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. . .