fresh voices from the front lines of change







A favorite pastime of post-election analysts and pundits is to parse, re-parse, and re-re-parse exit polls and other data to draw out interesting demographic and historical notes. One such data point struck me in particular:

Who’s to blame for the economy? Bankers (34%), Bush (29%), Obama (24%). Of those who blame bankers, Republicans hold an 11 point advantage.

Wait, I must have copied that wrong, let me try that again:

Who’s to blame for the economy? Bankers (34%), Bush (29%), Obama (24%). Of those who blame bankers, Republicans hold an 11 point advantage.

Sorry, maybe I’m not wearing my contacts…I could have sworn…

Who’s to blame for the economy? Bankers (34%), Bush (29%), Obama (24%). Of those who blame bankers, Republicans hold an 11 point advantage.


So let me get this straight: the voters who are the most upset with Wall Street, who put the most direct blame on bankers for causing the recession and wrecking the economy, voted more for the party that held the White House when the Wall Street bailout was signed into law (hint: it wasn’t Obama) and that almost unanimously opposed even the most modest reforms to hold Wall Street accountable and make it so the bankers can’t wreck the economy again.

They are mad at Wall Street, yet turned around and handed Wall Street’s Puppet Party control of the House? Seriously?

How exactly does one reconcile voting pro-Wall Street while simultaneously believing that Wall Street nearly destroyed the economy? How does anyone who acknowledges the role Wall Street (and thus financial deregulation) played in the economic collapse turn around and vote for the same people who fought hard for the conditions that led to the collapse?–Unless, of course, they like recessions and want more of them.

I guess ignorance really is bliss, at least for the ignorant, until it turns around and screws us all equally. Their inability to inform themselves or connect even the most basic of dots hurts us all.

And the fact that Republican voters are so confused about the cause of the economic collapse, who protects those at fault, and who saved us from the brink of depression, doesn’t point to much of a mandate for the Republican Party. If soon-to-be Majority Leader John Boehner (pronounced BAY-ner) were to declare that he had just been given a mandate to demolish Smurf Village and forcibly relocate its inhabitants to Candy Land, it would be about as reality-based as the claim America just signed on to his pro-Wall Street, anti-Middle Class agenda.

It took less than two short years for a majority of Americans to forget the tragedy that was the Bush years. Exactly how bad do conservatives have to wreck this country before Americans’ attention will hold for more than an election cycle?

One of the milestones of child development is the formation of the concept of objects. Prior to six months of age, infants can’t wrap their minds around the idea of objects as separate, enduring entities. As soon as an object passes out of view, it no longer exists. It is forgotten by the infant and they look for something else to occupy their attention. This is something that dogs are able to do, yet many American voters still seem to have a hard time with, despite the eighteen year minimum age requirement for voting. Connecting dots, understanding elementary causal relationships, and having a memory that outlasts a season of Dancing with the Stars–if more Americans had those skills nailed down the election results last night would have looked very different.

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