Cover of Rollerball
It is so easy to see the total disregard of the Republicans in Congress for President Obama. I have participated in meetings where the majority of people (teachers in my case) were adamantly opposed to the policies of the administrators of the school. Since our wishes were known to these administrators, since the teacher’s believed our approach was superior to that of the administrators, and since our wishes were obviously not to be taken into account we sat sullenly in these meeting and rolled our eyes and perhaps even made murmurs of disbelief and astonishment that were just below the threshold of audibility. This is exactly the way the Republicans were acting while Obama presented his jobs plan. They were not openly rude, but instead acted like a bunch of junior high school students eyeing a target for school yard bullying (or like a bunch of teachers who did not agree with their administrators).
The Republicans are so sure they are right about the economy that it is no surprise that people are being persuaded by their absolute insistence that they know how to revitalize America. They alone know how to bring prosperity back to America. The problem is that sometimes, even though people are certain that their way is the right way to go, they still could be wrong. It has happened. I don’t want to quote examples because someone’s feeling may be hurt, but I am sure you can think of a few examples yourself. The problem is that their behavior is turning them into a party of smug bullies.
I don’t believe that the Republicans have all the answers in our current economic situation. I don’t believe that government hands-off, or totally laissez-faire capitalism will give us the economy we need at this time. Laissez-faire capitalism was never pretty and with the huge difference in population levels in the 21st century it would be even less pretty. We have never had to deal with a global economy. This is our new challenge. I wish there was such a simple solution as that offered by the Republicans, we all do, even if it might put us smack in the middle of ROLLERBALL. I just don’t believe their solution is appropriate for the complex economy we have now. And the Republicans come with a lot of excess baggage that I don’t want at all. This is not to say that all of the GOP suggestions should be ignored. It might be very productive to get rid of some of our regulations which are hurting business. It might be fine to make American more financially attractive to corporations if we can do so without giving them total carte blanche. Perhaps we could find a great compromise.
We do need a strong leader in these uncertain and changing times, but we can’t ignore where a potential leader stands on the issues. A recipe for disaster would be a really effective leader who passes laws that no one wants. No matter how strong a leader a Republican candidate seems to be, I don’t believe we can afford to let them lead America given the way they are behaving at this time. A further difficulty is that once a group indulges in this level of smugness and disrespect it is difficult for them to change their behavior. They have to be seduced and courted rather than bludgeoned, but in a smart, masterful way – difficult to pull off when everyone is feeling nothing but thinly veiled hostility.
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