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Saturday, September 17, 2011

The Good Ol' Daze

Nostalgia: A yearning for the past, often in idealized form.
It's hard to deny that in choosing to be a republican, one is also choosing be aligned with anti-intellectuals. religious, homo-phobic, anti-woman, perverts and angry, gun-toting, sociopaths hell bent on destroying even the most basic functions that make our society function.  Add to this the cult of death status that the Tea-jadists earned in the last two debates and you've got an incredibly frightening minority of rich, white, religious zealots who, through their blind, political loyalty are well positioned to send Barack packing in a little over a year.  It's frightening to think of President Perry, but BO and the Dems have asked for it by betraying the progressives in the party.  BO, to anyone who was paying attention had never really declared himself to be a liberal or progressive.  What he offered was an alternative to the typical rich, white dude in the 10K suit by being the rich, black dude in the 10K suit; that and he symbolized progress, even though he wasn't (and clearly still isn't) for it.  Don't take my word for it; BO dug his own grave with progressives long ago with his Pontious Pilate routine concerning gay marriage, not to mention a few dozen other issues and one look at the people he was putting in charge of this nation's financial oversight apparatus', just after the election, was a dead give away that we were in for more of the same "pull yourself up by the bootstraps" mentality of the last 30 years.  

But, BO isn't the problem here, nor necessarily are the republicans the rock in our shoes.  What we, American's with fully developed frontal lobes, keep encountering in our struggle to move forward with civilization is a small, but well organized, minority of brutes in the electorate that have hunkered down and are waiting for either Jesus to show up again or for "Leave it to Beaver" to be on Prime-time TV.  Most of them are my age, if not just a bit older; which means they are not old enough to truly remember the good old days that they are constantly pining for.  These troglodytes are sticking to the notion that America was once a great nation, that did no wrong and everyone was always happy.  They want to come home to the Eisenhower era ranch house after a long day at the Reagan era office.  Well, the truth is that that America never existed; at least not for people of color, the poor, women, children or even dogs.  That America was sponsoring oppressive tyrants all over the world, operating an apartheid system within its own borders and learning to consume this worlds resources at an exponential rate.  At least this is America as the "enlightened" angry liberal side presents it in attacking the right.  I think both sides are right and simultaneously dead wrong.  

There is a third America that existed; the America that I remember reading about and am still inspired by; it is the America that I am pining for.  The America that was coming to grips with it's oppression of people of color and began a long and often bloody struggle to get us on the path towards equality.  It is the America that looked to the great strides that European nations had made in re-building their infrastructure after WWII and decided to build great roads and bridges that brought us closer as a nation and put people to work.  It is the America that looked to the sky at night and wondered in awe at what the view might be like looking from the other direction.  It is the America that decided that working men and woman deserved a living wage and that all children should have an opportunity for the best education in the world.   It is the America of dreams and hope, not fear and distrust.  It is not the America of cynicism or myth.  It is not the America that belongs only to the powerful and rich.  It is not the America of angry zealots or no-nothing nihilists.  It is the pragmatic America that Jefferson imagined should run like a "great machine".  As long as we have leaders that stand up only for powerful interests, economic alchemy and a tiny minority of nostalgic buffoons, that machine will never be great again.

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