THE RETURN OF THE CREATIVE?
Does anyone out there have a good explanation for the intellectual exhaustion that prevails in our national political class, Left and Right ?
Perusing the Republican National Committee
website, the featured issues are tax cuts, tax reform, fiscal restraint (LOL!), expanded oil exploration and nuclear power, education accountability, faith-based initiatives, straddling the fence on immigration reform, Social Security reform and "strong" national security.
With the surprising exception of a section of "faith-based initiatives" that targets counseling prisoners, the official GOP agenda is approximately a quarter century old. Some of it, such as fiscal restraint, amounts to only a ritual nod ( or perhaps, in the case of the Bush administration, an inside joke at the expense of Bob Dole
and Herbert Hoover
). I liked and still admire Ronald Reagan
, but he isn't on the ballot this year. Or in 2008. Guys, time to live our own history.
If the Republican vision is getting long in the tooth, then the Democratic Party has a platform ready for a decent burial. The Democratic National Committee
is evidently marshalling it's forces to elect Harry Truman
, as so much of their current agenda - with the glaring exception of his robust foreign and defense policies - was first said by him. I think if the Democrats used an inverse approach, they might sweep all three branches in 2008 ( Ok, ok, I'll be serious now).
The most modern aspect of the DNC website is a monomaniacal desire to sort all of us into assigned demographic P.C. castes, something that came of age in the 1970's. Not sure how they handle crossover cases - how do you count a "young" and now " disabled" "veteran" who is a "woman" and a "Native American" who is a member of a " union" as well as a " rural American" (WTF???) and a member of the "LG & T community". Jesus H. Christ - maybe she just needs some better job creation policies ? Or decent schools in her neighborhood ?
All sarcasm aside, I see a tremendous cognitive disconnect here by both parties from the emerging conditions of the globalized world and the concerns of those Americans who, while educated and intelligent, have disassociated themselves from politics in a way that bewilders blogospheric hyperpartisans. Alvin Toffler
once predicted the coming of a Future Shock
. Recently, John Robb
linked to a futurist, William Gibson
, who argued that we are in the midst of a paradigm shift
, the understanding of which eludes the decision makers.
As most of the "key" people in government subcabinet and cabinet positions ( and their partisan Democratic "shadows") are within a stone's throw of fifty to over seventy in the case of Donald Rumsfeld ( of whom it must be said, at least came in to office reconsidering the entire status quo), I think that's a valid argument in terms of aggregate mean perceptions.
Should the major parties fail to generate some new, creative and relevant ideas in a short time horizon - something that is not likely to happen in my view - it means that 2008 is wide open for somebody "outside" the system who can bring both vision and financial wherewithal to the table as an independent candidate. And of the two, the former is far more important because via the internet the vision will attract the financial muscle.
The bipartisan system was lucky in 1992 in that H. Ross Perot
did not actually want the job of being president and had little that was substantive to say beyond reducing the budget deficit. He was a flaky, billionaire, protest candidate who was interested mainly selling an old value of republican ( small "r") civic virtue and stirring up the masses. Perot's success was but brief.
A true visionary though, one who epitomizes the spirit of the times and moves like one who is three steps ahead, will hit the system like a tsunami.