Why radicalism cannot work in this country, whether from the Left or the Right.

Why Political Change must be deliberate and painfully slow.    

      Cynicism and the Unavoidable Political Process.                                                         By J Smithson, blog editor     

Generally,  it is good rhetorical strategy to begin an article with some sort of problem or issue that will get the reader involved and asking questions, or,  better yet,  looking for answers.  So we begin with this graph,  one taken from the Washington Post/Bloomberg concern.  The question was,  “Thinking beyond the 2012 presidential election,  do you think your own family’s financial situation would be better under an Obama second term or a Republican victory?”

The answer is the problem.  It turns out that the nation is equally divided as to partisan concerns regarding  its hopes for the future.  Partisan hope is sharply divided,  with only 24% of folks seeing a positive solution coming in  November of 2012 (the “other” 24% will be the losers and unsatisfied).  52% of those surveyed are not excited about what the elections might bring;  8% of those polled refusing to even offer an opinion at all. 
Understand this:  when people no longer care, they will settle for anything that gives them personal relief or peace of mind.  A more involved analysis of the Bloomberg Chart gives us even more concern;  after the election,  only 24% of the population will be at peace with the political environment.  76% will be looking for change almost immediately !!
A CNN/ORC, September, 2011,  survey report s a Congressional  approval rating of 13 percent,  about  the same, now,  as with the Pelosi lead 111th Congress in 2010.  As it turns out,  things did not just get bad,  they have been “bad” for years.  
In a December 12th survey by Gallup,  Congress,  as a body,  scored lower than all other listed categories, including  telemarketers,  the press,  and lawyers.  Nurses scored the best,  ahead of  “doctors,”  a bit troubling but beside the point. 
And,  finally, In a recent Christian Science/TPP poll, (November 2, 2011),  56% of Independents say that Obama does not  “deserve” a second term. 
The point of this article?  It is not to predict a Democrat victory or an Obama failure at the ballot box.  Rather,  our concern is the deeply involved cynicism that has become the dominate political force of our times.  
Seriously,  when was the last time you read of a survey question asking,  “Does so and so deserve to win?”  I am thinking that the question, as asked,  is more cynical than probative.  To ask, “Has Obama done his job effectively,” measures his function as a chief officer and is definitive in that regard.   To ask if he “deserves” to go on,  well,  that is not definitive.  You could plug in any other political name and ask the “deserving” question and get a similar response. One is “probative,”  the other is markedly “cynical” and only reveals the [cynical] attitude of the voter.  Would that voter pull the lever  for Obama, anyway?  We don’t  know,  do we? 
As a people,  we need to guard against a degree of cynicism that opens the door to unfettered change and rash departures.  Our system of governance is so entwined within itself that rapid change is much more disruptive than helpful.
Simply put,  because we have been at this thing called “American Politics”  for more than two and half centuries.  In fact,  when you stop to think about it,  we are nation building.  This country is our home.   Every decision and each election has built upon the past. After 240 years,  we now have an edifice that has been built upon a multiplicity of political and pragmatic realities. Our House Upon The Hill, has,  as its foundation, thousands of agreed upon decisions not to mention the wars fought and the blood shed to secure that edifice against all forces dedicated to its downfall.    Rapid and poorly envisioned change to that edifice would be as harmful to the larger and historic  narrative  as if a builder decided to keep the roof structure of a beautiful home  and destroy all the frame work below.  Because of the described complexities of our nation’s historical development,  radicalism,  whether from the Left or the Right,  is counterproductive. 
As mentioned above,  when people no longer care, they will settle for anything that gives them personal relief or peace of mind.  That,  sadly, is a prescription for ruin. 
Whether liberal or conservative,  our nation will survive the continuing saga that we know as “political change”  if the process is  deliberate and painfully slow.  How do we know? Because that has been our history,  has it not?  And,  we are far different, as a nation, today,  than we were 240 years ago.