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Addressing the “Not a Dimes Worth of Difference” Crowd

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Over on the website www.opednews.com, I posted the piece I had here late last week– about how the 2014 elections were disgraceful, and how part of the disgrace was the failure of the Democrats to make the central issue of the campaign the way the Republicans in the last Congress betrayed the nation.

To that piece, among the comments were a number that sang a song that I’ve become familiar with in my decade of dealing with that readership, which is a good deal further to the left than I and, it seems, less accepting of the shades-of-gray reality of America, and for that matter the reality of just about any other country.

The lyrics to that song they sang is that the Democrats and the Republicans are not different in any important way, and that the Democrats and Republicans are colluding to take the nation along its present path.

Today I answered them in this way:

There’s a point I’d like to make, even though it is one that I’ve made here in conversation with the opednews readership probably a half dozen times over the last six years especially.

It is addressed to the “not a dime’s worth of difference” and “their in cahoots” crowd.

They look at how politicians of both parties are feeding from the same trough, and say they are serving the same masters, and that there is no real difference between the parties, and what’s more there’s no real battle going on between them. It’s like professional wrestling– they are following a script that they agreed on together.

I think that is a serious error– an error serious enough to make those who look at things that way essentially irrelevant to the best likely strategies for restoring any degree of political health to this nation.

Yes, there are evils they share, but that is not what’s important in this situation. The differences are crucial to the rescuing of this nation.

Here I’ll just make one point as part of what could be a long and comprehensive argument — including arguing that as deficient as the Democratic Party is, it is superior to today’s Republican Party in vital ways, moral and spiritual ways that bear upon the question: “Are you trying to make things better or worse?”

We have one party that is basically constructive, and that makes efforts to address our national problems (climate change, immigration, universal background checks, and so on through all the issues).

And we have another party that makes things worse in virtually everything it decides to do. Can you point to a single issue on which the Republicans have not made things worse? (It was not always thus– the unprecedented should get our attention.)

The differences between today’s Democratic and Republican Parties are real and large and of vital importance. It is an error to focus on what’s the same that’s bad about them both.

The point I want to make, a propos of the professional wrestlers’ script notion, is that such an arrangement is vanishingly improbable. I doubt anyway can name a single instance in which a bunch of politicians conspired to generate a scenario that leaves them out of office.

What happened to the Democrats in 2010 and 2014 — pathetic Democratic strategies in both — should be acknowledged as pretty conclusive proof that the Democrats are failing to accomplish what they want to accomplish.

The difference between them, combined with the fact that this consistently destructive force gets more power every time it defeats the Democrats, together should constitute our call to battle: We must find how to fortify the Democrats, and get them to fight as they should, in order to drive this atrocity away from the helm of our country.

Only the Democrats are in the arena where control of that helm is decided. If not them, who? No one. (This nation hasn’t had a third party come to power in more than a century and a half. And we’re not in that extraordinary situation that killed off parties in the 1850s.) Only the Democrats can take the power away from these disgraceful Republicans.

So the question should turn to where it ought to be: How do we change the Democrats so that they will prevail and take power away from the extraordinary atrocity that the Republican Party has become?

To this question, I will be offering what I think is an important part of an answer in my book — to be published in September — WHAT WE’RE UP AGAINST: The Destructive Force at Work in Our World, and How We Can Defeat It.

The book’s introduction — with the title, “What Do You Mean, We?” — is now available to the public here.

  • Jim B

    Some of the problems that result from there is not a dimes difference is the democrats that believe that and don’t vote. I see that in progressive blogs, but in the end we still have only one choice and that is the democratic candidate. Unless our candidate is an outright crook or pervert he or she is still the best candidate. The way things are today that wayward candidate still may be the best.