It's a long road that don't turn, my Irish grandmother used to say, meaning everything changes eventually.
Typically Irish, it is a sentiment both fatalistic and optimistic. Today it reflects good fortune, as the long road of bad governance in this country turns toward hope and a chance for recovery.
Republican control of the presidency, the Senate, and the House of Representatives since 2000 has shown the potential for bad policy, dereliction, and corruption when checks and balances don't exist.
Of course, Democrats could have demonstrated at least moral leadership in their vacuum of power. With a very few exceptions - our congressman, Maurice Hinchey, was among them; our senators, Hillary Clinton and Charles Schumer, were not - they didn't. Most notably, the Democrats rolled over on the invasion of Iraq, to tragic results for our soldiers, Iraqi civilians, our democracy, our security, and the future of the Middle East.
We have a chance to do better now. But we need to think strategically about a political system that can go so far wrong so easily as our democracy has in the past few years.
As citizens, we need to become more active in our electoral processes. We need better people in government than supposed progressives who will vote for illegal wars when it is the easiest thing to do. We need to demand, or better yet create, more responsive and less entrenched media, to expose and correct bad leadership.
Yesterday was a good start, as we see how important simply voting can be. Imagine what we can achieve from here, with energy, hope, and effort.
for Ithaca Blog