We still have the senate and the presidency, so let’s focus on the future.
Back in the 1960s British Cosmologist Fred Hoyle, who coined the term ‘Big Bang’, wrote a series of papers theorizing that life on Earth (and perhaps elsewhere) began out in the seeming void of deep space. His peers thought he was delusional.
Until along came Lew Snyder, then of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory. He asserted that Hoyle had the right idea and that prebiotic molecules (molecules believed to be involved in the processes leading to the origin of life) could not only evolve in deep space, but could also be distributed throughout the universe enduring the unimaginable torment of interstellar travel.
Furthermore, he could prove it.
Seems that many compounds have a unique and identifiable radio-wave signature – something that can be detected with the use of radio telescopes.
With this method, they theorized, you could point radio telescopes at the cosmos and by measuring the radio-wave signatures you could determine the molecular compounds that exist in the targeted region. This would tell us if complex, organic and prebiotic compounds are created and endure in deep space.
Sure enough, in 1969 they discovered interstellar formaldehyde – a complex, prebioitc compound. Since then, astronomers have discovered more than 150 molecules in deep space. Most interesting of these found is acetonitrile, a molecule structurally similar to glycine – one of the building blocks of biological proteins.
All this is profoundly important as it sets the stage for validating a once-absurd theory – that life on Earth (and perhaps throughout the universe) may have been seeded from deep-space chemical reactions.
This cold-sounding theory of our origins clearly runs counter to cherished beliefs that we are God’s children or that we have a special place in this universe. Such a possibility could prove profoundly unsettling to many to say the least.
But there is no worry here. Not because the possibility doesn’t exist. It does. The reason not to worry is that people en masse tend to see only what is in front of them and only that which is most emotionally comfortable.
For most people, such things are far too arcane and intangible to seriously consider. What they see before them and what they’ve been taught growing up is all that they know and all that they care to know.
And that is the way it is with most things – with evolution, with global warming — and so it is with ideology and politics.
Whatever is before us is all that there is. The economy is a disaster. There’s a war in Iraq. The jobless situation is devastating. The housing market is in shambles. Obama is the president. And the Democrats are in charge.
That leads to an obvious conclusion for most – that Obama and the Democrats have brought this upon us – that they are the ones who must pay the price for our pain.Never mind that Republican deregulation has provided the unambiguous infrastructure for most of the financial devastation; the joblessness, the real estate collapse, offshore tax loopholes, job exports, the general lack of corporate accountability. Never mind that. They weren’t in power at the moment of this election. Democrats were. That is what is before us. So let’s blame them.
Intellectually, people might have the information. Many do not, nor do they care to. But making the connection, the true cause-effect connection, in a way that supersedes emotional reaction and translates into sensible self-sustaining action? That rarely happens.
Many millions of Americans still don’t believe that Obama is American despite all the evidence – evidence that likely meets or exceeds the amount of evidence each disbeliever could present to prove their own status as a natural-born American.
And no amount of evidence will ever convince them otherwise. Part of that is because they only see what is already part of their worldview. Part of it is that the narrative that sits in front of them – that he has a Kenyan father and was raised in Indonesia – supersedes the more mundane evidence (Hawaii birth certificate, contemporary newspaper articles documenting his Hawaiian birth) available to them.
Emotions and those things that appeal to emotion (rumor, urban legend, mockery, innuendo, mythology) nearly always overrule analysis and intellectual assessment – regardless of the outcome.
This is what we’re faced with in getting Democrats empowered, and Independents back on our side in 2012.
Lets’ be honest. If the Unemployment rate (a powerful emotional stimulant) was at 5.5% and not 9.5%, little electoral damage would have unfolded for the Democrats and Obama would be lauded as one of the most accomplished presidents in his first two years.
Let’s be doubly honest. As much as the media and the Republicans have been successful in tying Obama to this catastrophic recession, the fact is that not only did he have NOTHING to do with its creation, but rather he was responsible for saving our asses from a total depression. Instead, it was the Republicans’ policies of deregulation and unaccountability that brought these cataclysms upon us – and yet they were the ones rewarded with the House of Representatives Tuesday night.
True, the argument that ‘it could’ve been worse’ has never been an effective argument – reality notwithstanding. It really doesn’t appeal to our emotional side.
And the electorate is far too superficial and emotion-driven to properly attribute blame or credit. They can only look in front of their faces and semi-consciously associate whatever they see before them.
Thus, we have Obama — accomplished, prolific, charismatic and able to do things that Democrats have been promising and failing to deliver for decades before him – incorrectly, inexorably and inevitably tied to the economic malaise that envelops us.
And this is where we come in and begin the process of GOTV 2012 – by ensuring that both credit and blame are properly attributed across the political spectrum.
First, we need to come to terms with some things:
- We, the Democrats, are still in power.
- Neither Obama nor progressive policies are responsible for the collapse of the American economy.
- Obama and the Democrats SAVED the US from total economic destruction.
- Progressive policies are consistently and clearly more popular amongst the American populace than their counterpart policies of conservatives.
- President Obama’s record shows a high-achieving, promise-fulfilling, intellectually curious, visionary leader. (Yes, I like him.)
- The reality is that neither President Obama nor the Democratic Congress make decisions in a vacuum. The opposition is ever-present and willing to do whatever it needs to in order to undermine the progressive agenda. That is why compromise – often ugly compromise – is usually necessary.
- Given that forced compromise, it is amazing that, in only 24 short months, the Obama Administration has succeeded in implementing “the most ambitious energy legislation in history” as well as the “most significant federal education initiative ever” They modernized health records. And they “Averted a Depression”, “Sparked a Recovery”, “Saved the U.S. Auto Industry”, “Reformed Health Care in America”, “Cut Corporate Welfare”, “Restored America’s Reputation”, “Protected Consumers”, and “Launched a Clean-Energy Moonshot”. They also funded stem-cell research, ended the war in Iraq, enacted historic healthcare reform, turned the U.S. toward a path of energy independence, regulated financial markets, led the world in nuclear non-proliferation, opened Cuba to family, and eliminated bank middle-men from federal student loans.
And that was just in 24 months!!
Our job is to reignite Obama’s flame – to ensure that the public is aware of his and the Democrats true and positive impact on America. Additionally we must remind America that we have endured this suffering over these last years because of the TIRED, OLD REPUBLICAN policies and ideologies.
We need to remind the people that the hate-frenzy that the Republicans are so awesome at stirring will not help us. Instead, it will only cloud our thoughts long enough to give another chance to the people who lied us into Iraq and deregulated us into jobless oblivion.
If we cannot or are unwilling to take such steps, then the Republicans will win large in 2012 as well. The Mayans will be proven correct, and you will be able to safely kiss any of your pet progressive projects ‘good-bye’ for at least another generation.
We cannot let that happen.
Work for improvement, but also appreciate what we’ve gotten, and fear what could have been and what could easily be within two short years.
Become a progressive ideological soldier.
Start the campaign today.
Fight the opposition, not each other.
Support President Obama for reelection.
Stand up and be heard, even if (and especially if) you are outnumbered by
Be proud to be a Democrat and show it publicly.
Be proud to be a progressive and show it publicly.
Never apologize for your beliefs.
Stand tall and stand together and in 2012 we will Keep the presidency, Strengthen our position in the Senate, and reclaim majorities in the House of Representatives while increasing the number of Democratic governorships.
GOTV 2012! There’s no time like the present.