No, Ellen, there is no Great Left Hope on the horizon

For some time remnants of the self-anointed American Spiritual Left have been clamoring for some warriors of liberal wisdom to appear. Where, they ask, are our parallel universe dragon-slayers ready to mix it up with Hannity, Liddy, Limbaugh, O’Reilly et al, now that we need them so much?

Ellen Goodman was the last complainer last week with a column that she probably felt was reaching blind eyes; and one that if she tried to liven up with a decibel multiplying sound, it would only reach deaf ears. One could feel her futility, perhaps waiting for Al Gore to finally set up some net broadcasting system of radio and TV pundits that could joust in a fair and balanced way (…or not!) those charismatic charlatans spawn out of the Honor America Totally or Else networks.

Could I remind you, Ellen, that there is no American Left? Not for almost seven decades! Oh, sure, there is a measure of left-leaning thinking dispersed throughout a vast intellectual and socially-conscious population who still care for their fellow men, but it’s running only deep and silent, remaining well-submerged. Some politicians that we may recognize as sentimentally-attached to social causes that would better our society must renounce heralding them beyond a whisper, or they may find themselves shunned within their own Democratic Party.

As much as we may dislike it, we must recognize today’s political reality in these United States . Our country’s political makeup can be geometrically diagrammed as a closing rectangle where four-fifths of the country, after discarding twenty percent of the downtrodden in America, take a 90-degree turn to the right, leaving the Democrats to take charge of this side of the rectangle; as the march continues, and another 90-degree turn to the right is made, the Republicans make a claim to their own side. It takes another 90-degree turn to the right before the rectangle can come to a close, the side where the Extreme Right, Neo-conservatives, and vocal jingoistic trash play with our future waving our stolen flag.

A Scottish friend of mine, known in our political chat room by the nickname Seneca, sent me an e-mail early last march, just two weeks before Bush got us into this cross-country race to politically remake the Middle East , starting in Iraq . It read in part:

“Our political chat yesterday did not create much of a discussion, just an unnecessary assertion of our political positions, since we all know very well in which oysters our loyalties dwell.

“I will expand on the point I made concerning the lack of political diversity in your United States . You have two political parties, both right of center, which in most respects represent the same ideology with an added twist of the heart: Democrats with a touch of heart and Republicans with a frigid heart.

“But kid yourself not; America has not had anything close to a Left in politics since FDR and the Great Depression. Not with Kennedy, LBJ nor Clinton, regardless how compassionate those leaders were, or the enacted legislation. (The lack of a Left in America could have been caused by many things, including your economic success, oft-times on the backs of some of your own people, or people in other parts of the world.)

“You have distanced yourselves from those who are in need in your own country, and from much of the third world you are constantly economically-sacking to the point that you are forced to co-exist as a monolithic political society of co-conspirators. No better proof of that may be found that by what is being written in your press, and the editorials in your mainstream newspapers.

“Not until you look inward and begin to take care of you impoverished, those in need of education, food, shelter and healthcare, can political diversity be reborn in your country and a true Left emerge, championing the rights of those now being ‘protected’ by an ineffective, if caring, Democratic Party.”

A mouthful from my friend from Dunedin ! He doesn’t seem to be much off the mark. We, Americans, are enclosed in a rectangle and even the most centrist positions are still surrounded by Right angles. We have chosen to become politically enslaved.

A change in political direction is only likely to happen when one of these two things happen, or perhaps both: the number of economically-oppressed starts to increase dramatically, something which seems to be happening now; or, when there is a resurgence of goodwill towards one’s neighbor. Only then can the Left emerge ready to do battle.

But until then, Ellen, don’t wait up for the Great Left Hope… fight your own battle.