Monday, January 7, 2013

An already belligerent 21st Century enters its Teens

Just two weeks from today, on the 21th of January, 2013, Barack Obama will be inaugurated for the second time as president of these United States.

Obama, as you may remember, is our first half-black president and the man so loathed by his political archenemies, for four full years jillions of dollars destined for desperately needed domestic growth have been held hostage while those jackals were busy working at destroying his presidency.  All so that he would never, ever get a second chance at under-privatizing America.

Last year, in 2012 (A most hectic and flabbergasting year. There's no chance anything like the Republican campaign to nominate a presidential candidate and get him elected will ever come our way again. Right?) we learned one thing for sure:  Never turn your back on your enemies.  Or your front, either.  They're everywhere.  But what the enemy side learned in return after spending an unprecedented three or four or maybe five billion dollars to put a Republican in the White House is that money can't buy you love.  (Fear, yes, but love. . .uh uh.)  Barack Obama won a second term handily.
 
Let me write that again:  Barack Obama won a second term handily.

But, while it's true that my guy won and that other guy lost, and I'm so glad 2012 is over and done, I'm already getting nervous about 2013. The 21st century, a century already not known for it's kindness or consideration, is becoming a teenager.  If we thought we had seen enough of our new century's oblivious silliness, misdirected angst, and uncontrollable rage, just wait until those hormones really kick in.

If we thought we had to be vigilant before, I submit that our tasks are just beginning. We can't be everywhere all the time and it's natural that things will get by us, but we should keep in mind that in order for any century to continue along a good and healthy path, it has to learn good and healthy habits in its formative years.   This is a duty that must not be shirked, and, of course, it's our side that knows just how to do it.  Ahem.  And Aha.

Remember the last century?  The notorious Twentieth?  It had its ups and downs--lots of downs--but who could have predicted that in the 21st Century we would be looking back with fondness on so many elements of the one that came before? Not me. I thought by the 21st century we'd be looking back and thinking, "How quaint. We won't be doing that again."

But here we are, fighting many of the same domestic battles against poverty, health care, education, women's issues, labor issues, and inequality of every shape and form.  Are we strong enough to finally make the changes necessary to make us a true government of the people?  I think so.  I hope so.  Sure we are.

When I started this venture four years ago, on the very afternoon of Barack Obama's first inauguration, I didn't have a clue about what I was doing.  (Oh, yeah?  That obvious, huh?)  I called my website "Ramona's Voices" because I knew my opinions wouldn't count for much without some backup, either undeniably expert or profoundly convincing.  I'm constantly surprised by the things I've missed while others could see them coming a mile away  Every now and then I can see things early, or at least not last, but what this all tells me is that we need each other to make sense of what's going on out there. 

I plan on keeping on with this.  I'm apparently enjoying the misery of it all way too much to stop now.  But there are changes coming, including a possible move to Wordpress.  I'm thinking about changing my blog name, too, if it won't cause too much turmoil (on my part, not yours).

What do you think?  Be honest, now.  You're my focus group.

But whatever happens in this tumultuous teen year, I'm hoping to share it with a roomful of company.  LOUD company.  Boisterous company.  Smart and funny, too.  Because lord knows, I'm not up to doing this all by myself.

(Cross-posted at dagblog, as always.)


8 comments:

  1. "Constant Commoner" is good, but so is "Ramona's Voices." One of my early editors used to stomp around the newsroom muttering, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." You will have to be the judge of its state of disrepair. But I will say that, for me, your proposed new blog name brings to mind, "The Constant Weader," a popular liberal commenter on the NYTimes.com.

    It also reminds me of the wonderful Ralph Fiennes film, "The Constant Gardener." But don't change anything because of me; marketing was never my specialty. And I'll like your posts regardless.

    In other news...your talk of this belligerent century entering its troubled teen years reminds me that one of the big stories soon to come will be G.O.P. ongoing efforts to win elections by cheating. These right-wing vandals will use any means necessary to rig vote outcomes. Far from abandoning their voter-suppression efforts and other shenanigans from 2012, they'll be embracing new, more odious, ideas.

    For example, Republicans in Ohio and Pennsylvania are determined to change their states' electoral-college votes from winner-take-all to proportional distribution. As far as I can tell, there's nothing to stop them from doing it. Neither state is subject to the special rules under the Voting Rights Act that, say, Florida and Texas are. If it gets to the U.S. Supreme Court, I think there would be little surprise which side would prevail.

    This would be a very troubling turn of events for Democrats. As it stands now, gerrymandering has given the G.O.P. influence in Congress it simply doesn't deserve; manipulating the Electoral College means they could steal the White House (again).

    Now I personally think the Electoral College has reached its shelf date. But replacing it with proportional voting based on Republican-drawn Congressional Districts doesn't seem equitable either. And applying it in some states but (strategically) not others isn't fair either. We need to go to a popular-vote reckoning, but I don't know where the political will for that comes from. *Sigh.*

    You're right. We need to be vigilant. Anyone who doesn't see the ruthlessness of today's Republican Party just isn't paying attention. That's why I'll be one of your voices "rising up!" no matter what you call your blog.

