They’re Our Opponents, Not Our Enemies

A very important point to keep in mind is we are not fighting an enemy, we are competing with opponents. The Republicans are not evil, they don’t hate America, and they are not out to destroy the middle class. They have a different approach on fundamental questions, but that is why we have elections, to let the voters pick which approach they think will work best.

Some will claim that the Republicans won because they lied, and Cory Gardner in particular did lay out some whoppers. But we dems happily elected Bill Clinton twice and he is a congenital liar. We dems were fine with the “you can keep your insurance” lie as it got the insurance bill passed (and anyone who understood the bill knew at the time that was a lie). Yes politicians lie. On both sides. Always have, always will. That is not what won the election.

We have some fundamental differences. Everyone has an opinion of when a fetus becomes a human being. I think all of us would view aborting a healthy 8-1/2 month fetus to be tantamount to murder. We all have a judgment as to what point in the pregnancy that fetus becomes a person. And there is no science or other means to declare a clear point because it’s fundamentally a personal choice. By that measure, someone who views personhood as occurring at the point of conception has a view as valid as any other. And if you hold that belief, then voting for the person who will stop abortion, regardless of their other beliefs, is a logical choice.

Our culture believes that our country was built almost solely on free enterprise. (It wasn’t, government has been a large part of our success from land grants for railroads to the Internet.) We all see the jobs and growth that come from the private side from a single independent coffee shop to Exxon (Walmart may be mostly part-time minimum wage jobs, but Exxon provides a large number of very well paid jobs.) A booming private sector is the best way, and the only long term sustainable way, to grow the economy. This approach has some major structural issues, those issues also are not fully proven. So taking the view that taxes (and services) should be reduced to leave the private sphere with additional income is again, a reasonable and logical choice.

Our K-12 educational system is a mess, and the money poured in has increased at about double the rate of inflation for the past 30 years. With no measurable increase in outcomes. The educrats have a million rationalizations, some of which are valid. But for many people, when the choice is continue with an approach that clearly does not work and try something else. They will vote to try something else. And again, while the proposals put forward by the right are, in my opinion, unlikely to work better, that doesn’t mean I’m right. I think in this case many voters aren’t in favor of the specifics proposed by the right, but they’re willing to take a chance because they know stay the course will not work. As we don’t know what will happen with these changes, again, it’s a reasonable point of view.

And then we have the giant hit faith in the government has taken. We’ve had 14 years of rank mis-management from the White House. From “heck of a job” Brownie to General “you want to see a doctor now?” Shinseki. An intruder makes it halfway through the white house and we’re supposed to believe the Obama Administration can do anything well? Yes there is great distrust by most voters in the ability of the government to do anything competently. That’s a reasonable conclusion based on what we have seen. Many of us look at the parts that run well (or at least they’ve got their problems well hidden) and are hopeful that the government can effectively address issues. We’re the glass is 1/3 full optimists. But the glass is 2/3 full pessimists have an equally valid viewpoint. And so when they vote for the person who says let’s get government less involved because all it does is fuck things up, that’s a very legitimate point of view.

Then there’s the economy. All the news stories, and the Democratic speeches talk up how we’ve fully recovered. Except we haven’t. The total numbers look good. But the economy has become much more unequal and so for the 98% out there who didn’t gain in the great rebalancing of the economy, things are worse. When people hear that “baby we’re back” and they see that it’s worse for them, for their kids, for their friends, then they see a system that has abandoned them. The Democrats in Washington have spent the last 4 years with a policy of minimize the changes (damage) from Republican proposals. A system that isn’t working for people, and politicians running on a platform of minimal change – again voting for a different approach is a reasonable and logical decision.

This administrative ineptitude and lack of a compelling alternative for the economy is also why, in my opinion, the voters wanted to vote against Obama. Every way they could with every vote they cast. Because not only do we have these problems, he’s not trying to fix them (an occasional speech isn’t trying) and if he did get substantial legislation passed, they don’t believe he could implement it competently or quickly. This is not logical. Mark Udall is not Barak Obama. But it is understandable. It is human nature.

The bottom line is that people who voted for Republicans have a reasonable difference of opinion on what the best approach to our problems is. The Republicans elected will propose solutions we disagree with. That doesn’t mean they’re evil and doesn’t even mean they’re wrong (statistically some of their proposals will work). It means we have a difference of opinion on these issues. And that means they’re an opponent of our ideas, but not an enemy.

7 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. PERA hopeful says:

    Jesus Christ, I'll be glad when 2016 rolls around and David T can give this "Obama's incompetent" rant a rest.  People who wanted to vote against Obama voted against Obama in 2008 and 2012.  People who voted against Udall voted against Udall.  Maybe some of them voted against Udall because he seemed to be running against Obama and they like Obama.  Maybe some of them voted against Udall because they had never heard his name before October of this year and they didn't like the things that nice Gardner fellow said Udall did.  I'm pretty sure people voted against Udall for a lot of reasons but I bet the fact that a year ago it took a while to get the health exchange website working well was not that high on the list.

