“Maybe the critics are right. Maybe there’s no escaping our great political divide, an endless clash of armies, and any attempts to alter the rules of engagement are futile. Or maybe the trivialization of politics has reached a point of no return, so that most people see it as just one more diversion, a sport, with politicians our paunch-bellied gladiators and those who bother to pay attention just fans on the sidelines: We paint our faces red or blue and cheer our side and boo their side, and if it takes a late hit or cheap shot to beat the other team, so be it, for winning is all that matters.
But I don’t think so. They are out there, I think to myself, those ordinary citizens who have grown up in the midst of all the political and cultural battles, but who have found a way ,in their own lives at least, to make peace with their neighbors, and themselves…I imagine they are waiting for a politics with the maturity to balance idealism and realism, to distinguish between what can and cannot be compromised, to admit the possibility that the other side might sometimes have a point. They don’t always understand the arguments between right and left, conservative and liberal, but they recognize the difference between dogma and common sense, responsibility and irresponsibility, between those things that last and those that are fleeting. They are out there, waiting for Republicans and Democrats to catch up with them.”
― Barack Obama in The Audacity of Hope summing up the point of this piece better than this piece itself.
While the majority of the Republican field has abandoned principle in their endorsements of the Republican nominee Who Shall Not Be Named , it remains to be seen whether left leaning Democrats bite the bullet and throw their weight behind a woman who is sharply antithetical to liberal politics and seems just as willing as the Republican nominee to pander in return for power and popularity.
With Hillary Clinton’s newfound status as “presumptive nominee” (a phrase that sounds as appealing as its current subjects) There will be a slew of op-eds and expert opinion that will attempt through means patronising and bordering on blackmail. Pieces like this attempt to shame Sanders supporters into reticence by painting their cohorts as privileged and in many cases sexist and misogynistic. In carefully putting these straws together in a mannish shape and gleefully setting the ensuing construct alight one can easily claim the moral high ground that most commentators seek. This form of political extortion of the electorate is a prime example of the dysfunction of American democracy; where the choice is between a demagogue with a Napoleon complex the size of his Freudian skyscrapers and an amoral political climber as incapable as her competitor of admitting fault. Continue reading “The Hope of Audacity”