13 thoughts on “Election 2012: the Biggest Loser(s) – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. I’m experienced enough to realize that we have a two-party system. Predicting the demise of the other guy or the other guy’s party is a losing proposition. Republicans will undoubtedly come back to power, especially if the Democrats make mistakes. But the innate flaws noted here will make it that much harder for them to do so unless some candidates come along with a fresh, appealing message that isn’t weighed down by old shibboleths that have long lost their electoral appeal.

    I would say that we actually have a one-party system, with two heads. You will see Obama cutting all sorts of deals with the right on Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, while continuing to escalate in Syria and poke China. Neither candidate really addressed the core issues. The concordance on war, american exceptionalism, and the control of our government by the money was striking and should be an indication for all that we are, in fact, doomed to more of the same regardless of who had won the election.

    1. Yes, Yes. More of the same. But there are poles to the pushing and pulling and we call this two parties. The underlying capitalist individual freedom ethic is always at work, as much now as any time in the past.

  2. Two parties? Well, as long as we allow (and how can we not?) big-money to buy access and buy elections and buy every sort of political power, we will be governed by two parties which differ ONLY on personal stuff that corporations don’t care about (abortion. gays) but which agree on stuff corporations agree on (huge defense, big-banks, big-oil [bringing you global warming with no end in sight], etc. And big-Zion (AIPAC et al.).

    1. But Barry Commoner did run for president in 1980, and Richard could have voted for him then. For both the 1976 and 1980 presidential elections Jimmy Carter was the Democratic nominee, so Richard can be ‘forgiven’ for getting the years mixed up, wouldn’t you agree, Bob?

  3. I am not a citizen of the U.S. and do not have the right to vote but I am a taxpayer and an activist resident in the U.S. When my American friends and co-workers asked me before the elections to predict which candidtae will win, my answer was very simple “I can tell you who will lose”! Regardless of who wins, America loses! All the people of this country REALLY need to take a deep and thoughtful look at the state of America today. What is so unpromising to me is that the “sane” ones who understand that Washigton D.C. is simply NOT WORKING are so divided between themselves and that is why they do not have any significant impact! Green Party, Justice Party, Constitution Party,……..

    I have a very simple “proposal” to make. Why do not people from those parties TEAM UP together with other like minded individuals and form a MOVEMENT that could challenge the Two-Party (one party with two different names, actually) system?!

    This is a coutry on a very wrong path and it is up to the “sane” people in it to save it from itself….

  4. Correction?

    Berkley actually lost to Dean Heller in NV.

    Other than that – two Israeli-Firsters – one a ‘Netanyahu-Democrat’ and the other a Neocon – can have at each other all day long for all I care. It’s amusing – they once were friends but had some money fights and a falling out. I guess they are acutally both Money-Firsters rather than Israeli Firsters, technically speaking

  5. Yes, we all know that the public schools are a disaster. But, what is to be done? Especially with the developmentally challenged student? A friend had to fight like crazy to keep his challenged daughter out of the special ed program because it was such a “warehousing” facility, but she did win. It helped that she is a psychologist.My boy graduated the Jewish Academy here, a very Zionist organization. Had I known what I know today, I would never have wanted this school for him. (On the other hand, we have had some lively discussions as a result!) Thanks for the column even though it’s a little “off-topic,” so to speak.

  6. Oh, as to Election Day. Many of us are not wild about Obama given his performance and many of us felt we had no choice but to vote for him as the alternative was so very wrong. Certainly Obama is not about to change anything in the ME with respect to the IP thing: If Israelis want the status quo, they won’t hear any argument from him. But the rest of the election is more interesting and more promising. Many candidates dissed by the “Emergency Committee for Israel” and other such organizations came in fine. All the lies and money simply did not work. I personally feel that the Republican vicious resistance to Obama and the dysfunctional government resulting did not play well to center types at all. I think many were thinking that the politicians should not sacrifice the needs of the country overall simply to make a political point! I think the “no taxes” pledging did not resonate well either. I believe that many were turned off on that. Certainly you are right that Obama lacks some of the skills to be very personal and get into the fight, but the headwinds were extreme as well.

    Overall the election was a victory for progressive politics in the US, proving again (because we need to prove this from time to time) that America is fundamentally liberal in the classical sense of the term. The social contract is fundamental a liberal one.

  7. Charter schools are a cruel joke on American students and their parents. I worked in a charter school for more than three years, one of the infamous Turkish-run Gulen schools which are proliferating all over the US and whose purpose appears to be to raise money for an Islamist political group in Turkey. I don’t know about that, but what I did see from my time of working within the administration of one of these schools is that the emphasis is on standardized test scores and on the number of senior students you manage to enroll in a college at the time they graduate. These schools tend to be nonprofit corporations run by Boards of Trustees who receive federal money and are also able to collect private donations.

    What I see as the biggest problem with charter schools is that they are a form of privatization that became popular during Bush’s “No Child Left Behind” project. These schools take away from money which could be spent on improving public school systems. Another dubious feature of many of these schools is that they offer specialized curricula – there are schools for performing arts, music and dance, science and technology, but this is a way of training students, not educating them.

  8. So Obama’s poor political skills led him to get only half a loaf on health care, but Bill Clinton, who got no loaf at all, was a skilled president?

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