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American Inertia

Updated on July 4, 2011

Peaceful World--John Mellencamp/India.Arie

". . . If you're not part of the future, then get outta the way!"

 One of the basic principles of physics is inertia.  The idea that an object at rest will remain at rest, or an object in motion will remain in motion unless an outside force acts upon it.

Over the last two years, I've seen the same thing at play in American Politics.  We have a group of people truly committed to, in my opinion, moving America forward and undoing the damage that the eight-year Bush junta did to America both domestically and abroad.  These people found a person to rally around in President Obama, and make up if not the base of the Democratic Party, at least the base of the "Democratic Wing" of the party.

On the other side, we have those forces that are resistant to change, and like anything that resists change, they are deeply entrenched.  The best embodiment of these forces would be the "Tea Party" wing of the GOP.  Lacking any new ideas of their own, they've adopted a posture of obstruction and fear.  Relying on voices like Glen Beck and Rush Limbaugh, and finding standard bearers in folks like Palin and Paul to get their minions to stand against progress that would actually help many of them in the long run.

But the question becomes "why?".  And the answer lies in what almost any significant progress in American society has involved.  A shift of power.

Looking through the history of America, we see many points where groups took on the powers that be to gain a right.  African-Americans' struggle to be first freed and then be granted equal rights.  Womens' efforts to gain their voting rights.  The efforts of workers to gain a 40-hour work week, and basic health and safety protections. 

Today, I think the shift is based on the realization that corporations have become too powerful, and that efforts need to be made to rein them in.  The objection to the bank bailout and financial reforms has more to do with the restrictions on pay and practices.  Health insurance reform, even as watered down as it is, puts insurance and drug company profits at risk.

But much like the abolitionist and civil rights, the suffragist and the labor movement, I think these activists will accomplish their goals of a society where "one human, one vote" and not "one dollar, one vote" is the order of the day.  It just may take awhile. . .


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    • tonymac04 profile image

      Tony McGregor 6 years ago from South Africa

      Interesting and informative. I am frequently amazed at the rhetoric of the right - it seems so out of touch with what is really going on. The shift in power that you mention seems to be the real issue. People start to feel insecure and overwhelmed by a tsunami greater than the recent one in Japan and so cling to past beliefs and practices in the hope that the tsunami was pass them by.

      The lesson of the evolutionary principle of adaptation is not taken on board and so they will go the way of other things that have refused to adapt. Of course, most of those who think like this even refuse to acknowledge evolution as a reality!

      Thanks for this lesson.

      Love and peace


    • John B Badd profile image

      John B Badd 7 years ago from Saint Louis, MO

      I think change is good and we need to improve our country. But change for the sake of change is not always the best idea. I will agree that Limbaugh and Beck are . . . well . . . idiots. But I think Pelosi and Gore are self serving crooks, so it goes both ways.

      There are people on the right who know what they are doing. Many of them just fear a socialist agenda will slip an unwitting America into a Marxist nation, and this is possible. I support health care reform and I am glad it passed, but we do not need the government to run anything other than the government. We need government sanctions on drilling and industry to prevent disasters but they do not need to run the companies. Many inspectors in this country will overlook an issue for the right bribe as will politicians.

      We need protection for the individual over the corporate juggernauts but both parties bow down to the almighty dollar.

      We need an independent government for the people of the people.

    • ecomama profile image

      Jacquie The Underground Goddess 7 years ago from NC

      Like your hub!