Inside: My conservative straw man; Is this your new thing? Welfare?; Ayn Rand all up on the government teat; We’re arguing about the crumbs while the plate is being pulled from under our noses
The Death of American America
I don’t believe in gloating. I kind of feel sorry for these people. I mean, Election Day was stressful (and why the heck isn’t it a national holiday??). Still, those photos and the melodrama of people’s tweets, emails and texts is entertaining.
I’m proud to say that I don’t live in a social bubble. I don’t really have a social circle, per se, but I know and love people of all stripes. I know and respect a lot of Republicans and conservatives. I also know and respect a lot of progressives that are farther than what you think is Left. We agree on more than we realize. You just have to get past the rhetoric and talking points. That being said, don’t go crazy, please. And don’t gloat too much.
This election season has been a tough one.
By now, you know I’m even-handed. Romney probably wouldn’t be too bad, in my opinion, assuming that he would have been a President consistent with how he governed Massachusetts. Either he completely pandered to the supposed Republican base or his views really have changed a lot. I think he’s a centrist Republican. Obama is a centrist Democrat. In many ways they’re similar politicians (like in debate #3), but their administrations would differ and their policies would diverge on social issues. That’s my two cents.
I think it’s great how high the turnout was for a Mormon and an interracial black man. We’ve come a long way. Kind of. A lot of that was driven by animosity, but still. It trumped apathy and those who were telling people not to vote for one reason or another.
That said, I don’t like where the Republican party is going. I think you need to figure some things out. You’ve got an important contribution to make but it’s getting lost in complacent extremism.
You, my straw man for this blog entry, have backed off of the Socialism/Communism/Muslim/Birther approach and have decided that you lost this election because America is now a country of “takers instead of makers” where elections are decided by minorities and young people and as we all know: Minorities want things. From Santa Claus.
So I’m seeing a lot of this on Facebook and what not and have been biting my tongue.
I commented on a friend’s post a few weeks ago, pointing out that Obama actually said x and not y. Someone else responded (I really have to remember to take screenshots for entertainment value) and said:
“Gary you suck just like Obama. You must be on govt assistance, food stamps, etc.”
See, this is why you lost.
Whether these comments are motivated by purely economic frustration or racial stereotypes, prejudices and racism, they show a fair amount of ignorance about and disdain for America. It makes me think that you get your information solely from right-wing radio.
Yes, there are more people on some kind of assistance now. It’s unfortunate but what do you expect after an epic housing and foreclosure crisis that led to a recession? People have been hurting. And I feel like I need to disabuse the mental image that’s probably in your mind right now. There are more white people on welfare than black people. Minorities are over represented, percentage-wise, no doubt. That doesn’t change the fact that, numerically, there are more white Americans than others on welfare. Good ol’ red state Americans.
You probably know people who have had to use some kind of government program to make ends meet. A lot of hardworking and rat race working people who have been hit hard in the past 8 years (note that I’m intentionally including the last Presidency and the current one because this recession or whatever it is has been a long arc). People lost savings, pensions and hope for their retirement. The Baby Boomers — that statistical bulge in the population snake — is now hitting retirement and pension age.
You have college graduates living with their parents, huge student loans to pay off and trying to find work. You have middle agers taking care of kids and senior citizen adults.
Add the health and fitness of the average American to this equation and the expense of health care and … wow.
There are a lot of people who never thought they’d be in this situation. They don’t want to be but they need help. The working poor, single parents, people with multiple jobs, unemployed in a shifting global economy (where you have 20 years experience working at a steel mill in an economy that doesn’t really make things anymore).
These are the people that you’re calling “takers”, “moochers”, the “47% of people that want things”, lazy, “sucking off of the government teat”. You’re clinging to old myths about welfare and debasing people. And you seem to be having fun doing it.
This is why you lost. If you’re going to be the Ayn Rand party at least acknowledge the fact that she received government assistance in her elderly years.
A Tale of Two Cities
The economy is still bad but slowly improving. That’s a good thing but I think it’s regional. The DC Metro area and tech valleys are very different than Youngstown, Ohio or Bethlehem, PA.
While not every Honey Boo Boo can get a reality show or a white collar job, Americans were projected to spend about $300 million on pet costumes for Halloween. Holiday travel is expected to increase by 50% this year over last year.
iPads/iPhones/tablets/smartphones are apparently having record sales.
