It’s happening again. A year away from the 2016 elections, and I’m hearing otherwise thoughtful individuals sniff, “Well, there really is no difference between mainstream Democrats and Republicans.”
Really? No difference? Not enough difference, I agree. Is there sufficient daylight between say, Hillary and Jeb to suit me? Not even close. Both are beholden to corporate/ Wall Street culture. Both are too quick to talk tough and wax militaristic. Both represent tainted dynasties. Incremental differences may not be satisfying, but they’re likely all we can hope for with our country fiercely and evenly divided along partisan lines.
Do I worry that progressives are going to freak out and vote for candidate Ted Cruz if Bernie doesn’t get nominated? No. I’m worried we won’t vote at all. To highlight the importance of showing up for whatever uninspiring suit the Democrats put forward, I propose a waltz down “random memory lane” to the last time a Republican occupied the White House:
Attorney General John Ashcroft covering up the topless Spirit of Justice statue; CNN broadcasting a live view of Baghdad in the moments before the “Shock and Awe” bombing, showing a prosperous modern city with cars zipping past on a well-lit freeway, soon to be transformed to rubble; Donald Rumsfeld doing his press conference standup on the nightly news, happy as a clam, reducing war to a cerebral game; Clear Channel taking over radio stations around the country, banning songs like “Imagine” from the airwaves; Condi and Dick and Don all over Sunday morning TV repeating, “We don’t want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud”; a sitting vice president whose corporation and its subsidiaries topped the heap of U.S. contractors reaping huge profits in the efforts to destroy, then rebuild, a nation that, besides enduring a brutal dictator, hadn’t done anything to us yet; billions in U.S. cash unaccounted for in Iraq; a president so pathetic that his own party still won’t mention his name.
The current crop of GOP hopefuls is awash in gleeful ignorance equal to or greater than the Bush era neocons. They also need to be stopped.
Vote Demo. It’s that bad.
Jeff Falconer lives in Agua Caliente.
Open Mic is a weekly feature in the ‘Bohemian.’ To have your topical essay of 350 words considered for publication, write [email protected].