Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Welcome to the Beginning!

With this installment, the NewsDarkTime flips its format to complement the election of Barak Obama as President of the United States.

The long dark night of the Bush years is now drawing to a close. While many (hardly residual) problems remain, let's hope the list of casualties of the Bush years includes:
  • The end of politics of division.
  • The death of hate politics.
  • The influence of the religious right,
  • The Old GOP.
Politics of division

The one I paid attention to: use of "the real Virginia". I would hope our media is empowered to speak out when we are treated to this bile, and call it for what it is: a divisive distraction, practiced by those unworthy of leadership. All these ills are thinly veiled attempt to exploit bigotry for political gain. Notice "division" isn't the same as "negative". Is it negative to point out that a candidate who claims to represent "change", had an economic policy indistinguishable from his failed predecessor? Is it negative to point out your opponents claim of "change" is based on no discernable change in the last two years, that your opponent really represents the old tired policy. We will have to re-calibrate our sense of "negative", and replace the negative with "divisive" as the negative value.

Death of Hate Politics.

When a Senate candidate offers her opponent says "there is no God", is this less than hate. It plays on the irrational fears of the so-called faithful. This is a divisive act of another type. The failure of this practice, by itself, doesn't remove the temptation from the desperate candidate. The hope is this approach will diminish over time, again with the support of the major media. Their fear of losing revenue from those pedaling the hate will lead this renewal.

The influence of the Religious Right

This dimension offers some positive signs. The data to come out of this election should confirm the evangelical movement has discovered the call of Jesus to serve "the least among you" is on the path to saving one's soul. It's no longer sufficient, let alone necessary to hector the "unsaved" among us on how we're hell-bound if we don't sign up for a narrow litany. There will be local setbacks along the way; some states will vote unnecessary, if not hateful, wasteful restrictions (e.g. anti-gay marriage), boulders to be soon removed from the road ahead. By and large, the recognition here is there is a progressive evangelical movement, now empowered to staunch the bleeding of reason from religion.

The Old GOP

One first needs to decide "who" is the Old GOP, "old" in this context is the purposeful recognition of the central content of Grand Old Party. The once-grand party is in danger of becoming more than old if not extinct. Last night, when John McCain nobly conceded, he concluded with hope and prediction of Sarah Palin's future in the party. I'm hoping that was little more than lip-service. She represents a new continuity of the divisive, hateful, and narrow direction the party has been heading since losing it's moorings in the post-Reagan era.

Other Signs

The political arena isn't the only place where we can hope to see an improvement in the "background noise", to quote John McCain. I belong to the now-recognizable portion of the liberal community who believe that free speech doesn't cover anything we see in the media. It's more conservative than liberal to suggest commercial censorship can help remove the garbage from the airwaves. I'm not so worried about a particular type of show as I am the confrontational, exploitative, and mindless values in a range of shows. That "youtube" helped us turn an corner in '06, that this form of reporting makes the major media take notice. There is an opportunity for lightness, variety, humor, all tasteful, informative, and, by the way, entertaining, not pandering.

It's a start. Let's hold our leaders and media to the rising standards.

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