These have been strange times indeed. The conservatives who have worked tirelessly - with the support ultrarich who have put a great deal of money into the effort - to turn the society upside down have succeeded in a lot of areas. For instance, for the first time in our history:
- Productivity has exploded while jobs have disappeared (overseas or been bundled into a single position);
- The "a rising tide raises all boats" economic law has been suspended for a quarter century as the economy improved but for only one segment of society;
- Torture is now an acceptable defense mechanism;
- Illegal wars are now accepted defense mechanisms;
- The Constitution is no longer the foundation of our law so much as a quaint, outmoded document to be by-passed whenever its restrictions are inconvenient to power;
- The power of the president has been expanded until it rivals the power of a king while the power of the Congress has been reduced to a combination rubber stamp/debating society;
- Govt officials are no longer expected to obey the law and need suffer no consequences when they break it;
- And neither political parties nor individual politicians seem to care what voters think.
- Asked if we want the war ended, 70% of us said yes; it hasn't been
- Asked if we want universal health care, 80% of us answered with a resounding affirmative; it wasn't done
- Asked if we wanted to see the car companies bailed out of the mess they'd made, a majority of us said no; they were anyway
- Asked if we want to expand SCHIP, 80% said yes; our "representatives" said no
Finally, we must reverse the increasingly accepted idea that anybody who blievesnin the Constitution is some kind of kook.
The word "liberal" has undergone a remarkable transformation over the last eight years. All that has been necessary to qualify is a belief in such radical, exotic and fringe-leftist concepts as search warrants before the Government can eavesdrop on our communications; due process before the state can encage people for life; adherence to decades-old Geneva Conventions restrictions which post-World-War-II America led the way in implementing; and the need for an actual, imminent threat from another country before we bomb, invade, occupy and destroy it.
Now added to the pantheon of "liberal" dogma is the shrill, ideological belief that high government officials must abide by our laws and should be treated like any other citizen when they break them. To believe that now makes you not just a "liberal," but worse: a "liberal score-settler." Apparently, one can attain the glorious status of being a moderate, a centrist, a high-minded independent only if one believes that high political officials (and our most powerful industries, such as the telecoms) should be able to break numerous laws (i.e.: commit felonies), openly admit that they've done so, and then be immunized from all consequences. That's how our ideological spectrum is now defined.