Michele Bachmann Cannot Win, But…

Michele Bachmann

Michele Bachmann cannot win the presidency of the United States.  She will get in her own way before that happens and these straw polls are at best useful to G.O.P. strategists and fundraisers.  But winning today’s Republican straw poll in Iowa today says a lot about more important things than Michele Bachmann.  It says something very sad and frightening about the state of our democracy.

The issue isn’t so much Republican leadership and candidates as much as it is the fact that this particular set of G.O.P. political candidates — people like Bachmann — appear on ballots at all.  You might even expect a cameo from David Duke at any time.

Up and down the line of G.O.P. contenders is a whole lot of self-serving stupidity and reckless political gaming.  How does this happen?

The problem starts with you and me…the American voter.  Seeing what we see happening on the political right says all we need to know about the state of political sophistication in the United States.  It is pathetic.  Voters need to be better informed.  They need to know more about the issues and take the time to be informed.

You only need a little common sense and some basic knowledge of facts to see that things are not right.  Lack of this sort of personal due diligence is especially absent on the conservative side of the political spectrum.  Lies and opinions matter more than facts and reason.

There does seem to be a subtle shift away from thoughtless political obedience, but it doesn’t impress me.  Today Charles M. Blow wrote in the New York Times that the Tea Party is enjoying less support in recent months.   That might be true, but saying that 40% of people polled have an unfavorable view of the Tea Party is about 60 points short for my liking.

It is time we stop pretending that Tea Party members are smart patriotic Americans.  They are not.  And the fact that the Tea Party has hijacked what is supposed to be the G.O.P. mainstream is frightening, it is frightening not so much because we saw the Tea Party’s Bachmann win a straw poll, but frightening because so many of us seem to think their ideas — for what they are — will solve America’s problems.

In a democracy responsibility falls on the shoulders of the public, and so in our situation the public holds the blame for the decline of quality and ability in political leadership.

3 thoughts on “Michele Bachmann Cannot Win, But…

  1. V. Lyn

    As usual your comment is on point. The facts that only 40% of the voting population view the tea party for what they are a dangerous idealogical group, also frightens me and says more about the American populance than it does about a few extremist in the subgroup of the GOP. That so many would walk lock step with a vocal segment of an organization who are willing to throw caution to the wind to make a point, who were and are willing to take the American population and our national and financial security to the precipice of darkness and who’s racist and bigoted motivations are ill disguised is teriffying to acknowledge. It is frightening to realize that many Americans who support them or who do not view them as a threat are not paying attention to the rhetoric being bandied about and therefore are ill informed at what I believe is their underlying motivation. Most people had believed the Tea Party was merely a small segment of the population and would eventually be fully absorbed into the larger GOP making a small and perhaps insignificant change to the party. It has to be agreed on I believe that the impact the Tea Party has made on the GOP is anything but small and the changes are anythingbut for the better. I also believe that now many have to admit that with the nomination of a black man to office of POTUS, it has reopenned the door on a racist, classist and elitist belief system that so many had hoped had been closing. Instead the Tea Party has taken a heel to the door and it has been swung far ajar.

  2. Shane

    Thank you for your comment. I appreciate your sincerity. And I also think you’re on the mark. The media and the pundits will deny the race issue, but all you need to do is scan conservative and tea party rally signs and…well?…we have a bunch of Americans who are taking this country backward in a measure of decades compared with the progress we once had.

    That’s the easy part. It is in plain view. Undermining the shared investment in a better society for all is lost too. It is hidden in this myth of individualism and morality that conservatives have no right to claim.

    Keep fighting on.


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