Power corrupts. Having been in control of both branches of the Congress for over a decade, the Republican Party had it coming. More than that, the Executive branch has wielded its power for years without caring much what even its own supporters in Congress thought. I just read an intelligent review in a European newspaper according to which people will see, a generation from now, the Bush-Cheney era as the darkest period in the American democracy. The war and occupation of
It is not that every Democrat is good and every Republican bad. Politicians in general tend to be corrupt. The Wired magazine has an opinion piece by Lawrence Lessig, titled ‘A Costly Addiction’. Let me quote it: “Practically everyone in
What made this election important is that people finally managed to send a unified message, for the need of change. That includes fear for social security, healthcare, education, minimum pay, women’s and minority rights, and of course immigration issues, in addition to the disaster of invading a Muslim country. In the best case scenario the Muslim world will learn to forgive us, the infidels and occupiers, in a generation or two, and the baby boomers can sleep at night knowing that Social Security and Medicare won’t disappear by the next day. Perhaps finally the ever-increasing gap between the rich and poor will narrow; at least it is hard to picture more laws passed in the next two years favoring the very wealthy.
Another encouraging element to the election was that young people were active in record numbers. For a long time there has been a mood of hopelessness, leading to voter apathy. Apparently people have had enough. Hopefully this will also encourage people to act on other matters that desperately require a change, be it in local issues or even in the area of cultural organizations. People in charge of the latter don’t necessarily like to think that these are also, in many aspects, public institutions. Although financed by philanthropists to an extent, most have the backing of public funds, as usually none of the museums, theaters, opera houses or concert halls would be there without the generous support of city and state governments. Also, the non-profit nature of the organizations makes them open to public scrutiny. Instead of accepting decisions made in secrecy, in the style of our Executive Branch, people have the right to know what is going on and take part in the decision making. Change and a fresh approach every few years is usually for the best to all involved, even when the individuals in charge claim otherwise and have the support of local media, just as the Bush-Cheney administration could do no wrong in the eyes of Fox News. Private club atmosphere and secret society mentality have very little in common with a democratic system.
Perhaps, America has some hope after all.