I usually have a good idea of how, in general, I will treat the subject of each of our JuicyLessons. I am a leftist. I don’t know why except to say that it is, or has developed into, part of my (human) nature. I remember when I became left-wing. It was in 1968 near the end of my third year at McGill and it coincided with the Turn on. Tune in. Drop out phase in my life which has never gone away…or is/was it the Tune In. Turn on. Drop out phase? Anyway, it was at that time in my life that I started smoking grass and hash which is a very un-rightist and an un-conservative thing to do. Did the chicken or the egg come first is another question. Was I inclined to smoke weed as a result of my underlying left-wing nature or did I end up leaning left because of my experience with drugs?
Regardless I am a left-wing person, critical to the extreme of situations which I see as unjust. Whether teaching school or in social situations I rarely stay quiet in circumstances which I feel call for action of one kind or another. On more than one occasion, taking a stand against perceived injustice has cost me.
Injustice, or so I believe, occurs in different compartments of life. It happens in politics, both foreign and domestic. Injustice also rears it’s ugly head in my interpersonal relationships.
Political injustice is happening right now with the shutdown of the American government. The whole scenario appears to me to be ridiculous in the extreme and childish in terms of the bickering going on among the three parties responsible for it – the White House, Democrats and Republicans. Naturally I take more exception to the Republicans’ behaviour than that of either of the other two parties responsible for the shutdown and the laying off of workers which has ensued as a result of it.
Real people who have been furloughed as well as Americans affected by government paralysis are being hurt. For example, a freak snowstorm has just hit South Dakota resulting in the loss of a large number of beef cattle. Farmers requiring government assistance to deal with the effects of this crisis are met with something like following when calling the Agriculture Department for help: “We are sorry that we cannot assist you due to the federal government shutdown. We will hopefully be operational in the near future.” A lot of good that does a farmer who has just lost half of his herd.
Even though furloughed workers have been guaranteed all the back pay they are entitled to by virtue of the present impasse, they are presently running out of money to make mortgage and other payments for rent, phone, cars, etc. Only in the United States you say. Certainly looks like it.
Seeing bickering politicians, especially the extreme right-wing of the Republicans, the Tea Party, makes me want to throw up. Republicans don’t seem to understand why they have lost so many Presidential elections since Clinton, a Democrat became President for the first time in 1992. In the last eight Presidential elections including the one in 1992, Republican Presidential candidates have won exactly two. In 2000 and again in 2004, Dubya was the victor. Aside from that relatively brief Republican interlude, the American people have put Democrats in the White House, and by fairly wide margins too. Looking at Presidential elections since Democrat FDR’s first win in 1932 shows the following results:
- Franklin Delano Roosevelt (D) – 1932-1936
- Franklin Delano Roosevelt (D) – 1936-1940
- Franklin Delano Roosevelt (D) – 1940-1944
- Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman (D) – 1944-1948
- Harry S.Truman (D) – 1948-1952
- Dwight D. Eisenhower (R) – 1952-1956
- Dwight D. Eisenhower (R) – 1952-1960
- John F. Kennedy (D), Lyndon B. Johnson (D) – 1960-1964
- Lyndon B. Johnson (D) – 1964-1968
- Richard M. Nixon (R) – 1968-1972
- Richard M. Nixon (R), Gerald Ford (R) – 1972-1976
- Jimmy Carter (D) – 1976-1980
- Ronald Reagan (R) – 1980-1984
- Ronald Reagan (R) – 1984-1988
- George Herbert Walker Bush (R) 1988-1992
- William Jefferson Clinton (D) – 1992-1996
- William Jefferson Clinton (D) – 1996-2000
- George W. Bush (R) – 2000-2004
- George W. Bush (R) – 2004-2008
- Barak Obama (D) – 2008-2012
- Barak Obama (D) – 2012–
Rep. = 36 years. (43%)
Dem.= 48 years (57%)
Total: 80 years
Since 1992 and right through to the 2016 election, a period of 24 years, the White House will have been controlled by Democrats for 16 years (66%) compared to the Republicans with a total of 8 years (33%).
The Republicans don’t get it. Remember Mitt Romney? The G.O.P. (Grand Old Party), it would seem, appeals only to wealthier white men and not to women, minorities, or the gay community. Unless they wake up, they are bound to lose the next Presidential election in 2016 as well as losing their majority in the House of Representatives in the off-term elections in November 2014, which are barely a year away. They might have been able to maintain the majority in the House which has allowed them to shut down the government but not any more. Given the antagonism that about 75% of Americans feel for the Republicans whom they blame for shutting down the government and taking the States closer each day to the fiscal cliff and government default, the chances that Republicans get whipped in 2014 and again in 2016 increase exponentially. The Republicans must wake up and die right.