Thursday, July 05, 2007

on anger in the country

As I read the comments on the Gazette stories and on other web sites, I am struck by the anger shown in this country toward those of opposite points of view, most strikingly by those on the right, but also, though less so, by those on the issues on the right. It seems to me dangerous. It isn't the firm positions, but rather the way in which people attack others and hurl names and other perjoratives at those who disagree with them. It isn't over issues as much as it is distrust. And I wonder what the situation is that creates such anger; surely those who call others names must realize that they have indicated they have lost the argument so they resort to personal attacks.

More importantly, where does all the anger come from? People seem to hate many things: social changes, people different than they are, caring about the welfare of the society in which they live, paying for the society in which they live, believing in the things this nation was built upon and numerous other things. It mystifies me, yet I can see the source of some of it, I think. One thing strikes me first: a lot of the anger is a politicians and is based, I think, on the idea that you vote for the person not the party. What people don't seem to realize is that there is strength in community, weakness in going solo. This lack of understanding on the part of people in the strength of community efforts is what has led directly to the passage of good jobs out of this country to minimum wage workers in other parts of the world. The unions may have overreached themselves, but they also got this country the highest wages in the world.

In the current political arena, there are constant calls for a new party because the two parties we now have are so closely related. This, I think, is a false conclusion. Yes, they have similar goals in certain areas such as free trade and borders open to goods from other countries. But on the issue of human rights and humanity, they are far apart. I think most people see the ties to the corporations that both parties have and look at that rather than the human issues. When people vote the party, they mostly vote for their own pocketbook and their own survival. When they vote the nominee, they don't know what they are getting. In this world of political double speak, I may use the same words on education, or war in Iraq, or economic health as the politician coming to my front door. But because we use the same words does not mean we are saying the same thing. How do we plan to reach those goals? I told Roy Brown a few elections ago that I wanted education fully funded. As an incumbent he said they had done so. I knew better. The kindest thing I can think of is that we were saying the same thing but meaning something entirely different.

A new party won't change anything. In Great Britain, at one time in the 20th Century, they had three parties: Tory (Conservative), Liberal, and a very weak Labour party. The Liberals had some of the early prime ministers of the century. But it began to fade and the Labour party to grow, particularly after WWII and the Liberal party has virtually disappeared in the interplay of that nation's politics. No matter how often people claim there are many choices we can make, most of us come in a bi-lateral form and that carries over to our choices. We don't see the third choice as viable. More than two parties may be good in a parliamentary system, although Great Britain's example may negate that. But in this country, we have almost always (except at the beginning) had two strong parties. In some cases, the Independent, the Free Silver, the Know Nothings, the Anti-Masons, the Progressives may have had an effect on elections, but they haven't lasted beyond one or two votes.

Is there an answer to what we feel about our political system? I think so. It is to get involved. If we are to make changes in the political parties each of us must get involved in making changes within them. Right now we have conservative Democrats and liberal Republicans. Maybe the liberals should be in one party and the Conservatives in the other. And the religious wrong shouldn't be in any of them.


Blogger Lisa said...

I just happened across your blog as I was reading through Montana blogs. I love your site and your insights. I just wish that you posted more.


9:42 AM  
Blogger Chuck Rightmire said...

Thank you, Lisa. I'll try.

11:19 PM  

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