Monday, November 14, 2011

Another Cynicism Dump

I'm all in favor non-USA countries having their own space programs, but this just feels awkward. On other blogs, I've often commented on how we're falling behind in the world. I originally put the phrase "feels like" in the previous sentence while I was typing it.

I'm really losing confidence in the US these days, and I think I'm likely in partial denial about it by saying we're at the beginning of various downfalls. I used to say that we were at the early stages of a breakdown into a police state with the war on drugs getting more insane each year, the continuing destruction of our freedoms, and the ongoing consolidation of executive power in the wake of 9/11. I think it's time I moved onto assuming we're at least in the middle of the breakdown.

Politics is not one of my strengths, but it's hard for me to imagine that past Republicans were as insane as the current crop of them. Before 9/11, I was able to imagine a Republican being voted into the presidency without it being an outright disaster for the nation. It doesn't help that our current Democrat president is doing many of the same things Bush did. He's essentially doing the opposite of what I voted for him to do: Crack down on US war crimes and civil rights abuses. I will not be voting for him ever again.


Infophile said...

A while ago, over on Dispatches, I was looking at the question of who the last decent Republican President was. The answer I came up with was Eisenhower, who would be considered a commie Muslim atheo-socialist by today's standards (and let's not even get started on the last good one, Teddy Roosevelt). I also noticed that ever since him, the Republican party has been in a steady decline. Look at the progression: Nixon, Ford, Reagan, Bush Sr., Bush Jr.

I think the real problems actually started with Reagan. Nixon was corrupt, sure, but he was actually progressive in many matters. Reagan made "progressive" a dirty word and slammed on the country's breaks. This made it possible for Bush Jr. to use 9/11 as an excuse to shift the country into reverse and drive it off a cliff.

Some of the problems go a bit deeper, though. The Cold War made any hint of socialism off-limits in American politics, even today. Corporate influence on elections has been growing steadily since mid-Cold War (when politicians made things better for the workers to prevent a communist rebellion), and it shows no sign of waning soon.

I briefly had hope that the Occupy movement might accomplish something, but that's looking less and less likely as time goes on. When the 1% control the media, there's not much the 99% can do to control the narrative (especially when many of them can't even control themselves and come up with a consistent, catchy narrative).

Bronze Dog said...

I haven't been too impressed with OWS, so far. Their hearts are in the right place, but as you say, the media's stacked against them, or at least the mainstream sources are.

I recently read a study about the positive or negative tone of coverage with regard to presidential candidates. The mainstream media had a large chunk of positive coverage for Sarah Palin, but internet blogs were much, much more negative about her. The internet was generally more negative across the board, but we're talking about the Repugs and the most right wing Democrat I can think of.

So some part of me hopes that the internet will act as a counter-culture, possibly supporting OWS and that the mainstream media notices.

Daggerstab said...

A space history side note:

To put things in perspective, the original "Shuttle Gap" was between the last Apollo flight to Skylab in 1974 to the first Shuttle flight in 1981. To top the effects of the gap, Skylab crashed to Earth in 1979 because the Shuttle wasn't ready in time to boost its orbit.

So yeah, this is not the first time the US was left without home-grown access to space.

Ryan W. said...

I voted Repbulican many times between '98 and '05ish. Then they became the uber batshit insane representatives of vague "Christianity" and "Family Values". Note the use of "uber".

Orac said...

Actually, George Bush, Sr. was the last decent Republican President in my book. I voted for him twice. It was Bush's son's administration and the 2008 election that finally convinced me that the Republican Party went completely bat shit insane.

Ironically, by today's standards, Reagan was actually pretty good in several areas. In fact, if a Reagan clone were running for the nomination right now, he wouldn't stand a chance of getting it because he'd be way too reasonable and liberal compared to the current crop of candidates. Even Romney, who was governor of Massachusetts, few cry in' out loud, has to pretend he's down with the insanity to win.

Bronze Dog said...

Through hindsight as an adult I can look back at Reagan and Bush Sr. and find stuff to strongly disagree with, but at least there was some room to argue with Republicans of that era and potentially reach compromises.

I just hope that the 2012 election and the scandals of the Republican primary create some kind of wake up call for sane Republicans to purge the loonies.

There was a time when predicting abject disaster for a Republican getting elected was merely hyperbolic political humor. With the (post)modern Republicans, I believe "disaster" would be an accurate description if they manage to win.

JJR said...

I thought George H. W. Bush was fairly decent as president, even better than Reagan...but after the LA Riots in 1991, he seemed so completely out of touch and unable to respond...and then the horrible 1992 RNC with Pat Buchanan's "Culture War" speech and the open embrace of the Religious Right by the GOP...sure, Reagan courted them, too, but he had the good sense to do it discretely, out of much of the public eye.

After the 1992 RNC, this teen atheist was like "well, f*ck me, I guess I'm a Democrat now."

Voted for Clinton x2 and kept moving left as I got more education.

JJR said...

The funny thing today is we now have the Reagan of Myth/Faith and the actual Reagan of the historical record.

Nothing pisses off contemporary Republicans more than when you shatter their Reagan-of-Faith mythology with the actual historical record, even direct quotations in Reagan's own recorded voice...

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