Saturday, October 4, 2008

What's Past is Prologue

It's important to understand the causes of a situation before we can correct it. Joe Biden pointed this out in the Vice Presidential Debate when Sarah Palin said that the causes of global warming don't matter, we just have to fix the situation.

We've all been worried about how our country can heal the deep divisions so apparent during this long Presidential campaign. Analyzing how we got here helps; again quoting Biden, who was quoting Shakespeare, the "past is prologue."*

Take a look at this article from The Economist called Richard Milhous McCain. It's about the politics of cultural resentment--how "Nixon recognised that the Republicans stood to gain from 'positive polarisation': dividing the electorate over values." It recognizes “the debilitating, self-perpetuating family quarrel of the baby-boom generation that has long engulfed all of us,” which Mr. Obama hasn't been able to overcome. And it points out that "the American electorate is still trapped in Nixonland: a land where Democrats and Republicans exchange endless gibes about who despises whom, where simmering class and regional resentments trump all other political considerations and where the airwaves crackle with accusations about lies and counter-lies."

I don't mean to imply that the Republicans are solely responsible for our "cultural resentments;" just that we can search our history to find how we got here and, perhaps, to begin to understand how to find a solution to our divisions.

The recent theme on this blog has been about reading primary resources and making up our own minds; so please read the entire online essay that I've quoted and don't take my word for it.
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*Whereof what’s past is prologue, what to come
In yours and my discharge. ~William Shakespeare, The Tempest

2 comments:

Sylvia K said...

Thanks as always for your insights and I will read the article. From where we all stand now it is hard to see how we can go forward in light of all the nasty politics, but we've done it before, hopefully we'll do it again.

Rain said...

Yes and then they talk about how they can work together with those who differ. Amazing disconnect