The media has been bragging on Bob Dole for his counseling session to the Republican Party via the media. He compares his long tenure of “getting our work done” with the slowness in Congress today. I understand much of Dole’s complaints and would certainly agree with many of his assertions. For instance, I think the House has taken 37 votes to repeal the Affordable Care Act. It is asinine to take that much time running on a dead-end road. I don’t think Dole’s class would have pursued like behavior and the waste of time. But the pettiness of the current roster in Congress and especially the establishment-disdained Tea Party is only a fraction of the sad story.
Dole served, including the House and Senate, from 1961 to 1996. Many observers will date the general decline of the country from the post WW-11 period, especially from the 60’s on. Although, there are numerous technological, educational, financial, and even select cultural advances in this era; the seeds of decay were sown, and sown deep. Dole was there for much of it.
The modern welfare state was birthed during the Dole era. There was a lot of lost debates; a lot of lost votes; by the opponents of the welfare state. But, in the end most of the opposition seemed to get re-elected. If the same value-system had been applied to the politicians, as to football coaches, many politicians would have been out of a job. The intensity of the welfare-state struggle was never such that a pliant, ill-informed, and passive voter could become aroused. The result was the development of a welfare state that cannot now be sustained.
Dole was there when the snake-oil salesmen raided the Reagan Administration. I may have missed it, but I don’t remember Dole making a stand against some of the bizarre economic theories that have landed the country into international borrowing and a multi-generational debt prison.
Dole and his class seemed to have maintained a reticent position, as year after year and decade after decade, our economy and the means of production steadily consolidated. As a result, our whole economic freedoms, that we boost about, is now being challenged or in jeopardy by monopolies, oligopolies, and financial concentration.
If you roll back 50 years or more we have had a cultural make-over in the country. Cultural practices and cultural thinking have radically changed for the worse. Dole’s class, and those of his persuasion, did have some success in keeping back the destructive forces we see emerging today. Yet, there were big losses in his time.
It was Dole’s class, in all that nearly 40 years, that set-up much of today’s struggles. When, finally, a political force says, we cannot continue on this course without eventually losing our freedoms; then, that stand, commonly becomes uncivil !