Saturday, November 06, 2010

Here's A Quarter. Buy A Clue.

Bob Herbert's latest offering quite simply nails it. Titled "Tone-Deaf in DC," the column correctly assesses the aftermath of the election. It's clear that neither party understands just what it is the American public wants and desperately needs. What's worse, neither party cares.

What voters want is leadership that will help them through an economic nightmare and fix a country that has been pitched into a state of sharp decline. They long for leaders with a clear and compelling vision of a better America and a road map for getting there. That leadership has long been AWOL. The hope in the tumultuous elections of 2008 was that it would come from Mr. Obama and the Democrats, but that hope, after just two years, is on life support. ...

The Democrats are in disarray because it’s a party that lacks a spine. The Republicans, conversely, fight like wild people whether they’re in the majority or not. What neither party is doing is offering a bold, coherent plan to get the nation’s economy in good shape and create jobs, to bring our young men and women home from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, to rebuild the education system in a way that will prepare the next generation for the great challenges of the 21st century, and to reinvigorate the can-do spirit of America in a way that makes people believe that they are working together toward grand and constructive goals.
[Emphasis added]

Why, yes. I believe that pretty much summarizes things. Unfortunately, neither party has shown any particular interest in providing such a plan or even the vision which would make planning more coherent. By all appearances, all that both parties are concerned with is power: the power to keep their corporate donors happy and their bases in line. That's not exactly encouraging for the rest of us on either side of the ever-widening political divide.

Unlike the national parties, Bob Herbert does have a clue, and some hope, and a pretty good sense of what our Plan B should be:

What this election tells me is that real leadership will have to come from elsewhere, from outside of Washington, perhaps from elected officials in statehouses or municipal buildings that are closer to the people, from foundations and grass-roots organizations, from the labor movement and houses of worship and community centers.

The civil rights pioneers did not wait for presidential or Congressional leadership, nor did the leaders of the women’s movement. They plunged ahead with their crucial work against the longest odds and in the face of seemingly implacable hostility. Leaders of the labor movement braved guns, bombs, imprisonment and heaven knows what else to bring fair wages and dignity to working people.

From you lips, Bob. From your lips...

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

<< Home