The country wants change.Digby's post has something to do with Tim Russert, but I am only interested in this opening assertion, which is now the principle theme of Donk politics, oddly counterpointed by the contradictory notion that the country needs to "get back on track." I find it odd, because despite all the highfalutin', it appears to me that change is precisely what the country doesn't want.
That is to say that there seems to me to be no evidence that the citizens of the United States of America--neither a majority nor a plurality nor even a substantial minority--desire any meaningful alteration in the way in which they live. They desire sameness without anxiety, and that is a different thing altogether. They desire comfort without precariousness. What they want is for someone else, politicians or business or "innovators" of some kind or other, to make the current arrangement of their lives "sustainable." They want someone to "fix" the mortgage crisis, but they will not tolerate the material reduction in standards of living that the necessary changes in the way we think of money and credit necessarily imply. They want to "do something" about climate change, which all but the most ignorant (or in-the-tank) acknowledge as an actuality, but they won't contemplate that the entire material basis of our society, from our remaining industry to the physical geography of our communities, undermines any possibility of becoming a less consumptive nation. They want to wean themselves from "dependence on foreign oil," but don't even consider that this ultimately requires the massive physical displacement of millions of people back to cenralized, pedestrian communities. They want a "safe food supply," and they are coming to understand the awfulness of transnational agribusiness, but they don't understand the malthusian dilemmas posed by returning to the lower-yield agriculture of the independent farm, nor yet the fact that such exotica as tomatoes in December would for most of us simply cease to exist. They want cheaper, easier access to healthcare, but they won't revise their attitudes about death, heroic care, and euthenasia.
Obviously that's only a partial list, but it highlights the fundamental emptiness of this oft-requested, never-commenced "change." The truth is that many of the very depredations that liberals like Digby so routinely lament are necessitated by the very nature of the lives that they live. (I hardly exclude myself from that category, by the way.) There is, however, something screamingly dishonest about calling for a change that manifests itself in the preservation of a way-of-life concurrent with the drawing of an opaqued scrim over the social and economic machinery that runs it.