Recent U.S. elections are reviewed. The issue of conservatism vs. liberalism is the political issue of our time and the major background issue for recent past elections and probably for the remaining U.S. elections of the next decade.
Presidential Election of 2004.The election of 2004 was among the most important elections in the history of the United States. It became a fight for control of the country. It was one of the most publicized showdowns since the showdown at the O.K. Corral.
The showdown became a disaster for the liberals (Democrats) as the conservatives (Republicans) won fairly easy.
The election of 2004 continued the conservative winning streak in the US.
In the election of 2008, the conservative - liberal fight continued, but, temporarily, was of less importance and it appeared that President Bush and his performance in office became a key issue. Of course, during the last days of the campaign, an economic meltdown occurred and became the key issue.
U.S. Politics in 2008, the issue of the economic crash moved up to challenge the normal conservative-liberal issue.
Despite the debate on the Bush performance issue, the background issue of conservatism vs. liberalism continued to be an important background issue. Conservatism vs. Liberalism has a detailed discussion on this important political issue.
The debate on the conservatism vs. liberalism issues has reached a fever pitch among Republicans and Democrats. There seems to be no middle ground anymore. If this continues, it could tear the country apart. Can the country save itself and return to the politics of moderation?
Even the Supreme Court has become split between the liberals and the conservatives. The elections of 2004, 2008 and 2012 did not resolve the question of whether we will continue to be a house divided against itself. Long after the elections are over, the nation appears to be as divided as before the elections.
We are now bombarded by conservative talk radio hosts from early in the morning until late at night.
Down here in New Orleans, the conservative talk radio shows start early and continue late. They pretend to debate issues but there is no real political debate. . A call-in listener expressing anything other than the conservative viewpoint is given a rough time by the talk radio hosts.
There is no indication of any great commercial value to the programs particularly the Rush Limbaugh Talk Show which is on for hours, The right-wing talk radio shows appear to be, in many cases, largely financed almost solely by right wing political organizations.
The surprising thing to me has been how effective these conservative talk radio shows were in turning the American people to the right.
Early in the 2004 presidential election campaign, Democrats should have realized that they needed to get someone on Rush Limbaugh. Instead, the Democrats pretended that Limbaugh didn't exist....or that he had limited influence.
What a mistake......20 or 30 million people listen to Limbaugh's every word! To the Rush Limbaugh ditto-heads, Rush Limbaugh is Mr. Conservative.
Talk Radio and Hurricane Katrina. When Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans,; TV was out of service for awhile so radio was the only media and radio did a great job with round-the-clock reporting on Hurricane Katrina. However, the Rush Limbaugh talk show was alive, also. His comments about the hurricane flood "flushing the liberals out of New Orleans", etc., did not set well with some local people and there was some resistance to his return at the time. However, he has many listeners in the area and he is back.
Both Rush Limbaugh and certain national TV networks had a field day in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina spreading outrageous rumors. They gleefully reported that looting was rampant, that folks were being murdered in the Superdome (the Superdome acted as a shelter), and that babies were being raped!
99.9% of the rumors were pure bullshit. The real bad actors after Katrina were President Bush and FEMA ("Brownie, you are doing a heck of a job!").
Politics at its worse!
Fox News Network. It should be noted that talk radio is not the only medium to be controlled by right wing politics. Increasingly, TV, e.g. Fox Network, is controlled by the conservatives and has moved toward presenting only the conservative viewpoint. Indeed, during the 2004 election campaign, it was common to see Fox Network newscasters openly insult Senator Kerry on TV. On one newscast I witnessed, the lady news announcer say that Senator Kerry looked like Frankenstein! Her sidekicks had a good horse-laugh over the remark!
No, this is not America's finest media generation!
Internet and its Effect on Politics of 2008. Only on the Internet is the liberal political viewpoint still dominant, and here, the liberals have been temporarily in control. According to Joe Trippi, Internet guru and Governor Howard Dean's campaign manager, the Internet will eventually win out. (I am not so sure, Mr. Trippi. I see signs that the right wingers are jumping onto the Internet, also! Better get ready to rumble!)
I use both the Internet and local newspapers as much as possible to fight back at the extreme right-wing elements that have taken over Louisiana and much of the country.
Liberal Talk Radio and its Effect on Politics of 2006. And now, the liberals, seeing how effective Rush Limbaugh and associates have been with radio, are desperately trying to get into the act and set up their own liberal radio stations. They see the damage that Limbaugh and certain other right wing hosts have done to the liberal and moderate causes. Like me, they don't laugh at Limbaugh any more.
