As an anti-drug slogan, “just say no” was pretty lame in that it totally ignored the difficult psychology of why people, especially teenagers, do drugs and what it takes to counteract those influences. But as an explanation of why President Obama and the Democratic Party seem poised to suffer a loss of their majority in Congress, at least in the House of Representatives if not the Senate, “just saying no” seems pretty much what it is all about. By this I mean that the issues are hardly being debated, drowned out by mindless anti-government rhetoric from Republicans and their anarchistic soul mates of the Tea Party, while Democrats cringe in a cowardly and conscienceless flight from what their party has for generations espoused.
I suppose that with incumbents in a panic and a media dedicated to breathlessly reporting (and repeating ad nauseum) anything that passes for a negative headline regardless of the facts involved, it is not surprising that voters will use the ballot to “just say no” to whoever is in power, regardless of whether that really serves their interests in overcoming the problems that have made life in our country an ever-increasing misery for so many people in America. I can’t imagine (and hope it isn’t true) that people really think the likes of Sharron Angle in Nevada, Linda McMahon in Connecticut, or Christine O’Donnell in Delaware (just to name the most prominent of the ideologically laughable candidates for the Senate) are at all qualified by their experience or, more important, by their ideas to provide any relief from the economic and spiritual woes which beset the country. I can very easily accept that voting for them is far more an act of pure frustration with, and knee-jerk retaliation against, the plight of so many millions of disenfranchised Americans. However, history shows many disastrous examples in which leadership is taken over by those who scream loudest, point fingers, and offer the most simplistic solutions, however fallacious, to a suffering public while those who know better cower under cover. I believe American needs to start worrying about that.
And I hold Mr. Obama primarily responsible for failing to make the case for how and why government, and not the wealthy and Wall Street and corporate America whom Republicans represent, nor the ignorance of Sarah Palin and the anarchy that the Tea Party would bring us, can restore this country to the precepts of equal opportunity and justice for all, and a helping hand for those who need it. Instead, the president and his advisors have, until far too late in the process, given a pass to the oppressive materialism, hypocritical obstruction, and crazed anti-government ranting that passes for the political platform of their opposition. This administration deserves an electorate that just says no, however blindly and self-defeating. Ironically, the American people deserve, and our country desperately needs, far better than the simple-minded alternatives we are about to get.
There are prominent people who actually believe that in two years, Sarah Palin should be elected the next president of this country. Jeb Bush recently endorsed her. God help us if she is the “yes” next time we just say no.