Letter 2 America for December 7, 2021

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Dear America,

To be candid, I don't care almost at all about the illusion of professional comity of which our national legislators seem so proud.  When they address the remarks made by members of the bodies of which they are apart, they will often direct what they are saying to "my friend from...." or to "my esteemed colleague from...", but given the tone of the remarks that follow, esteem and friendship have nothing to do with their relationships.  They think everyone is fooled by the fact that they don't raise their voices on such occasions,  but that evenness of tone is little more than a diaphanous cover for what is in the final analysis something more like enmity than comity.  That being said, I care only that they manage to overlook their personal animosities and get something done.  If they can ameliorate their philosophical and ethical schisms and invite one another to each other's birthday parties, good for them, just so long as they don't invite me.  But that is the problem today.  They can't seem to put differences aside...personal, political and maybe even moral...for long enough that they can elide partisan considerations from their contemplation of any bill so as to do what's right for us, America.  The bipartisan infrastructure bill--that is the one that was truly about infrastructure--passed in The House by a slender margin that was bipartisan in name only.  And the social spending bill passed in The House with even less Republican support, that is none at all, and it has no support from Republicans in The Senate either. Yet, the public mood regarding both of those bills is significantly positive.  In other words, the will of the people has nothing to do with these bills, nor does it seem to have any kind of effect on any other bill of significance.  The public sentiment relative to the Affordable Care Act...Obamacare if you prefer...has been positive since shortly after it took effect and people began getting insured under it.  Yet, the Republicans have tried relentlessly to abrogate it in a variety of ways, both legislative and judicial.  To put it bluntly, the Republican legislative mentation seems always to be obstructive, and univocally so, apparently because they fear success by the other party will diminish their success at the polls thereafter.

I understand that conservatives tend more toward Republican policy than toward that of the Democrats.  And I also understand that liberals gravitate toward Democratic thinking.  But for partisans of either stripe, how can one justify voting for a mindless follower who cares not at all for public sentiment?  Such intellectual quiescence in a politician is disingenuous almost by definition, if not outright dishonest, and obviously born of self-interest in the knowledge that people will vote their party lines, so a vote of conscience is risky business.  What's more important than principle is keeping your membership in the club active.  Those who vote along party lines at the polls account for something just over 50% of the electorate; at last count about  31% Democrats and 25% Republicans with the balance considering themselves independents.  Thus, it isn't party affiliated voters who decide who goes to Washington.  It's people who are unaffiliated with any party, or at least with either of the two main parties.  They are the hope of the nation that America was intended to be, and they are our best shot at something more immediate: Trumplessness.

Trump is already trying to set up a perch from which to run for office by undermining every politician, even Republicans, who was not subservient to him in his quest to retain power and who thus refused to be complicit in his abominable, continuing efforts to subvert the will of the people...us, America...as expressed in 2020.  In their 41% of the electorate, Donald Trump lost the election by a single digit margin, but with the Democratic plurality enough to put 8 million more votes in Biden's column than in Trump's.  They, the independents...the voters who think about the issues for themselves and then vote...are the ones who will save the nation from another Trump debacle.

So, when you talk to people between now and next November, but between now and November 2024, don't waste too much time preaching to your own choir.  Those votes are all but cast already.  But when you meet an independent, take him or her to lunch.  Offer to help them paint their houses.  Do anything that isn't illegal to cultivate their favor.  All of our welfares depend on it.

Your friend,


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This page contains a single entry by Michael Wolf published on December 7, 2021 3:54 PM.

Letter 2 America for November 28, 2021 was the previous entry in this blog.

Letter 2 America for December 28, 2021 is the next entry in this blog.

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