    Happy New Year, Mona, and many many returns!

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  2. Whew, Linda, you've presented some pretty startling reasons for keeping on. (Glad you're on our side!) Both the electoral college and gerrymandering are ridiculous tools and have nothing whatever to do any more with ensuring good government, but proportional voting is just nuts! I've heard the arguments against one person, one vote but I'm not convinced it wouldn't be the best for us. Something has to change to give the hoi polloi more power.

    It's clear the Republicans are already gearing up for 2014 and aren't going to give up on annihilating the Democrats any which way they can. Even after all of their antics in 2012, they're still all too powerful. I go from being confident we can take them in 2014 to lamenting the clear fact that it can't and won't happen. I see the articles on the demise of the Tea Party and the embarrassing poll numbers for the Republicans and I'm still wary of any chances for us. It could be that I'm remembering the Reagan years and the GWB years, where their successes never should have happened, but did.

    I latched onto "Constant Commoner" as a possible new blog title because I think now is the time to be proud of who we are and where we came from. (Most of us, that is.) We are the commoners and any wins in these battles will have to come from us. It reminds me of the "Black is Beautiful" campaign during the civil rights movement. It was a stunning turnaround and I, a white person through and through, embraced it as if it were my own. Even now the thought of it makes me want to cry. How that must have resonated with blacks who had been held down for years by their own feelings of inadequacy. From that moment they began dressing as they chose, stopped straightening their hair, and began to give their babies names that were never heard on the plantation.

    It could be that "Les Miz" has been an influence, too, I don't know. Or it could be that as a liberal and a Democrat I'm tired of being called "the elite" when that's so far from the truth it's laughable.

    It could be, too, that since I have no real education to speak of, and since I'm blue collar, that makes me as common as dirt. And I like it that way. (Not so much the lack of education; I do envy the college-educated and wish I had had the same opportunities. There are such huge gaps in my knowledge bank it can be pretty embarrassing at times. lol)

    Anyway, I need to think more about this and it could be that I won't change anything! It is the New Year, after all, when thoughts of change are hovering over us all. LOL

    Thanks again, Linda. I really do love that you're here.
    Mona

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  3. Hi R,
    Don't change the name of your blog. I love RV, it has a certain ring to it, kinda showbiz. I agree that we must be vigilant. It seems everyday the Republicans hoist some stupid crap on the American people. So the word for 2013 is VIGILANT!!

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    1. Thanks for your input, Louis, Never thought about RV as being showbizzy! I like that!

      Yes, I do like that word "vigilant". No telling what they're going to come up with in the next couple of years, and they still have loads of money behind them. It won't matter much if the Tea Party dies out--they may be the most vocal but it's the Fat Cats we need to worry about. They can't afford to let the Republican party die out as long as the Republicans are willing to give them everything they want.

      So here we go. Bumpy ride. But we can do it.

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  4. I vote for leaving the blog title the way it is. Your new title kinda confuses me and has me thinking about a cup of tea.

    Your point about the century being in its teens does make one think. Altho, too many politicians are acting more like toddlers than teens. It's like the "Terrible Twos" and the temper tantrums.


    Your thing about looking back at the 20th century with fondness is right on. I never in my life thought Nixon would be looking good, but now he does. He signed into law a bunch of good things, EPA, OSHA, Earned Income Tax Credit, etc. Now he is looking like a bleeding heart liberal instead of the sleazy crook that he was. He also did wage and price freezes that screwed most of the people.

    I still remember things pretty good and one of the things I'm still pissed about after 40 years is when they jacked up the license plate fees to lower the fare on the Mackinac Bridge. They should have raised the fare Northbound and made it free Southbound.

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    1. Thanks for your vote, K. I have forgotten about "Constant Comment" tea. I never understood what it had to do with tea, anyway, so it was easy to forget.

      But from one Yooper to another--what the hell is going on with that bridge? The fares keep going up and up and they never stop working on it. I don't get why it's still a toll bridge, anyway. It's a link on the federal highway system and should be maintained by the Feds, like every other bridge on the system. If I recall, there wasn't supposed to be a toll once the bridge was paid for. (I think we can thank the trucking industry for the toll raises. They put up such a stink every time anyone suggests they might pay more since they and they alone cause the most damage to roads and bridges. What are they going to do? Boycott the U.P?)

      I love your idea about raising the fare northbound and making it free southbound, though. People should have to pay to come to God's country. And if we have to leave, we shouldn't be punished by having to pay when we do. Great idea! Who do we call to get it done?

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  5. Mona, one final thought: There is nothing common about the way you think or the way you write. You have a gifted mind and an exceptional talent.

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    1. Aaw, jeez. Why'd you have to go and say a thing like that? (Blush)

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