Random ramblings of a mind damaged by years of disuse and abuse. Also a place to go to be bored to tears.
The Random Comic Strip
Words to live by...
"How beautiful it is to do nothing, and to rest afterward."
(The right to looseness has been officially given)
"Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders," wrote Ludwig von Mises, "no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interest, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle."
Apparently, the crossword puzzle that disappeared from the blog, came back.
Saturday, November 10, 2012
Perhaps a look back would be prudent
There has been much analysis of how Romney lost the election. Of course, it isn't presented that way, it's presented as "What the Republicans did wrong." I thought I might join in.
The Republicans went wrong maybe 50 years ago. They began allowing themselves to be pictured as mean, heartless, uncaring, hate-filled, and opposed to equality. I don't think there was much they could do about it. I have known Republicans (as well as Democrats) all my life and there are no more of these types in that party as in the Democratic Party.
When I was a young man and had just moved to south Florida, there was still segregation in law and society in the south. There was segregation in the north, too, but it wasn't by law, just by custom. The south was quite different to what I had been used to. It was blatant inequality. In the north, it was subtle. The southern states were solidly controlled by Democrats.
In 1954, things began to change in the south. It was in that year that Brown v. The Board of Education was decided by the US Supreme Court.
As a boy growing up on Long Island, I knew nothing about segregation. All of my neighbors were white, my school was predominately white (I only saw one black child in kindergarten and never saw her again), my town was white. Blacks lived somewhere else, another town nearby, I suppose. It wasn't because of laws, it was because of social custom.
All of a sudden, I found myself in a place where this wasn't subtle; again my school was white, my neighbors were white, and Blacks lived elsewhere. But where they lived wasn't hidden from me, it was right there in front of me. I would pass by a black neighborhood each day as I walked to school. Black kids would be waiting for a bus to take them to a school maybe 7-10 miles away while my school was 7 or 8 blocks from where I lived.
As time went on, as I grew older, I began to notice something of politics. The southern states had mostly Democratic governors. The few that had Republican governors started to change, or tried to... the strong Democratic legislators fought the governors. Republicans were the "progressives" and the Democrats were the "conservatives." The opposite of the political images of today.
Things began to change in the south after Brown v. Board of Education. The Civil Rights movement began gaining strength in the south. The inequality could no longer be ignored. The media stepped in to expose it, college students (and many others) came to the south to push for change, and there were many confrontations. The old bigotry was firmly in place, though, and it was a tough and bloody fight.
In the mid-sixties, the concepts of "segregation de jure" (by law) and "segregation de facto" (by custom and practice) became well known. I realized that the latter was what prevailed in the north and, certainly, what I saw in my own hometown in my younger years.
In 1964, President Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act into law. This was allegedly made possible only by the support of the Republican Party; Democrats, especially southern Democrats, showed strong opposition. The northern factions of both parties were really the defining forces.
In the years following, many southern Democrats switched political allegiance to become Republicans. I believe this is the period where the image of Republicans went from a party favoring business to a party opposing equality. An image created not by fact but by campaign strategies.
We can look back and say the Republicans should have rejected the former Democrats but that just wasn't done at the time (and is not done today). There are no restrictions on party affiliations in this country. Anyone can join any political party. And much is made of politicians switching sides.
Personally, I see politicians as amoral. Few have such strong core values that they would not throw them out the window to gain office. And, today, it is all about image and not about substance.
And, all too often, that image is created by political opponents.