Sunday, May 23, 2010


Not enthused?  Shame on
us!  I have just two words for
you:  Roberts and Alito.  Elections count and turnout — our vote
— absolutely counts.  Only about
60% of Americans exercise our right of citizenship in a presidential year.  That drops to 40% in elections like the
one coming up in November.  Does
enthusiasm count?  Absolutely it
does, and most especially in these off years where an absolute minority — 4 in
10 — are the “deciders”.

Enthusiasm drives our elections these days.  It’s what got Barack Obama elected and it is what the
pundits claim will be driving Republicans, especially of the far right, to
gains in November.  If so, we will
have no one to blame but ourselves.

Do you find yourself with an enthusiasm deficit?  Get over it!  If you’re disappointed in Obama’s performance, perhaps you
were reading your own wishes, your own idea of change, into the 2008.  Is he the unabashed liberal that you
had hoped for (assumed)?  No, but
he never claimed to be that.  Did he
get the healthcare bill you wanted — and that ultimately we need?  Probably not.  I’m still for universal Medicare, but that’s not yet a
majority opinion in this highly selfish country.  “Sure I care (ha, ha) about others, but don’t you dare touch
or threaten the healthcare coverage I have.”  Let’s remember the disadvantaged/uninsured have no voice in
this great democracy, except at our discretion.  By they way many of them don’t vote which compounds the

So you’re disappointed, not enthused.  Well, given the system we have (not the one you may ideally
want, but the one in place) what would you have done about the economy, the two
wars, the healthcare and education deficits, the financial deficit etc., etc if you were in charge and had to get it trough Congress?  Talk, however idealistic or even right,
is cheap.  It’s very easy to write
one of these blogs (which is why I do it selectively), but so much harder to
govern.  If Obama had to struggle
to get anything accomplished — and don’t make light of what he has done — how
will it be in years 3 and 4 with a much smaller majority or no majority at all
on the Hill?  Again think Roberts
and Alito and what they token. 
Should I say, think President Palin and Vice President Paul?

Time to get enthusiastic. 
It’s not about defeating the tea party or right-wingers, but about
giving our President the continued mandate we so desperately need him to have.  Don’t tell me your enthusiasm attention
span lasts only one visit to the polls. 
What does that say about us? 
And of course that’s a question we could ask about the whole idea of
enthusiasm.  If that’s what it
takes to get us out, it’s reflects not only a selfish citizenry but also a
terribly immature one to boot. 
It’s hard to say which is more disturbing or scary.

In case you haven’t noticed, the Chinese are on the way to cleaning
our clocks.  It isn’t only their
overwhelming size and a system that allows for unitary decision making; it is
that they take the long view of years while we think ahead in terms of days and weeks.  And that’s on our most adult days.  They still make rice the old fashioned
way while we can hardly wait a minute for the microwave bell to go off.  They have patience and staying
power.  Sure our impatience has
worked up to this point, but perhaps, like universal home ownership on 100+%
borrowed money, it was an illusion. 
If we really voted for change in 2008, it will require follow-up.  Make no mistake; change does take time,
step by painful step.  It is also fragile and can be
aborted in an election cycle and we can’t let that happen.  Let’s stop thinking enthusiasm and
consider responsibility as an option?   That in itself would be a meaningful change, and a welcome

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