“This economy sucks. I’m going to get another venti latte to drown my economic angst in while I Facebook and Christmas shop on my iPad Mini.”
It confuses me.
The only thing you lost is an election
I hope we’re all calming down now. People have lost their natural minds and have lost their impulse control along with it.
- “America just died.”
- “We’ve lost the country.”
- “We need our country back.”
- “It’s not a traditional America anymore.”
Like, there’s not even any specificity anymore. It’s just shock and angst and a general feeling of loss.
I’ve encountered people who, in a state of dejected shock, have lost faith in America. Someone made a direct comparison of Obama to Hitler, which still has me scratching my head. Someone else talking about Communism and saying people who voted for Obama should move out of the US if they don’t like it here.
People talking about seceding. Taking up arms. Giving advice to buy all the guns and bullets that you can stock up. Buy gold, of course.
Beyond the initial reaction of your candidate’s loss, there’s all of this anger, rage, fear and violent imagery.
If you love and care for America, as I know you do, then you have to accept the fact that we have more than one party. The party and candidates we support won’t always win. When that happens, that is our Democratic Republic in action. That’s what the founding fathers had in mind. Choices. Just because the other guy won doesn’t mean the system is broken.
It means that you have two to four years to rally, plan and elect other representatives into local and state offices. Then another chance at the Presidency in four years. If you love someone or something — if you really care about him/her/it — you don’t threaten to walk away and shoot him/her/it in the face in the name of freedom every time he/she/it frustrates you.
I don’t know where you’ve been getting your information, but Pres. Obama is not a loser. He’s not a nigger or a monkey (see below). He’s not sub-human. He’s not ignorant. He’s not a bully. He’s not an egomaniac (anymore than anyone else who willingly runs to be President). He’s not a Socialist, Muslim, Communist infiltrator. He is not the Antichrist. He is not gunning to be the President of the New World Order. He does not want to destroy America from within. God has not abandoned you. God is not punishing you.
President Obama isn’t perfect. Far from it. There are a number of his policies that I disagree with and, frankly, I was disappointed in 2008 when he started appointing people from the Clinton era. I was disappointed when he continued policies from the Bush Administration as well.
But you’ve allowed yourself to demonize and dehumanize this man and his family. You’ve listened to endless talking points, spin and bombastic blowhards and wingnuts. It’s not healthy. It’s not right. It also explains how you so easily dehumanize those who voted for Obama and the imagery you project on to over half of the country’s voting population.
Then there’s this
And things like this:
And that post that said on election day that there’d be a surge in votes for Romney after 5pm because that’s when hardworking Americans get off of work unlike the shiftless jobless people that will be voting for Obama. See? That there.
Whatever your political views, don’t let people say things like this without talking them down from the ledge of hateful bigotry. If your friends call someone nigger or fag or automatically label religious people as hateful or whatever, let them know that they are welcome to cool it and not give in entirely to their lizard brains. You can’t hate or assume superiority over someone based on attribute X and claim that you’re not hateful. Just let them know.
We all need to be accountable for our words and public/social sentiments. This applies to the Left, too. I read about your Tweets, too, Lefties. But you, the Right, will continue to lose support if you let your party, your base and your constituency sink into the muddy manure of class-based chauvinism and bigotry.
How are you even going to get into offices in the future to address economic issues if part of your platform is “F— those people. Categorically. That group and them, too.”
That’s why you lost this time.
To post or not to post
We’ve got some real problems to deal with and they don’t have simple solutions. Raise taxes, lower taxes, create jobs, cut spending, more revenue, smaller government. Every option has very real consequences that affect people. The world is not a sterile laboratory where you can pick Keynes or Hayek, press “Go” and watch the economy right itself.
It takes time (years and sometimes decades), smart policies, and mostly the confidence of a nation to turn things around.
We are NOT a country with 51% lazy, immoral moochers and 48% righteous, successful job creating children of light.
No one has a monopoly on vices. We’re a wealthy nation and have a matching sense of entitlement. We suffer from diseases of excess. We’ve grown accustomed to a standard of living and consumption and are struggling with the adjustments that are happening in this new, global economy.
We”re bickering at each other and meanwhile ignoring the fact that about $6 billion was spent on this election.
Just … let’s all chill out so we can figure this thing out. Enough so that we can have meaningful conversations and even arguments and come to some agreement. What the heck is this fiscal cliff the pundits are talking about now?
That’s what I want for Christmas. That and a Sony NEX6.