Map of life expectancy at birth from Global Education Project.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Dare to hope?

With the Rombot cratering in the polls, most people started to look forward to the era of divided government, dangerous brinksmanship, and policy paralysis continuing. That would at least be better than what we had been dreading: full control of federal power by a coalition of psychopathic plutocrats and delusional religious fanatics.

But now the real possibility arises of a complete reversal of the 2010 election. Democratic control of the Senate appears likely, and now we are seeing well informed conclusions that the House may go Democratic. If this does happen, it will force me and like-minded people to file the sharp corners off of our cynicism. It will mean after all that reality and logic have enough of an intrinsic advantage in public discourse to overcome billions of dollars deployed in the service of lies and obfuscation at least some of the time.

Not that I'm expecting Democratic control to usher in a golden era, but at least it will delay utter disaster.

But consider also the importance of random events in history. A storm destroys the Spanish armada; Lieutenant Colonel Stanislov Petrov chooses to ignore an alarm and therefore, human civilization has survived. (Yes, this really happened. Do follow the link.)

Romney was already trailing and looking like a bad candidate, but it took an anonymous waiter or bartender and a reporter who happened to get on the trail, to destroy his candidacy with a (probably illegally recorded) video. More than Romney's candidacy got walloped of course, so did the entire right-wing narrative. I am quite sure that the tale of the 47% has done real harm to Republican congressional candidates and is very much behind the turning tide in down-ticket polling.

What if Petrov had pushed that button? What if we had never seen that video? It really does come down to "shit happens."

1 comment:

robin andrea said...

I won't stop being nervous until the results come in on November 6th. I'm still prepared to have the republicans steal it right before our eyes.