Thursday, May 03, 2007

Demos & Haiku

I went to two demonstrations last evening– the usual one with the Military Families in South Orange, and then I went to Maplewood and caught the tail end of the South Mountain Peace Action/ MoveOn rally against Bush’s veto of the spending bill with the deadline for beginning to leave Iraq

I was struck by how I don’t appreciate the fine points of ideology– ideology interests me and informs me, but doesn't grip me the way art grips me. Yes Bush is a disaster, and yes I love to wave a sign that says “Bush lied they died,” but it’s the lies and the deaths that move me, not whether the Democrats should be castigated or praised for their efforts at a deadline rather than an immediate pullout.

I honestly don’t know what I’d do if I were Emperor of the World or the Demiurge (if the Demiurge gets to change what already happened). I’d certainly stop the invasion of Iraq. Or maybe I’d make sure the winner of the majority of presidential votes in 2000 actually became the president. Or I’d go back to the end of WW I and make better arrangements in the Middle East. Or...

But I guess that’s the point. What I see is what has happened and what might happen, all extremely complicated, and I don’t think in terms of policy, or rather, I see clearly certain general directions, and I have a few clear policy preferences: elect someone who will make better choices for the Supreme Court. Find a way to extend Medicare to everyone. Get rid of the Death Penalty. Get the heck out of Iraq. I react with a strong sense of what is right and wrong, which is admittedly often simplistic, but isn’t right and wrong always?

One reason I stand with the Military Families Against is that I am glad when someone takes the farther left position, which ultimately, I believe, moves things that way. I also vote for the Democrat for president because I believe that small practical improvements count. I'd rather vote for a Socialist, of course.

One great success of the Reaganites was the creation of a culture of greediness. The even greater success of the Right has been to move the discourse so far in their preferred direction that people laugh nervously if you say you’re a democratic socialist.

May 1

Dogwood pink and white,
Maroon tulips, cherry blooms,
Fragrance? Wild onion!

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