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I know we've had dozens of diaries that fall into the "Obama rox!" and "Obama sux!" categories with a few people in between telling everyone to be realists.  You can get your blood pressure up about chained CPI and others can marvel at Obama's latest match of 11th dimensional chess.  We will also hear the centrists chime in every once and again, telling us that the whole system is filled with politicians who need to "come together" while drinking Starbucks.  From my vantage point, the whole theater has been quite entertaining.

Hey, at least it's better than civil war.

American civilization is pretty sturdy, and this should be a sign to all of us that our union is actually quite strong.  I know, that seems counter intuitive.  Wouldn't a strong union mean that everyone at least agrees on the basics, and while they have different philosophical views on this, that, or the other, they at least have a basic set of ideas and morals that would never let them sink below a certain point?  Nope.  That's not human. We're a varied species, and natural selection needs quite a bit of variation to work its magic.  In any given human population of sufficient size, you are going to have some wild swings of ideology and psychology.  That's to be expected.

What the Republicans are doing is something that they actually believe in, and their base are just as fanatical to fiddle as Rome burns. They truly think not helping your fellow man materially will make them stronger.  Many of you believe all entitlement spending must remain sacrosanct because to cut it would harm people in need.  Both sides feel the other must be destroyed so that their ideology can prevail.  Now, I think the Right is far more militant than the Left in trying to spread their values; there are many on this site that wish Republicans came to their senses about basic morality and would come back into the fold.  The urge for humans to try and fight for homogeneity of their own ideas in a culture can be pointed at many times in human history: with chilling results.

Any other country would be having a civil war.  If this were a poorer country with less of a tradition of civil government, Far right Christian pastors would be evangelizing at their pulpits for their liberal enemies to be wiped out.  Militias would form.  We'd have roaming bands of marauders making use of the chaos to rape and pillage.  We'd have corrupt regional lords making backroom alliances, with the peasants fleeing for safety wherever they could find it.  Once the first casualties come in, the hatred and enmity would crescendo into all out conflict.  The authoritarians and their libertine enemies would meet on the field of battle.

Instead, we have a fairly polite country where a Republican or Tea Partier breaking decorum is shocking and the idea that a politician would go on an ideological crusade gets them labeled as a "Teahadist" despite the fact they're simply representing their crazy constituents.  Compare this to South Korea, where fist fights occur weekly in the lower house, or the Ivory Coast where winning an election doesn't mean  you take office, it means that you will have to go toe to toe with the losers' army.  Japan has kicked out 3 Prime Ministers within the space of a year.  The soon-to-be head of the Chinese Communist Parties' wife assassinated a British businessman because she's evil, and Goldman Sachs has conquered Southern Europe.  It could be worse.  Instead of conquering your neighbors land and burning his farms, you gerrymander.  Instead of forcing your enemies to convert to your religion or die, you create an organization to donate to political candidates to keep the gays from ruining Christmas.  

All in all, I think we have plenty to be thankful for, and I look forward to watching everyone back at each others' throats, politely of course, in two months.  

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    happymisanthropy, 6412093

    "Holding on to anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die," - Buddha.

    by sujigu on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 08:09:35 PM PST

  •  Pleased that (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dirtandiron

    you find it all so entertaining.

    •  Just trying to say it could be worse (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Shahryar, scott5js

      I don't want the nation's credit to sink, but to be honest with everyone, what are you expecting?

      "Holding on to anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die," - Buddha.

      by sujigu on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 08:21:15 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Elderly, Sick, Poor Not to Suffer More (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Dirtandiron

        but what's that compared to credit rating?

        We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

        by Gooserock on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 08:26:43 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  The credit rating will hurt the programs (0+ / 0-)

          in the future in case you have to borrow to keep them going instead of having them crash.  

          "Holding on to anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die," - Buddha.

          by sujigu on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 08:28:06 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  yes, I see what you're saying (0+ / 0-)

        in a world where people are barbaric, we're not as barbaric with each other. Whether we are to "outsiders" is another question but not the one you're bringing up.

        So yes, as a rule, we don't go on killing sprees against other Americans because of political differences. Yes, members of Congress don't throw punches at each other. Yes, it's better than civil war.

        I wonder if we'd be better off if we peacefully split into two countries....or five. I'm not convinced tonight that we'd be able to keep the wrong people away from power in any new configuration, anywhere in what's now the U.S.

        •  I know it's not going to be as popular as saying (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Shahryar, scott5js

          "Republicans sux!" but there is a grain of truth to it, and you are not going to have any sort of utopia.  I just want us to be thankful we're having this discussion at all.  Think about all the elderly, sick and infirm in Syria and what they're having to go through.  

          "Holding on to anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die," - Buddha.

          by sujigu on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 08:36:00 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  It's still early.. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Dirtandiron

        Don't under estimate the loons in the GOP. They want collapse.

  •  Kind of a strange comparison (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dirtandiron

    I mean, if I was to say:

    Well, a bunch of people died in a drunk driving accident.  Pretty terrible for them.

    On the plus side, the Mayan Apocalypse didn't happen...

    But while the second may be true, it doesn't mitigate that the first thing sucks.

    Parties can be beaten completely and thoroughly without their being civil war.   See: Segregation, etc.

    The reality is, it takes someone to voice the righteous dissent, because you have to continually make the case.

    Is it the worst thing possible?  No.  Is it the best thing possible?  No.

    Do we have a right to complain it's not the best thing possible?

    We not only have a right, you have a duty.. because the moment we start shrugging and saying "well, I guess it's OK" then why bother trying to make it any better.

    Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

    by Chris Reeves on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 08:41:32 PM PST

    •  Not really (0+ / 0-)

      Plenty of people died when segregation ended and right before, besides the number of Black people who were extrajudiciously killed for being Black, there were also activists like Viola Luizzo who were killed for their beliefs and trying to end segregation, so that period of history is far bloodier than most people remember it.  The civil rights attorneys made it happen in court (thank you commerce clause), but Emmerit Till's death did a lot to galvanize the country.

      It always could be better, but I think there are so many modern examples of how much more awful it could be that we just need some perspective.  

      "Holding on to anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die," - Buddha.

      by sujigu on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 08:48:58 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I can pull down a dozen books (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Dirtandiron

        from my American history shelf, read a chapter, and then thank God that we aren't at each other throats today, like we were just a few years ago.

        The KKK slaughtering over 100 black farmers' union members in September, 1919 in Arkansas.

        Chicago police shooting dozens of children, women, and men, all in the back, in the 1937 Republic Steel Strike.

        Instead, we are privileged to call for gun control, instead of relentlessly hoarding our own firepower, in preparation for turning our own cities into Serajevos.

        I recognize the reactionaries could unleash violence against the left at any time.  If so, I'll respond the same way I did on the picket lines in the 70s.

         I fear I would then be battling with some of my own immediate family.

        Until then, I'm grateful that we trade insults rather than bullets with our political opponents.  

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