Here are some of my random thoughts from midterm elections…I think what the midterm elections demonstrated is that this country continues to be divided as much as people try to bring unity, bipartisan, concensus, etc. On one hand, you have the democrats trying to take us out of this mess. On the other hand, you have the republicans, who put us in this mess, trying to force the democrats from getting us out of this economic crises by tomorrow. And, then you have the working class, who no matter who is in office, are the ones that always ends up being the losers when it comes to elections. It is very rare that you will find a politician talking about the working class. The Democracts will continue to talk about the middle class while the Republicans will continue to advocate for the small business owner but no one will dare mention the working class. It seems to be a taboo to talk about the working class when campaigning.
There were some elected officials that were defeated that will be hard to replace. Alan Grayson and Russ Feingold will be hard to replace. That leaves 2 less few progressives in power. I am glad that Jerry Brown will be the next governor of California instead of the Meg Whitman aka the Margaret Thatcher of California. I am saddened to find out that Prop. L in San Francisco has passed. Prop. L would now outlaw people (homeless people) from sitting and laying in sidewalks from 7am-11pm. This is clearly a blow to homeless people’s human rights and to poor people in the city of San Francisco. Prop. 19 in California failed to pass. Had it passed, California would have been the 1st state to legalized and tax recreational marijuana. Prop. 23 of CA did not pass, which is a huge blow to oil company’s like Valero.
The tea party demonstrated that they have a movement going on. Luckily, not that many Americans are buying that tea. In a way, the tea party movement of 2010 was a good thing for the Democrats. They were able to divide the Republican vote in many States, therefore making it easier for some Democrats to win their elections. On the other hand, having some tea party candidates win election makes it very scary. It shows that that this country could be headed in the wrong direction. This ultra right folks are just dangerous to have in Washington. What saddens me is that this is where the country is heading too. We all know that America is a conservative country but there is no way that we can let it get to the extreme. The Republicans and Tea Party candidates are hiding their racism by using terms such as economy, jobs, big government, etc. It is easier for a candidate to say that they are going to do everything to block Obama’s big government spending, that the unemployment rate is due to Obama’s failed policies, etc. But, in my opinion, some Republicans and Tea Party candidates can’t stomach the fact that an African-American President can do the job that they couldn’t do. I think the hidden racism that they try to hide has been easily exposed. The fact that Obama, a Democrat, can, if given the opportunity, be able to move this country forward, would be one of the biggest blows that a lot of Republican, Tea Party and even conservative Democrats would be dealt with. I think what this country is currently dealing with is not just xenophobia towards latinos/as and muslims but institutional racism at its fullest. Obama is dealing with a huge group in this country who are tying everything in their power to make him a one term President. What they couldn’t do in 2008, you will have people trying everything they can to do it in 2012.
I also think that we are in this place because Obama made some mistakes and he paid for those mistakes big time. To me the mistakes that he made was trying to be too much of a mediator and concensus builder with the Republicans, that he lost touch with the people that put him in office. If Obama would have paid more attention to the people’s needs as opposed to what the Republicans wanted, I think the Democrats would not have lost as big as they did. Obama has to understand that as much as he tries, he will never change the Republicans mentality. Their goal is to sabotage his government and will do anything they can to make it happen. What Obama has to do is go back to his community organizing days and run his administration like a community organizer. He has to reach out to his broad coalition and work with them to move his agenda forward. If the people in the ground feel that they can connect with Obama and that they have a comrade in office, then I envision a movement that will wake people up and make them become participants in this truly revolutionary process.
I also think that with the Tea Party movement moving forward, progressives must counter that by forming a coalition and start taking action. I continue to see the progressive movement as being very paralyzed. There are so many awesome things that people are doing but there seems to be minimal connection with various groups. Ralph Nader states that we should have an alternative to the tea party and call it the coffee party movement. I like the idea of a Coffee Party Movement, a true alternative to the Tea Party movement. Let us use our creativity and put it in a Coffee movement. Imagine if all the work that progressives are doing and they put it together in this amazing Coffee movement, we can demonstrate to the country the various differences between the Tea Party and the Coffee Party. We can have puppetistas, street theatre, our ideas on how to run our schools, alternatives to consumerism, our self sustainability in the expansion of urban gardens, etc. The Tea Party in my opinion is like a dog barking at a tree. They are good at making noise. They keep saying the same thing over and over. But, I don’t see them working in their communities to improve the lives of their neighbors. My vision would be for the American people to see that the Coffee Party is a movement that not only “drinks their coffee” but that it mobilizes their members to take concrete actions to make America a better place for everyone to live. In the coffee party, one would be able to find people who not only share their same passions but actually doing the ground work and putting their passions into actions. I think if people are given the choice to learn more about the tea party and the coffee party, the American people would choose the coffee party movement. Who knows, the revolution could be forming at a Starbucks near you 🙂
I was shocked to find out about the money spent in these elections. The 2010 midterm elections will go down in history as the most expensive non presidential elections in the history of the United States. An estimated 4 billion dollars were spent in this year’s elections. 4 BILLION!!! 4 BILLION on elections is just mind blowing. We could have use those 4 billion dollars and improved our education, health care and public housing system. Not only that but with 4 billion dollars one could have started some public works project and given many people job opportunities to improve our roads or create more public parks.
What this midterm election demonstrated is that we really need a Campaign Finance Reform. We really have to stop corporations from spending their money into people’s campaign. It is just insane to allow corporations to dictate how elections are run and held. Not only do we need campaign finance reform but we really have to end this two party nonsense. In a true democracy, we would give every party the same amount of press and invite them to participate in all the debates. So if we are going to praise our “democracy” then let’s start being more transparent and more inclusive.
And finally, if you were given 4 billion dollars to spend on the American people, how would you spend these 4 billion dollars?