Where Reality Sells

A lot of people, Democratic and Republican, have been saying that yesterday’s election was “the most important in our lifetime.” It wasn’t — and wouldn’t have been had the presidential race gone the other way.

But as it is, the outcome was hardly shocking. An incumbent got re-elected. Wow.

The Senate solidified its Democratic position; the House remained solidly Republican. America after Election Day looks almost exactly the same as America before.

So, why so little change?

Blame it on “hope.”

Face it: in electoral politics, fantasy sells. Mainstream politicians love to promote The Dream. Not the American Dream, which is about hard work and honest dealing, but the Changeling Dream, about getting something for nothing. Or getting ahead at others’ expense. At present, this Dream rests upon spending more than government takes in forever and ever, believing that somehow there are no disastrous consequences to the resulting accumulation of debt.

Democratic politicians may be better able to describe their lavish dreams for all that government can do, but Republican office-holders sure seem to hang out on that same street in Dreamland.

Now they’ve just about all been re-elected to go back and hang out for another term.

What can we do? Hope they change their spots?

No. That’s too passive. “Cast your whole vote,” Henry David Thoreau wrote, “not a strip of paper merely, but your whole influence.”

How? In 2013 and 2014, citizens can petition to put important issues on state and local ballots. We change the terms of political debate; we gain the upper hand — and put common sense back into government.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

5 Comments so far ↓

  1. Nov
    7
    10:53
    AM
    Neal Patterson

    Very well put. Yesterday, we received another dose of the Changeling Dream. The only remedy is that we “cast… our whole influence” by continuing to work through the Republican Party and other organizations to bring the focus back to the true American Dream.

  2. Nov
    7
    1:00
    PM
    Paulina West

    What can we do? Hope they change their spots?

    No. That’s too passive. “Cast your whole vote,” Henry David Thoreau wrote, “not a strip of paper merely, but your whole influence.”

    How? In 2013 and 2014, citizens can petition to put important issues on state and local ballots. We change the terms of political debate; we gain the upper hand — and put common sense back into government.

    Yes, now the work begins. On the bright side, our state rejected taxes and tolls, and light rails, and overspending; requires a 2/3 maj for tax increases.

    Still, a person is bound to curl up in bed for at least a day. ):

  3. Nov
    7
    2:11
    PM
    Pat

    We change the terms of political debate; we gain the upper hand — and put common sense back into government.

    Provided we have the power. Not every state has I&R to allow us to write and pass legislation.
    Then there’s the TEA party. Every one of the pundits is writing us off, laughing at how ‘extremists’ took over the GOP primary process and defeated ‘moderate’ candidates like Dick Lugar, who might have won another term.
    It might not be ‘the most important in our lifetime’ but this election was definitely pivotal. It might have altered our trajectory, if only slightly. Instead, we remain on a course of monstrous annual debt increases and our national nightmare continues.

  4. Nov
    7
    5:25
    PM
    drrik

    Our two houses of Congress were set up not to rubberstamp each other’s efforts, but to serve as a check. Just because the Senate generates a budget(in an ideal world where the Senate actually does it’s Constitutionally required duty)does not automaticlaly mean that the public at large agrees to it. The House is supposed to represent us and serve as a check by controlling what things actaully get funded by choosing, based on their representation of us, whether to apporpriate the money to actually pay for what the Senate comes up with. Which is a LONNNNNNG way from the “Continuing Resolution” that they are currently doing to continue business as usual.

    IT IS TIME FOR OUR HOUSE TO GET OFF ITS BUTT AND STOP PAYING FOR ALL THIS!

  5. Nov
    7
    7:26
    PM
    Richard Newby

    In CommonSense (November 7, 2012) Paul Jacob notes: fantasy sells. If Obama is selling fantasy, so is Romney. In fact, Romney and his church have been selling fantasy for 182 years. Let me illustrate from USA’s religious dispute.

    Thomas H. Huxley noted: “There is a complete consensus of testimony that the founder of Mormonism, one Joseph Smith, was a low-minded, ignorant scamp, and that he stole the Scriptures which he propounded, not being clever enough to forge even such contemptible stuff as they contain” (Collected Essays V 1889).

    Mark Twain dismissed the Book of Mormon in three words: chloroform in print. Twain referred to the engraved plates of copper that Joseph Smith allegedly found under a stone and claimed Smith plagiarized passages from the New Testament, an unassailable conclusion, say NT scholars (Roughing It, 1872).

    Fr. Alexander Lucie-Smith noted: “Mormonism is based on an audacious forgery, the Book of Mormon.” He added: “ . . . the claim that Jesus came to America after his resurrection has no historical or archaeological basis; neither does any of the pseudo-history of the Book of Mormon; and no archaeological evidence for it has been found, despite decades of looking for it” (Catholic Herald.co.uk, 11 April 2012).

Spruce up your comments with
<a href="" title=""><abbr title=""><acronym title=""><b><blockquote cite=""><cite><code><del datetime=""><em><i><q cite=""><strike><strong>
New comments are moderated before being shown * = required field Be sure to answer the simple math problem below to help demonstrate that you are a human rather than a spambot.

Leave a Comment






+ 6 = eleven