    • Diogenesdemar says:

      We both agree wholeheartedly on this, PH!  But, it's a great day for DT when he gets to pontificate — we should let him enjoy prancing about in his mitre a little.

  2. Zappatero says:

    maybe, but R's consider us enemies, use eliminationist rhetoric daily in all forums: floor speeches, radio rants across numerous CO stations, articles, tweets, interviews, etc……..check the racist language used against Obama for Years now, check the apocalyptic and hyperbolic rantings of almost any R congress "person" for the last 6 years. 

    None of it has come true, nor will it ever, yet people like my brother are in a constant state of agitation that the "n****r in the White House" will take his gun.

    Both sides do not do it, even if Michael Bennet agrees with you taht they do, Dave.

    • Half Glass Full says:

      Agree with Zappatero: the invective used by the Republicans against Democrats on a daily, hourly and even minute by minute basis is horrible. The attacks on Obama have been despicable.

      But is the answer to do the same in return? No. Mature Democrats must turn the other cheek, to some extent. 

  3. NotHopeful says:

    I disagree. Republicans are the enemy. Their ideas are not just gentlemanly areas of proper disagreement. Their ideas are a threat to life itself. Doubt that? Look at their beliefs on health care for the many of us who can't afford to pay for it. They think those who aren't rich should just die and expect no compassion and no care. How about food stamps? Again, if you can't afford to eat, to hell with you. That's the GOP way. And, of course, there's the Republican view of foreign affairs: Why fool around with pussy diplomacy when you can just have a war! Wars are fun! Wars are good for our friends in the big companies! Climate . . . the biggest issue. Our civilization is headed for disaster and it is coming fast. The rapidity with with human GHG emissions are changing the atmosphere is going to cause so much chaos in the climate system that we will have widespread famine, epidemics, wars over scarce resources and refugees, an accelerating mass extinction, desertification,  and rising sea levels. Yet Republicans deny it all.

    They are immoral. They lack compassion. They are arrogant. They are selfish. They have absolutely zero redeeming qualities and they sure do not love this country. What they love is money. That is all. Well, except for theocracy in which to make it, sanctioned by "ministers" who think Jesus of Nazareth was all about putting God's blessing on any way to make money one can come up with.

    As for the Democrats, all I can say is that they won't stand up for what they believe. I admire Mark Udall, and I think he is both a good and decent man and a an honest and thoughtful public servant, But he should have loudly proclaimed the good President Obama has done, and there's a lot of it, and not backed away from the progressive history that got him elected in the first place.

    Now we have an immature, dishonest shill for the most reactionary elements in American society representing us in the Senate, cheered on by "journalists" at the Denver Post who willfully disregarded obvious evidence of his corruption and lying. We have a new secretary of state who thinks voting is bad, a new attorney general who cannot see any reason to protect our water or air and who basically drools at the prospect of killing a man, and a state treasurer who essentially never comes to work, does nothing, and is paid by the taxpayers for it.

    Don't even get me started on the people from other states.

    This country gets worse and worse because the American people are, to be blunt, awesomely, incomprehensibly stupid. No educated person could possibly believe that any Republican would serve the public and care about the public's needs and goals. A cursory glance at recent history is all one needs to explain that reality: they kow-tow to billionaires and corporations, love bribery, think the law should be what right-wing ignoramus religious bigots say it is, and would likely be perfectly happy if we just cut to the chase as far as wages and fair workplace rules go and bring back slavery.

    Republicans are evil. All of them. Denying that is naive and our elections are not sporting contests.

    • Andrew Carnegie says:

      NH,  The parties have different political philosophies.  Both are American.  

      My parents were Republican, I am a Republican.  My wife's parents were Dems, She is a Dem, as is my daughter.  David is a true blue Dem.  His mother is a Republican legislator.

      When your experience with the "other side" is granular you figure our neither party has more compassion, kindness or civility than the other.

      • mamajama55 says:

        I agree that individual Republicans are not "the enemy". I have many Republican relatives on my ex-in laws side. I believe that they pray for my heathen soul. (Not that it has had  their desired outcome). They are good people.

        But when we look at policy, and how policies affect people's lives, Republican policies tend to benefit the very rich, while keeping the vast majority of people poor. These policies also tend to be wasteful of resources, and short-sighted in the extreme.

        As the Christian ethic says, "Hate the sin, and not the sinner", we as rational people have to keep our eyes on the policies and not the people who promote them.

        I do reserve a special loathing in my heathen soul for the cynics – those who know that they promote falsehoods and empty promises, poverty and illiteracy, yet oontinue to do so in order to futher the economic interests of their paymasters. Karl Rove, the Kochs, Dick Wadhams, Bob Beauprez, Ted Cruz, Cory Gardner, the Coors family, fit into that category. I haven't decided if you do or not, but your actions here would seem to indicate that you do.




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