Americans have become Orphans, abandoned by their leaders as we descend further into the abyss of debt default. The president has thrown his progressive base and the Democratic leadership in Congress under the proverbial bus, while the tea party wing of the Republican party wants to dismantle the entire federal government in favor of a Darwinian free-for-all.
The White House continues to focus on the Republicans and making the “deal” while ignoring the Democratic leadership which is now calling for the president to invoke the 14th Amendment to raise the debt ceiling and be done with it. Even Bill Clinton has weighed in saying if it were his call, he would do so “without hesitation” and let the courts work it out. Yet unbelievably the president insists that this option is not in play. The White House at the very least is showing an appalling lack of strategic political skill.
Meanwhile, Americans are struggling to maintain what little economic security they have in spite of the continued rise is joblessness and foreclosures, while a Democratic president seems intent on trading the social safety net that has been the hallmark of Democratic legislation over the last 80 years for a one shot deal and a bad deal at that. Americans are being abandoned and increasingly feel like exiles in their own country unable to trust in functioning legislative and executive branches elected with the belief that the people’s business will be attended to. Right now, this means providing JOBS and financial stability to continue to grow the economy.
We also lack a Warrior president who, in rhetoric but not action, refuses to take up a higher principled banner, instead abandoning his generals in the House and Senate more than willing to do battle for the progressive cause. Pelosi and Reid are reduced to being standard bearers without their president leading the charge. In fact it appears that they have been outright ignored.
The leadership of both parties in Washington should be aware that when Orphans feel like exiles, they either, wander in hopelessness and despair causing further destruction of the democratic process due to apathy, or become Rebels turning against the leaders that rejected them therefore causing their exile. As a result, they often band together in political activist or outlier groups to fight against perceived injustices induced by this sense of betrayal.
These groups from both sides of the political spectrum will only grow stronger in the wake of an economic Armageddon with little or no allegiance to the current governing party structures. We have seen the results when disaffected groups gain power. With more and more Americans becoming exiled and alienated from the political process, a few ideologues were able step in to manipulate Congress absent any courageous counter actions to inspire a unity of national purpose and shared commitment to a common good.
I would further argue that the tea party constituents are not the Republican base but a party within a party that should be jettisoned to their own party status so that Republicans can regain their statue and actually elect party leaders that can form broader coalitions to govern effectively.
The Democrat’s strength is that they have historically accommodated a base with a wider spectrum of political opinions than Republicans. Although this has been seen as a detriment in the past, nevertheless, Democrats have found it is easier to bring the blue dogs and liberals together under a moderate progressive banner in recent years. Although more diverse, Democrats in the end have been more flexible and less dogmatic. But ironically they are the ones that have been jettisoned out of negotiations by the president who is abandoning the very principles that made this party strong.
The polls show that 60% to 89% of Americans do not support Republican protection to the super rich and multinational corporations that receive a tax-free ride. So far the White House has failed either in communication or negotiation to work those numbers to their advantage. I say bring out the troops and CHARGE! If defense isn’t working switch to offense.
If the Democratic base of progressives in Congress and around the country is repeatedly bypassed by the White House for yet more sellout deals, in the belief that this base has nowhere else to go in the 2012 election, think again. The base along with many other Americans, including independents that both parties rely on to win, may decide to stay home. OR, may decide to finally act collectively and grow an independent party leading to the end of the two-party system and the beginning of a parliamentary style democracy.
Free from dependence of any external power of authority, the Orphan, suspicious of government authority and its ability to deal with economic crisis, will either become chaotic and take destructive action as in the fractious and disaffected tea party or become populist driven taking collective actions to seek solutions through local grassroots community-based political efforts to meet the needs of average citizens.
Either way, the Orphan as Rebel will bring change, but will that change make us stronger leading to a better tomorrow or to a self-destructive downward spiral which is the territory of the Destroyer archetype.