To Comfort The Afflicted
And Afflict The Comfortable

To Comfort The Afflicted And Afflict The Comfortable

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Observercast

Bearing Witness

on

Well, Oklahoma Democrats got smoked again [and some pollsters now have zero credibility].

In 2014, state Sen. Joe Dorman, with little name recognition outside his district, pulled 41% of the statewide vote. In 2018, former Attorney General Drew Edmondson [of no recent relationship], with a family political heritage of more than 60 years, grabbed 42.2% of the vote. Last week former Republican Joy Hofmeister, with a mammoth campaign war chest, won 41.8% of the vote.

So, one can conclude that the statewide split is roughly 60-40 against Democrats, and is only that close because of a strong urban Democratic presence – strong enough that part of Oklahoma City was gerrymandered into western Oklahoma to dilute its influence and disenfranchise those voters’ urban concerns.

[The alacrity with which Republicans act to consolidate power shames Democrats’ sloth. If Washington, DC and Puerto Rico had been granted the statehood they deserve in 2021, Democrats would likely have four more senators and five more representatives.]

In my area, the split is about 70-30 for “strong” candidates such as Hofmeister and Jena Nelson, who lost her race for state school superintendent against an ally of Kevin Stitt’s war on public education. In other races the Republican edge is closer to 80-20.

Writing blue in a 70%-80% red county could give one the blues. Spitting in the wind?

“What do you expect to accomplish?”

“You’re not going to change anyone’s mind.”

“You’re just preaching to the choir.”

“The people you’re trying to reach won’t even read you.”

It’s great to hear from supportive friends.

Long-time environmental ally George Russell observed recently – with daily evidence supporting him – that “the planet is doomed.”

The facts don’t support any optimism, I agreed, “but fighting the greedhead bastards is sort of a habit.”

This reflects the basic service that outsiders can provide society: holding people accountable.

We can point out what politicians are doing and what they are saying, whether the one agrees with the other and their potential consequences for the rest of us.

When public Christians claim to be anointed by God to deliver us from evil, it should be mentioned that they endorse ripping families apart and caging small children on concrete floors; they silently condone or openly practice vile, bigoted hate speech or seek to deify a mere mortal proud of his misogyny, racism and ignorance – spouting lies about “stolen elections” to cult worshipers.

When supposed fiscal conservatives work diligently to funnel as much public money as they can grasp into the corporate coffers of desired donors, it makes sense to point out that corporate socialism helps most those who need such assistance least – especially since these lapdog representatives continually reduce the tax contributions of the wealthy.

Some people – many Oklahomans and most of their politicians – need to be reminded that Jan. 6, 2021 saw an attempted coup, the attempted overthrow of the republic by a demagogue whose home-grown nazism now has its own Hitleresque, one finger up salute.

And, yes, the short-term profiteers who will leave Earthwide destruction as their legacy need to have their self-satisfied greed denounced. They have known the damage they have been inflicting for more than 40 years – and lied about it repeatedly to line their pockets.

A few tough words are not going to change these malefactors’ ways. They have too much money or power at stake.

And, faced with the indifference of a public content to let its worst elements dominate the public discourse, what can one person do?

Bear witness.

Previous article
Next article
Gary Edmondson
Gary Edmondson
Gary Edmondson is chair of the Stephens County Democrats. He lives in Duncan, following a sporadic career as a small-town journalist, mostly in Texas, and as an editor of educational audio-visual materials. Some days he's a philosopher/poet, others a poet/philosopher.
Mark Krawczyk
Mark Krawczyk
March 9, 2023
Exceptional reporting about goings on in my home state as well as informative opinion pieces that makes people think about issues of the day...........get a SUBSCRIPTION FOLKS!!!!!!!
Brette Pruitt
Brette Pruitt
September 5, 2022
The Observer carries on the "give 'em hell" tradition of its founder, the late Frosty Troy. I read it from cover to cover. A progressive wouldn't be able to live in a red state without it.