It is very easy for someone like me to sit here on my arse and point out the differences between the current versions of the republican and democratic parties. I mean I could ramble on about hundreds of millions of dollars being donated to Mitt Romney by people like Sheldon Adelson and every oilie west of the Mississippi River. Then I could talk about how that compares to my paltry $75 in donations, made in three convenient $25 installments, to the president's campaign. Bill Maher kicked in $1 million to Obama, but to the Romney people a donation that minor probably doesn't even rate an autographed photograph of their candidate. Even organized labor, the bugaboo of all things right of Hillary Clinton, can't compete with the corporate dollars flowing like flood waters into untold bank accounts with Mitt's name on them.
Then there are all those let 'em die in the streets health care plans/kill the middle class tax breaks for the super wealthy/voter ID/corporate welfare/anti choice things. Those, however, are a given. Hell, the republicans brag about them. It is rather like the story related by the late Hunter Thompson. A friend of his once threw a burlap sack full of rats onto the white house lawn when Lyndon Johnson was president. He was protesting the war in Vietnam and knew that Johnson would be incensed by the sight of rats scurrying across the grounds. He told Thompson he had no urge to do it when Nixon was president, because in his words, "Nixon might like rats."
Indeed, some things are so obvious they don't need to be dwelt on at length.
The truth is that if you really want to see the difference between the republicans and the democrats just take a look at the camera shots of the delegates cheering the endless speeches at each convention. When Mitt Romney delivered his speech which was, as NBC News put it, "full of optimistic nostalgia," the camera panned across an almost unbroken sea of white faces. While the candidate spoke in front of a huge sign that said, "We Believe In America," one had to think that the America the GOP believes in is devoid of African Americans, Native Americans, Asians, and Hispanics, at least in any meaningful way. The America they believe in, the one they are a clawing to hang onto, is one where the white race is in unquestioned command. It is almost as if they are in the throes of some terrible acid flashback. Everything they do, want, and say is geared to dump us all into a time machine and get us back to 1956.
Then last night I took a look at the crowd at the democratic convention. It was this huge array of every color the human body arrives on this earth in. Black people, Latinos, Caucasians, Asians, even a Sikh or two. What you saw was a mirror image of the diverse peoples who make up this nation. What you saw was the reality and future of the American demographic.
Yes, howl as they might, struggle as they will, the Caucasian strangle hold on power in the United States of America is coming to a close. Their numbers are shrinking while everyone elses are expanding almost exponentially. It is why mobs of them want to build an iron curtain around the country to keep immigrants out. It is why they go into apoplectic fits every time they have to specify English as the language of choice at the local ATM. The country is no longer theirs and theirs alone. The place simply isn't like it was, or at least not like what it was for them.
Optimistic nostalgia versus forward. Forward into the twenty-first century where Caucasians are outnumbered by a collection of other ethnic groups. It isn't a trip all those people at the republican convention want to make. Some at their frayed edges, like Judge Tom Head out in Lubbock are predicting a revolution. Chuck Norris and his wife are envisioning a thousand years of darkness if the president is re-elected for another term. Clint Eastwood is babbling to empty chairs. Sometimes desperation looks suspiciously like psychosis.
I have no idea if Barak Obama will win in November or not. Right now the race is too close to call. What I do know is that even if he loses this one the writing is on the wall when it comes to white folks running things around here. Deep down they know it too. The whole voter ID movement is nothing more than a vile attempt, laced with panic, to stem the tide of the future.
It won't work in the long term. Sheldon Adelson's money will buy a lot of things, probably even happiness, despite the fantasy that it won't. Unfortunately for the GOP all the cash in the world can't stop the clock. They might beat Obama, but they won't beat the future and the future is what they are really railing against.
It is their windmill and Mitt Romney is their Sancho Panza. If they weren't such brutes I'd feel sorry for them.