I’m not happy about the Republican gains in both houses of Congress, but I’m not surprised either. It’s not like the Democrats really did much with their majority, or at least not much that they were willing to publicize. The American people have sent a clear message to Washington, and it’s, “We don’t like the way you’re doing things, but we can’t think of any better way to show it than putting the party we didn’t like before back into power!” Honestly, I don’t know what “the American people” want. Whenever someone says they do, “the American people” always seem to want something suspiciously similar to what the person speaking does. I’ve been around long enough to know that I’m not really representative of We the People. In some cases this year, it appears that the message being sent is that the establishment isn’t crazy enough. I don’t know how anyone can look at the government and think that, but that’s apparently how the Tea Party movement feels, with their tendency to nominate candidates who publicly come out against masturbation and in favor of forcing rape victims to bear children, not to mention being even MORE homophobic and anti-immigrant than the people currently in power. Just think, next time you see some disheveled guy at the bus station muttering about end times or flying saucers or whatever, he could be a future Congressional candidate! Many of these Tea Party candidates ended up hurting the Republicans’ chances, but a few of them made it to office.
One major issue for me is that just about everyone running these days is in the pockets of big business. The Democrats are almost as bad as the Republicans in that respect, and the supposed anti-establishment candidates can be even worse. Just look at Rand Paul, one of the successful Tea Party candidates, who’s so much against regulating business that he’s not even sure they should have to show basic human decency. When the unemployment rate is a major concern for just about everyone, why give your support to politicians who clearly care more about their corporate backers than they do whether any individual citizens are able to live? Sure, corporations hire people, but only on their own terms, and it seems to me that giving businesses the ability to basically do whatever the hell they want is a large part of why we’re in such a mess. It’s not the only factor, but when a government that’s supposed to serve the people is taking this top-down approach, I can’t see how it can be anything but bad for the populace in general. Still, there’s a large movement, partially but not entirely represented by the Teabaggers, that thinks the best way to manage the country is to lower taxes on the filthy rich, abolish even the minor restrictions that the Obama administration placed on the health insurance industry, treat corporations as people, and privatize everything from Social Security to mail delivery. Because if there’s one thing we’ve learned, it’s that big business ALWAYS has the interests of the little guy at heart, right? Then you have the Libertarians, claiming to be in favor of individual rights, but also supporting the rights of businesses to operate however they want, effectively squashing the individual rights thing. At least they’re not likely to base a campaign on outlawing gay marriage or medical marijuana, though. The Tea Party movement is so much in the hands of conservative fundamentalists that I’m surprised they’d elect an avowed Aqua Buddhist. :P
An odd thing is that it seems very common among the right wing to be anti-government, but at the same time very pro-authority. Don’t trust the politicians, but DO trust religious leaders, corporate executives, and radio hosts. Also, the man should be the respected head of the household, even if he’s an abusive jerk. And remember when the Republican talking heads acted like even questioning Dubya was effectively treason? Does that very anti-government to you? Sometimes I suspect that what the conservatives who hold positions like these really want is a king. A king they agree with, of course, but that goes without saying. Then they can all cozy up to the king and get cushy positions for themselves, while the oppressed minorities no longer would even have the option to vote for someone slightly less mean.