Blog Credo

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

H.L. Mencken

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Dennis Kucinich And Unicorns

Dennis Kucinich spoke on campus today, in an appearance arranged by his friend Roger Ailes.  Yes, you read that right.

After listening to Kucinich speak, I'm beginning to understand why Ailes sent him here.

Kucinich gave his basic, "You can be anything you want to be" high school speech, but then explained his political philosophy.  He said that we are all human beings with a common destiny and common dreams and we can work together to create a better world.

OK.  Maybe.

The reality of politics is that it's a competition for power and the exercising of that power.  What's more, people have very different visions of what human nature is and how that should influence power.  Kucinich's view that we are all part of a global human community is simply not shared by conservatives.  Conservatives view the world as a place where individuals seek out their separate destinies through a free society.  The idea that we can simply bridge this divide with paeans to our common humanity is naive.  You are literally speaking a different language than the other ideology.

There was a time when the parties weren't so ideologically riven, and it was possible for Scoop Jackson and Bob Dole to agree on things.  Ted Kennedy and Orrin Hatch's friendship allowed for certain compromises to be made.

But the GOP has so wrapped itself around an ideological position that ANY compromise is death.  And the idea that Democrats simply need to reach out more to the GOP to find "common humanity" is badly misreading what is happening.  If you need evidence of this, I offer you Donald Trump.  A great deal of Trump's appeal - maybe the single greatest factor - is his contempt for people that his supporters feel contempt for.  Hatred of the other is a fundamental factor in the far right, and increasingly, the GOP has become hostage to its far right wing.

I would like to live in a world where Kucinich's vision was true.  I do not.

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