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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Squeezing the middle out of the union

 I don't have Cable TV anymore. Haven't for about two years. So, on election night, I got my results on the internet. I chose CNN because they are fairly reliable and timely. I periodically refreshed the screen to see how it was going.
As I have mentioned before, I am not in either camp. I think both candidates were horribly incompetent and flawed, and the party system does not and will never work again. It is debatable if it ever did, but certainly it does not anymore (that is my opinion).
Nevertheless, I was curious to see how the race turned out. Both factions of supporters are so polar about their beliefs and how bad the other guys candidate is, that it just was an interesting spectacle to watch for a few weeks. Tuesday night was the culmination of that.
I have said before I could not see how Romney could win. He just alienated too many voters with his stance on a variety of issues. The more he talked, the worse it got. He was already very marginal in terms of support and could not stand to lose the 5 percent more he probably lost in the key states. That was borne out on election night. He lost Ohio and Florida by a fairly narrow margin and my opinion is that most of that was due to his extreme and radical stance on women's, race and health issues. 
The thing I noticed the most in all of this, is how divided the whole country is. Basically, the entire middle of the country voted Republican, as did the South and the two coasts voted Democrat. Florida was the only odd man out there, and even with them, the extreme South (Miami, Ft. Lauderdale) voted Democrat while most of the rest of the state voted Republican.
It occurs to me that the United States is now an oxymoron. The States are clearly not United anymore, and in fact view each other as opposition more than allies. That cant be good for national unity. And it isn't. Why is that?   
Their is growing animosity that a small percentage of rich white east and west coasters control the power, the money and the whole system. This is mostly a middle America attitude. The middle class is being squeezed on both sides. 
The rich think they are entitled to be as rich as they want and can be and that is at the expense of the middle class. The poor think they are entitled to eat and be housed by the state at the expense of the middle class because the government says it is okay. 
 That is a general description of both sides. Not all rich are overly greedy and not all poor are living off the system. But many are and think it is their right to do it. At this point, legally speaking, it is. But that doesn't mean the middle class agree with that. I think most in the middle would change the laws and restrict how rich the rich can get, if that meant the middle would take home less. I am certain that the middle class would reform the laws that allow the poor who don't want to do their share to continue to live off and milk the system. That is where the divide and discontent comes from. 
I think it is fair to say that Obama is viewed as someone who will continue to let the poor milk the system, while Romney is viewed as a candidate that thinks it is okay to be as rich as you can if you can figure out how to do that. In that way, neither candidate currently represents the middle class. But, I think that most hard working, average Americans, which is the majority, and who make up the middle class, are much more offended by the system supporting the poor who don't want to work for it. That is what they are voting for.
In fact, in talking to a majority of my friends, I know that to be the case. They are tired of working so hard only to have part of that go each paycheck to support those who don't want to do their fair share. 
 Of course, it is obvious that I agree with that. I think the system clearly supports those who should be cut off and forced to get off their butts and fend for themselves. Where I differ is that I also see the rich getting way too rich at the expense of the middle class, and I would make changes to stop that as well. Therefore, I saw neither candidate as viable in that they both have no real answers on how to stop that.
Until both of those mindsets change, status quo will always be maintained. 
This is the perception and conclusion that the middle class and middle America has made, and it is one I agree with. 
When the law of the jungle doesn't get applied, there is lack of harmony and until harmony is returned, the results are what you see now and wont change.
In the jungle, if the poor cant survive, they die off. If the rich get too powerful, the poor band together and take them down. Right now, neither of those two situations are happening.
What we see, is just discontent. We saw that in the voting patterns and that can only be bad going forward. I see no evidence that the states are United anymore, and eventually, that leads to destruction of the Union.
My opinion is that the whole concept of "United States" is flawed to begin with. 

How can they have states, and be a united country Doesn't seem to be a valid concept to me. But that is a discussion for another blog. 
In the meantime, the divide is there. How this gets patched up,  in the short term,  I don't know. But it better. You can't have half the team working against the other half of the team and expect unity to prevail. That is a recipe for divorce. Which is what we saw the seeds of in the voting patterns.

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