In a few hours elections will be held that will likely degrade our quality of life and send the country hurtling on a downward spiral. If polling projections are correct, America will bring the very people who trashed the economy back into power to finish their unfinished business of destroying our way of life. I fear that this election will mark the end of America as a superpower, and a magical land where people dream of coming to find fortune, fame, and freedom.
In 2008, Barack Obama was elected on a platform of hope and change, but his grandiose words were quickly devoured by the thankless task of cleaning up the mess left by George W. Bush. The president’s efforts to put Humpty Dumpty back together were hobbled by his naïve idea that Republicans wanted to fix America’s problems. Each time he scooped dirt to dig us out of ditch, the GOP would take a steam shovel and pour mud into the abyss.
The strategy from Day 1 was to sabotage Obama at the expense of the country. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell summed up his post-midterm election strategy by saying, “The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.”
And what about our country?
The Democrats, as is often the case, were timid and failed to fight back against this onslaught of intransigence. They consistently forgot to define their priorities and frame the issues, thus making it easier for the Republicans to falsely define them as radical socialists who were on a wild spending spree. In a serious miscalculation, Obama, tried to appease his sworn enemies at the expense of his base. The result on Election Day is fired-up Republicans and demoralized Democrats.
But, the larger and more serious question is this: How could American voters be so stupid as to return the culprits of our economic meltdown to power while we are still battling to get out of a recession?
The Republicans have worked to turn America into a Third World nation with huge disparities between rich and poor. They have gutted common-sense regulations, turning Wall Street into a casino and food safety into a crapshoot.
Only a country comprised of voters who are poorly educated, easily distracted, emotionally immature, temperamentally volcanic, economically illiterate, and spiritually superstitious, would go down this road to oblivion.
This election is the product of a failed educational system, combined with a entertainment obsessed mass media that rarely asks tough questions, nor follows up with due diligence. Their cowardice and incompetence allowed George W. Bush to lead us into a war with Iraq over nonexistent weapons of mass destruction. And, now we may be led into a government of mass destruction that will turn this one-time nation of dreams into a shell of its former greatness.
Our infrastructure is crumbling as fast as our education system. America is losing its competitive advantage, falling behind on alternative energy, lagging in science and math, and our toxic politics has lead to paralyzing gridlock.
Instead of this election focusing on answers to save the State, it has zeroed in on the emotional state of angry and embittered suckers known as Tea Baggers. These are the gullible fools and religious fanatics who have been tricked into doing the bidding for radical and enormously rich anti-regulatory and anti-tax zealots such as News Corp’s Rupert Murdoch and oilmen David and Charles Koch. The joke is really on the members of the Tea Party, because they think they are working for “The People”, when they are unwittingly shilling for the Royalists. As a result of their wide-eyed buffoonery, we will all suffer the consequences.
The most disheartening part of these elections is the broken system, which is pumping unlimited money into campaigns. Thanks to the Supreme Court’s grotesque Citizens United ruling, candidates are quickly becoming nothing more than spokesmodels for wealthy special interest groups. (This year’s Colorado Senate race alone cost $33 million).
What does this have to do with gay rights?
An uneducated, vulgar, decaying country with a fixed market posing as a free market, with a busted political system and a contracted Middle Class that votes based on mood swings instead of wise policies, will not be a nation that is friendly to LGBT equality. Even if pro-gay laws are eventually passed, the daily lives of LGBT people will suffer as anger erupts from families looking for scapegoats to help explain how they slipped through the cracks. Such rage will produce more hateful and harsh demagogues such as Sharron Angle and Sarah Palin. History has taught us where this leads.
Superpowers are almost always brought down by corruption, cronyism and conflict of interest. However, such problems are complex and difficult to understand. It is always much easier for ambitious politicians to blame minorities, such as the Jews, immigrants or gays.
If the election turns out as projected, there is good reason to worry. I’m not so optimistic America will recover this time. At least the Tea Baggers won’t have bailouts to get angry about. America, thanks to the politicians they helped elect, will be too poor to afford them.
Wayne Besen is a columnist and author of the book “Anything But Straight: Unmasking the Scandals and Lies Behind the Ex-Gay Myth.”