During the past two years, the liberals appear to be having some luck getting progressive radio stations, e.g, Air America, up and running (such a station was actually running in New Orleans until it was abruptly cancelled the day after the conservative debacle in the 2006 midterm elections.....the corporation that owned the progressive station was controlled by right-wingers).
The net effect of the above radio talk show debates is that the conservatives and liberals draw ever further apart in their separately networked world. Is this sharp division good for the country?
Are we setting things up for a continuing war between conservatives and liberals? A fight to the finish between liberals (Democrats) and conservatives (Republicans) Yes, I think so!
Were the elections of 2004, 2006, and 2008 three early rounds of this fight? Yes, I think so!
This marked division of the country on political issues can't be good. I recall that, in my younger years, both political parties had liberal and conservative wings. However, things never got totally out of hand. There were too many counterbalancing forces. Those were the years that moderates of the two parties ruled and the country was peaceful and economically progressing even though we were fighting the cold war. Now the fanatics are in charge and the United States is moving downhill.
The fate of our nation could conceivably be at stake. I know you have heard that before and nothing happened, but, this time, it could be different. It could happen this time. Back in 1934, the German people faced a similar situation and they were as gullible as the American people are today. Nazis extremism was growing but Hitler was still stoppable then.
After the 'Night of the Long Knives', when the Nazis got rid of the remaining German leaders who opposed them, or who were a "possible" threat to them, or who they just didn't like, the German people had no further opportunity - all the advantages had moved to Hitler's side. The German people were Hitler's bitches from that point on. Are Americans becoming the bitches of the right-wing conservatives.
For information on how Nazism was successful in Germany and how it can occur here, see the web site: Germany in World War 2.
Night of the Long Knives in the United States? Will the United States, at some point, have a similar 'Night of the Long Knives' to terrorize non-conservatives into submission? I would like to say that we have got to get our citizens educated to prevent such an occurrence . But then I look at the German people and see they were a very well educated citizenry and, yet, they stood around and let the Nazis take over.
And I look at the predominance of conservative fanatics among my fellow professional engineers and I have to say "These people are well-educated also".
Of course, many people jumping on the conservative bandwagon just want to be on the side that's winning and they perceive that the conservatives are winning. (The German people just wanted to be on the side that was winning, also!)
American Holocaust. Hopefully, we aren't laying the groundwork for some sort of a holocaust in this country with right wingers leading the assault on any person who disagrees with them.
I would have laughed at such a nightmare scenario a few years ago, but not anymore. I shudder at the changes I see in the American people over the past several years. Bit by bit, they seem to be closing off their consciences to assure they are one of the "crowd," i.e., the conservative crowd.
They accepted Bush's "torture" policies as if the policies were a dictum from God!
This is not America's finest generation!
Some of the above discussion may have emphasized the pessimistic side for the Democrats. However, the Democrats have one great advantage if they will use it:
The advantage the Democrats have is flexibility. The conservatives, being essentially followers, have to sit around waiting for orders as these orders are passed down through Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly and other conservative propaganda leaders. Only then can they move in lockstep to carry out their orders which they do very well.
The Democrats, on the other hand, are far more independent by nature. They can be nimble and flexible while the Republicans can only stare at them while they (Republicans) are frozen, awaiting orders from Rush Limbaugh, etc. This flexibility will be a big advantage if the Democrats ever learn how to use it. (The flexibility can be a disadvantage, also, since the Democrats tend to fight among themselves. There is always a debate going on in the Democratic Party....you seldom have that in the Republican Party.)
The advantage the Democrats have in regards to flexibility is similar to the advantage the German Army had at the beginning of World War 2. The Germans were masters of the Blitzkrieg, a type of warfare that featured flexibility while the French and others sought to fight using World War 1 tactics: immobile trench warfare.
Guess who won the early battles?
A sign of the Democrat's flexibility was their action in naming Governor Howard Dean to be chairman of the Democratic National Committee. Instead of a middle-of-the-road Senator Joe Lieberman-type Democrat they chose Governor Dean who, as he puts it, is "from the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party."
The struggle between the conservatives and liberals in the United States continues. The election of 2004 featured a Democratic presidential candidate facing off against a Republican presidential candidate but, behind the scenes, it was really a conservative candidate facing off against a liberal candidate. Politics in the 2008 election continued to include the conservatism vs. liberalism struggle but the deteriorating economic situation in the country moved up to become the no. 1 political issue.
Last Updated: 06/23/13