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Posts published in “Day: May 21, 2024”

Something’s happening

As a curmudgeon of the first order, I've found a lot to bitch about over the last few years.  "Complaint fodder" has been growing and there's been a seemingly endless supply of division and political chaos.

Legally and morally.

But, from out here in the oft-soggy Northwest, it looks, smells and sounds like we may be moving slowly - very slowly - to better social and political climes.  Maybe.

First, it was the federal election results of 2016 and 2020.  Little noticed were some significant shifts toward the middle in many state and local government outcomes.  Not so widely noticed, yet there seems to be apparent movement toward a return to SOME political moderation.  In SOME places.

Another example, Faux Nues.  Ratings for Murdoch's crew of vocal truth-deniers have been slipping downward.  Still ahead of CNN but, even MSNBC periodically beat 'em over a few weeks, especially in the 25-45 age group advertisers want to capture.  First time.  Not to say viewers are suddenly coming to their senses and are tired of being lied to.  Just interesting.  A small thing.

Example: Staying with the broadcasting arm of the GOP, several of its major blights on respectable journalism have stepped over some publically unacceptable lines.  Carlson, Pirro, Hume and Hannity have finally come under fire for bending facts into unrecognizable garbage.  Carlson and Hannity in particular, got so far out in right-right field that even Fox had to disavow their despicably racist words.  Public rejection by your own family.  My, my. Then, Carlson "moved on."  Further right.

Example: recent polling.  The most reliable numbers crunchers show fewer people identifying as Republicans or Democrats.  Those calling themselves "independents" or "unaffiliated" are becoming more of a factor.  A sign many Americans may be saying "A pox on both their houses" and they're not feeling "hidebound" either way.

Deeper down in the numbers, you'll find small movements toward more moderate views on issues.  A good thing.

Example: the Evangelical crowd is being taken less seriously than it was a few years back.  There's much more writing and speaking by some of the major respectable Conservative voices disavowing the Graham's, Robertson's, Perkins' and others of their ilk.  What once appeared to be a solid block of support for anything Republican - far-out Republican - is showing large, significant cracks.

Example: CPAC  - an annual function of the American Conservative Union.  Once a rather thoughtful gathering of conservative voices, it has become a hate-filled few days for extremists of every stripe.  In recent years, for example, conditions especially have been pretty gross with the Nazi Party, KKK and other dangerous cretins having large, formal, prominent displays of their "wares" at GOP meetings.  The speaker's roster, which used to feature Repubs like Bill Buckley and George Will has devolved into hate-mongers Michelle Malkin, Sebastian Gorka and a couple dozen lesser-known trash talkers.

But, the best news coming out of the CPAC political dung heap was that attendance for their "conventions" was down.  Way down.  TV news shots of the seated faithful showed lots and lots of empty chairs. Vendors complained their "take" on marketing was also down.  Even the "Lock Her/Him Up" pullovers weren't selling like they used to.  All good news.

There are other bits and pieces of change.  Of possibly more moderate news on our horizons.  Even in such a formerly solid bastion of the Republican caucus in the Senate, a few voices - and more importantly,  a few votes - have indicated some members are willing to say "No" at times.  Probably not enough to override a veto but enough to break a stranglehold and allow some more moderate legislation to pass.

As younger voters become more of a factor in elections - as more Black and Hispanic voters get involved - we're seeing real political change.  The declining numbers in self-identified party affiliation will also play a part.  More change there will be.

It's not time to breakout out in strains of  "Happy Days Are Here Again" but, maybe, we could just hum a few bars.