What will it take for Americans to truly fix their government, and how bad will it have to get to motivate them?
Leave it to Neocons to Sidestep The Issue
As I write this hub, there has been one other response to this question. Typically, it's written by an ultra-conservative who can't resist the temptation to label anyone to his left as a communist. That's about as ridiculous as someone on the left suggesting that anyone to their right is a fascist. The reality is that Communism and Fascism are extremes, and liberals, progressives and conservatives fall somewhere in the middle.
One of the ways people on both sides of the political debate win elections is by painting their opponents as extremists. So when this guy refers to Barack Obama as a Communist, that's what he's trying to do. Similarly, if I called George Bush an ultraconservative neo-nazi fascist pig, and anyone whom he supports must therefore be a fascist as well, I would be guilty of the same "crime."
The basic question, though, speaks to a reality that at least in the writer's opinion, there is a problem, it's a big one, and it's got to be addressed. While I don't have a functioning crystal ball, I have a suspicion that once the Democrats can finally decide who their nominee will be, the country will begin to rally around that candidate. Why? Take a look at the issues.
The War In Iraq - This is a Republican nightmare. I'll give George Bush credit for trying to make the best out of a horrendous situation. First we were told that we were there looking for WMDs. Five years later, none have been found. Then we were told we were fighting the terrorists over there so we wouldn't have to fight them here. Problem is, they weren't there when we got there, so in that regard, things got worse by allowing them in, Then we were told that gas prices and oil prices in general would skyrocket if we didn't get matters under control. Well, gas prices continue to skyrocket even with us there. Now they're telling us that things will get worse if we leave. Worse for who? We got rid of Saddam Hussein, now let's get out of there so we can stop being targets for the warring factions to shoot at.
It's The Economy Stupid - Let's face it, George Bush was never much of an economic success. He certainly didn't preside over the kind of growth that either Clinton or Reagan did. So he was already on shaky ground economically when the bubble burst in the housing market. You think people get antsy when they're afraid they'll lose their jobs? That's nothing compared with the fear people feel when they are afraid of losing their homes. Boy George tried to convince us that if Congress voted for tax cuts the economy would just take off. Now he's convinced that if you give 1,200 to a family with a couple of kids they're going to do their patriotic duty and go out and spend it all.
Instead, the majority of Americans are saying they plan to take those economic stimulus checks and pay off old bills. That's not going to stimulate the economy.
Plus, we've got John McCain admitting that he's not as well-informed on economic matters as he should be. Thanks for being honest John, I'll give you that. The problem is that comments like that don't exactly inspire a lot of people who are hurting economically to vote for the likes of you.
Global Warming - There's probably still a good 30 percent of Americans who believe that Global Warming is a bunch of hocus pocus (the same 30 percent who think George Bush is doing a good job). The rest of us know there's something wrong.
Gas/Oil Prices - I touched on this earlier, but the problem with oil prices is so huge that it really needs its own headline here. High fuel costs are affecting so many areas of the economy. People who would normally take their kids to Disney World may have to think twice because the airlines aren't as affordable as they used to be, and the idea of driving with the rug rats when gas prices are floating around $3.50 a gallon on average is not terribly appealing.
Heating your home is a huge issue these days. Last month, near the end of the heating season, it cost my family more money to fill our oil tank than our rent. I predicted to my wife that it's only going to get worse, particularly if the Republicans keep control of the White House. Did you ever think that a Texan would lift a finger to keep prices under control? Not with all those corporate big whigs funding his campaigns. Guess who they're supporting now?
Here's My Prediction - Sometime after the 10th of June, Democrats are going to settle on Barack Obama as the nominee, and Hillary Clinton will become his running mate. The economy will continue to head south, gas prices will continue to head north, and another 500-1000 of our brave soldiers will die by election day. With the exception of Barack leading our ticket with Hillary as Veep, I don't want the other scenarios to unfold. I just don't see Boy George and company actually doing anything to head them off at the pass.
Still, since there are still so many Republicans who would hold their nose and vote for any Republican before they would ever consider voting for a Democrat, the election will be close. Florida will be a Republican state, but Ohio will go to the Democrats, and Barack Obama will be elected President.