Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Happy 2007

Here it is, the first post of 2007.
The Democrats have a sliver of a majority in Congress. For the first time in years, Ohio has a Democratic executive. Nevertheless, the war in Iraq escalates despite public polls indicating that a pullout is the popular opinion. The Republicans and Democrats stand accused in various blogs of trading support for the war in return for minimum wage increases, better medical coverage, and some form of progressive tax increases. Like the yin-yang, the two entrenched parties appear to engage in ongoing tug-of-war such that stability is maintained at the cost of any significant change in the political scene. Nothing new there, I guess.

I have the sense that progressive voters have been baited stretching all the way back to 2004 if not earlier. The chance for change was right in front of our noses and Kerry barely lost the popular vote. Americans voted the Republicans out of their longstanding Congressional majority in an unusually large turnout for an off-season election, and it seemed that we might realize political change. Now the promise of change is delayed until the next presidential election as the bets on the new favorite race horse percolate up through the morning newspapers. The previously hopeful voters are disenchanted, become radicalized or apathetic, in either case marginalizing themselves, helping to maintain an unpopular status quo.

Meanwhile, I remain jobless and in heavy, depressing study crisis mode for the February bar examination, closer to fear than in a religious service. I would sell out to the status quo I describe and release the practical side of my idealistic conceptions for a simple government office job. Is this the feeling of adulthood? Fear of loan bills and with office politics becoming more personally significant than national politics (presuming eventual employment)?

If this is what drives the working Joe, we should not be surprised that the political scene is a dance when financial fear, finding jobs, and paying rent are the practical central necessities. The fear brings awareness of how much worse things might be for the individual than this status quo. As a result, all it takes is a slight promise of a better political future if we just work harder, make more political contributions, send enough emails, and grab that carrot in November. So long as the entrenched interests remain at the reins, there is no reason for those who could bring change to do so.