Nov 9, 2005

The Good, The Bad & The Ugly: An All-American Story

Intelligent (re)disign takes time!
Lots of elections all around the country this November and it seems that the Democrats did quite well, though I'd advise not to get complacent and expect the voters to return Congress to Democratic control next year. We need a clear-cut agenda and bold proposals, including a plan for getting out of Iraq. I think we can draw some encouragement from the the results on Tuesday. First, the two governorships, in New Jersey and Virginia, were easily won by Dems, but most importantly many people voted specifically against the Republicans as those people don't like what they see in the conservative agenda. Any association with president Bush proved politically deadly, in New Jersey, but more so in Virginia where Bush carried this red state by 8 points a year ago. The president came in when the Repub was trailing in the polls by 3% and when he left his buddy lost by 5 or 6 points!

Both sides point out the only major Republican big win, that of Mike Bloomberg's re-election by 20 points in New York City. I beg to differ. This was, by no means, a Republican win. Let me explain. Bloomberg had been a Dem and changed his party affiliation to run for mayor, because he thought this was the only way to run on a major party's label. NYC is overwhelmingly a Democratic city of 10 million people and this becomes clear, where a Dem primary win equals ..appointment. Many Dems had endorsed Bloomberg and, since many New Yorkers have been giving high marks to the mayor, he won. I don't see this as a bad thing. Many Dems didn't like the mayor's remote association with the Republican party [no Repub of note appeared anywhere within a mile of Bloomberg during the campaign!], but they voted for whom they thought would be the best manager of the city's affairs. Besides, Bloomberg is pro-choice and pro same-sex marriage, for example, views the Republican party (nationally and NY state-wide) finds as an abomination! Lastly, the other city-wide Dems received around 90% of the vote!

Another positive thing was the win of the eight Dems who threw out the unintelligent designers of bad education in Dover, PA. There is a Scopes-like trial going on there with a decision expected in January. However, junk science and small-mindedness is alive and well in several states of the union. I think that in the next 10-15 years there is going to be an intensifying struggle between science & modernity and the religious fundamentalists in this country. Year by year, there will be a greater divide between the progressive states and the hard-core conservative ones. Kansas resides in the latter category. People there decided that evolution is controversial and that science should just rely on a natural explanation but the supernatural should be introduced to ..raise the standards of science! Whatever. Unfortunately, Kansas has lots of company.

I don't know what it would take for people to open their eyes and become inquisitive, but education is one of the keys. By education I don't mean indoctrination but learning; whereas thinking and pondering are involved, whereas a person can make up his own mind using reason and acquired knowledge. With such advancements in science and with modern society affording leisure to people, there is no excuse not to use our brains for enlightenment. We must defeat those who have been pushing ignorance, superstition, and a perpetual condition in which individuals can't employ their intelligence without the guidance or the direction of someone else.

We have to fortify the blue states and make them bastions of freedom, scientific inquiry, progress & modernity, tolerance, producers & magnets of talent, a freer and a more just society. Last Tuesday's elections showed that the Dems and the progressives fared well, but there is so much more to be done. The country is polarized and this won't change for a while longer. Of course, I understand that many people can't change for a variety of reasons. Not all people live in the present and won't live in the future. The familiar past gives them comfort and they prefer it, because they fear all that which is different or they can't understand. The words, "land of the free and home of the brave," take new meaning today.