberal America -- is itself a revealing and alarming commentary on the state of our nation. But the past fifteen years have given us a mountain of evidence to support those assertions, and remarkably little that stand as exceptions. In American political history, our political forces have generally had mixtures of constructive and destructive elements. But today's Republican Party represents an exceptionally pure case of the one with remarkably little of the other.)

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In view of all that terrible pattern of politically destructive conduct from one of our political parties, a student of American history since its founding might have supposed that from the other major party there would have been a vigorous and righteous response to protect the nation.

But that has not been the case. And the problem on the Democratic side has not been so much a matter of being willingly complicit in the destructiveness as of being terribly weak in opposing it.

Nor has the problem on the left side of our politically increasingly divided nation been confined to the elected leadership. For there has been no great groundswell from the grassroots to press the battle against the unprecedentedly ugly and destructive force that has taken over the right.

The dynamic that is damaging our America, therefore, seems to have two main parts:

  1. The Republican Party has become the instrument of a destructive force.

  2. The response from Liberal America to this threat has been woefully weak.

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Together, those two points describe why America has been and continues to be seriously damaged by the political dynamic of our times.

Given that analysis, it follows that -- at least at one level -- that the answer to the question of what has to happen also consists of two parts:

  1. The power of this force that's taken over the right needs to be reduced. And

  2. Next Page  1  |  2  |  3


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Andy Schmookler, an award-winning author, political commentator, radio talk-show host, and teacher, was the Democratic nominee for Congress from Virginia's 6th District. His new book -- written to have an impact on the central political battle of our time -- is (more...)

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