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ProfessorPlum Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 02:09 PM
Original message
Our lack of leadership: A paradox
The people here at DU have provided me a lot of food for thought over the last 3 years. I find a lot of reasonable, sharp, ethical minds here, and it reassures me that the whole human race has not become the kitten-eating lizards that we see displayed as the heads of the GOP.

But what I find disturbing, in a real reality-twisting kind of way, is that there aren't any people "like us", either in the Capital Hill Democrats or the ones who seem to be leading the national party.

What I mean is: I think that as a community here, as a whole, we have a pretty realistic view of what is going on in the world. It's cynical, but it is eyes-wide open without the sugar coating. And what has become painfully obvious is that this view is not shared by ANYONE in this country who has any political or media power.

I know that "bashing" the Democrats in Congress and in the party leadership goes in and out of style. Some people don't believe in it, because our leadership holds the only hope to go up against the rapacious GOP. Others think it is the circular firing squad, counterproductive. Still others engage in it freely.

But what does it say that we are tempted to engage in it? That our leadership doesn't share our view of the world - our view of history, morality, even right and wrong.

Picture Joe Biden "not sure" whether he would vote for Gonzales, the torturer, or not. Picture Chuck Schumer wanting his fellow Dems to not investigate the shady doings in Ohio. Picture Hillary and Kerry and on and on and on voting to allow Bush to f* up the invasion of Iraq.

If we ever got any big Democrats here, WE'd have to educate THEM on what is actually happening in the world - they seem in a fog of reality created by American media, or worse. They don't read blogs, clearly, or even seem to give issues even the passing thoughts that some people here can - historical perspective, warning bells about creeping fascism, nothing seems to be on their minds, really.

What makes me uncomfortable about this is it leaves me with this feeling: either all of us here are crazy, engaging in some kind of mass delusion, or else all of our leaders, including Democrats and the media (and of course the GOP) are totally clueless. What are the odds of one or the other? The reality I see in the news and here at DU makes complete sense - why can't our Democratic leaders see it? Why don't our points of view seem to have any representation on capital hill?
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K-W Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 02:12 PM
Response to Original message
1. My thoughts from another thread.
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

The powerful in our society have designed it to marginalize us.
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ProfessorPlum Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 02:18 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. You've hit the nail on the head
It's the _disconnect_ between us and our representatives that I find so shocking. Why don't they get it?

Jesus. Six years is a long time to sit in the Senate and only think about how to desperately cling to the little bit of power you have. Don't these people see what is going on in the country? WE see it, every damn day. Yet, they have disconnect.
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Lorien Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 02:18 PM
Response to Original message
3. I think that many of our leaders are merely doing what they
think they need to do to protect their jobs and remain members of the "elite".

Our political system is set up in such a way that the only way anyone maintains power is by being well funded. Politicians focus on the needs of those that provide funding to them first; lobbyists and corporate interests. Those interests monopolize their time and help form their opinions. There are only so many hours in each day, and I think that our "leaders" simply don't make the time to learn any of the facts. As F 9/11 taught us; they don't even read the bills that they sign! It seems that we need to change the system before we can expect anything different from our "leaders".
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Dhalgren Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 02:21 PM
Response to Original message
4. Strong post and good questions.
I've felt the same thing, but had never put it into words. It's like everyone is pretending that things are a certain way when just a quick look around would show them the truth. My natural inclination is to say they are all callous, greedy, power-suckers and that they know the real score - they are just making so much money off of the deception that they will continue to the bitter end. But, I am willing to think about some sort of mass delusion (either ours or theirs) that might explain things...
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BlueJazz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 02:22 PM
Response to Original message
5. One only has to look (deeply) at the various aspects....
Edited on Tue Jan-11-05 02:23 PM by BlueJazz
of our society..Our mismanaged, crooked, unfair Health Care system, Our disproportionate wages (CEO's making millions while the Minimum Wage is Frozen in time, Our fear of anyone who is Sexually different, Our disgusting "Mass Transit" (HA!) system, Our intent on destroying the environment ...and many, many other aspects to see that your words ring oh-so-true...In a nutshell, Our "Leaders" are either Clueless, Stupid or in on the Big Fix.
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toymachines Donating Member (782 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 02:23 PM
Response to Original message
6. if mass delusion is at play, then it is not within our site
this site is a grounding to reality that not many americans are exposed to. our leaders and media have created an enivironment which is able to be manipulated and controlled to force many illusions upon us. of course i guess thats what a delusional person might say, or is that what they want you to think.
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sadiesworld Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 02:26 PM
Response to Original message
7. Clueless?
-They didn't "know" what was going on 20 years ago when GREENSPAN suggested that SS taxes be raised (WHILE INCOME TAXES WERE BEING LOWERED) to "provide a surplus for the boomers"?

-They didn't "know" that passage of GATT/NAFTA 10 years ago would cost the US its manufacturing base?

-They didn't "know" that SH did not present a threat to the US?

-They don't "know" that the vote is in the hands of republican corporations and there is no paper trail?

Try complicit. I'm tired of making excuses for them.
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ProfessorPlum Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 02:32 PM
Response to Reply #7
9. Yeah, well, so am I - what are we supposed to do about it though?
I thought it was pathetic last week - people were kind of crying and having a baby over the fact that ONE senator, actually did the goddamned right thing! Wow, a Democrat actually made a decision to investigate a corrupt election. Just one. And we about had a cow over it.

WTF? We are desparate for leadership that is reality-based. For someone, ANYONE, to make decisions based on the realities that we can see so plainly, that we'll have a cow over ONE proper vote.

It's just ridiculous. How can we get people who are informed and agree with us into power? What the hell?
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sadiesworld Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 02:59 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. I'm not sure, but I think it will have to involve a third party.
Otherwise, I'm afraid we will be in the same spot in 2008, e.g., AnybodyBut(insert repug here), support the "electable" (read corporate) dem in the primaries, you're a conspiracy wacko if you question the vote, etc. Maybe the potential loss of LOTS of voters will scare them.

Also, I won't vote for another candidate who supports corporate globalization (which I believe to be at the root of so much of this)so my choices will be very limited.

Or, perhaps the situation in this country will be SO bad by 2008, that the masses will rise.

No real answers here, Professor.
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ProfessorPlum Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 03:15 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. I know, I'm sorry if it seemed like I was going off on you
I just get so frustrated. We are in a political desert, just waiting for someone to step up and give us a drink of cool, rational leadership.
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yardwork Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 02:28 PM
Response to Original message
8. I feel the same way and all I know to do is scream like hell
I can barely recognize myself. I used to be a quiet moderate. I never wrote letters to papers or made a pest of myself to my supposed "representatives" to Congress.

It's time to grab the symbolic pitchforks and torches (modern versions: LTTE, call in shows, letters to representatives, etc.) and take to the streets (modern version: the media).
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Demit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 03:54 PM
Response to Reply #8
12. That's all I can think of, Professor--what yard said. Be squeaky wheels.
In the other thread I used the analogy of the Dems & Repubs being up on stage, acting in concert, this supposed tug-of-war between them just theater for our benefit.

Well I say let's start throwing a lot of rotten tomatoes at them. We paid for our tickets. If we stomp our feet loud enough, we will get them to pay attention.
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