I’m not sure where we took this turn. We’ve always had Democrats and Republicans, at least during my lifetime. There have always been Liberals and Conservatives and everything in between. We’ve always had lively, sometimes rancorous political debate and we’ve often disagreed with one another vehemently during an election and then gone right back to being friends the day after. It was just the way politics was done in America.
But no more. Today, there’s no such thing as civil discourse or even political debate. Those days are long gone and today the only thing we have that even approaches a political philosophy of any kind is hate. Not since the nineteenth century have we seen hatred dominate our political spectrum the way it does today and the sad part is it’s based on the same things now that it was then, racism, bigotry and religious intolerance. In all my years of coming up through the fifties and sixties, fighting for equality and the right of every man and women to walk among their peers with dignity and heads up did it ever occur to me that there would come a day when pure, unadulterated hatred would be the rule and not the exception and that our children would be working as hard to tear down what we had built and defending hate as “humor” or “free expression”. When the best reason you can come up with for voting for someone is that you’re voting against someone else… no matter what the consequences… you’ve pretty much shown you’re too damned ignorant to be trusted with the vote but here in America everyone has a say… as long as they can keep from being expunged off the voter rolls for being brown in a white Christian country.
If much of the rest of this post sounds familiar to many, there’s a reason for that. I freely admit that I have not only been heavily influenced by but paraphrased and even lifted verbatim, passages from a January 12th Daily KOS diary by Ministry of Truth titled “Open Letter To Those Who Hate Obama More Than They Love Their Country”. I do so because I could labor mightily for weeks to come up with some way to express the basic truths in the heart of that diary in my own words and because I feel so strongly about the subject matter and couldn’t say it any better myself, it would come out sounding as if I had… well… paraphrased or lifted it verbatim anyway. First thing I want to talk about is hate and that’s where MOT’s diary comes in.
I meet you all the time on line. You’re everywhere and wherever you are you hate something or somebody. There’s no escaping you or your hate, nowhere one can go where people congregate and not feel the primal hate like it was something something palpable about to attack from the darkness and suck the very marrow from your bones.
You hate Obama worst of all. I had one person tell me that she hated “that man” and couldn’t really explain why. He simply aroused inexplicable blind hatred in her. I had a guy tell me it didn’t matter who it was, anybody was better than Obama. Blind ignorant hate that can’t even be explained by those doing the hating. What a rationale for casting a vote, eh?
You hate poor people and would deny them the very assistance that helped many of you through your own hard times See the section on hypocrisy, below).
You hate gay people, often invoking Jesus’ name although I’ve read the bible twice now and have yet to find a passage where Jesus hated anybody, including gays. As near as I can tell, Jesus didn’t shun anyone except the money changers, one of the few groups you people DON’T shun.
You hate black people, immigrants and Muslims, not necessarily in that order but you hate ’em. All of ’em. Little ones, big ones, it doesn’t matter. You burn their holy books and destroy their relics all in the name of Jesus who not only would find such practices abominable but if he showed up today wearing his robes preaching his gospel of love and caring for one another, would likely be run out of town on a rail as a damned hippie socialist. Today’s Jesus… maybe Jesus v2.0?… must wear Armani suits and have offices on Wall Street.
You hate labor unions because you’re afraid the workers who produce the goods will want a little better deal for themselves than they’re getting from those who simply sit and push piles of other people’s money around. You know, the ones who call themselves “job creators” but who have done nothing but outsource and offshore jobs for the past thirty years having created not one single job since their tax cuts kicked in in 2001. But of course, I keep forgetting, you’ve compressed those thirty years into the last three years and absolved yourselves of any and all blame for all that.
You hate women who want the right to make choices concerning their bodies, even when your own (government?) insurance company is probably paying for your own birth control and you may yourself have had one or more abortions at taxpayer expense. And in a stunning example of double standards as expressed by El Puerco, those women who enjoy recreational sex the same way MEN enjoy recreational sex are sluts and prostitutes and since you’re paying for them to have sex, you ought to get to watch them do it. Isn’t that what the fat pervert said?
You hate being called racist even while posting pictures of the President of the United States in witch doctor garb with a bone through his nose. For you, that’s just good old fashioned “humor” and if someone gets “butthurt” by it, hey that’s THEIR problem not yours because YOU get to define racism and by God, you’re not a racist.
Many of you can’t even talk about about black people… or these days, brown people… without automatically assuming they are thieves, murderers or worse… so much so that you can follow a black kid part way home after being told not to, provoke an incident and then kill him for threatening you with a bag of Skittles and your community will rally around you and try to protect you from the consequences of your own actions.
You automatically assume that black women are on food stamps and their men are in one of our newly privatized for profit prison system jails that require a constant flow of bodies through the system to provide dividends for the taxpayers but you’d deny vehemently that you engage in stereotyping entire groups of people you deem inferior to your own white Christian self because stereotyping of that nature is racist and you get to define racism and by God, you’re not a racist.
Yes, you… the majority… deny the affected minority the right to determine what is offensive and/or hurtful to them and demand the right to define racism on your own terms so that you can vigorously deny that calling the POTUS a tar baby is racism but is just some of that good hilarious Larry the cable Guy hillbilly humor. Maybe if you’d stop doing that you’d stop having to beat up on those with the temerity to point out you’re doing it but that’s not necessary because by God YOU determine what’s racist and what’s not, and you’re not a racist.
If there’s one thing you’re good at, it’s hating whole groups of people, often several different groups at the same time. Yet you hate being called a bigot to the point of being a bigot about it. Maybe if you talked about things like creating jobs or securing health care for the millions of victims of our current Wall Street contrived depression more than you talk about why you hate Obama and/or this group or that group you wouldn’t be called bigots but we all know that’s not going to happen, don’t we?
You not only hate socialism (even though only about ten percent of you could define the term right now without running for a dictionary and then you wouldn’t accept the definition) you also hate social justice. You hate community organizing, You hate regulations and taxes and spending and the Government. You simply hate.
Wait a bit though, I’m being unfair. You don’t hate EVERYTHING. You LIKE never ending wars that make Wall Street and defense contractors like good old KBR who manged to “lose” between 9 and 27 billion bucks (nobody knows for sure how much) in Iraq alone lots and lots of money.
And you like yourselves some torture too. I remember a time when we thought that torturing political prisoners was a practice only to be engaged in by those Communist barbarians from the “Evil Empire” during the Cold War. Now we has met the “Evil Empire” and he is us. Today. you think it’s a real cool thing to do, especially to all those brown people with other religious beliefs with a liberal or two tossed in now and again.
And you have an outright love affair going on with hypocrisy which is my second major subject and the one I’m going to talk about now. It’s a subject I feel qualified to speak to since I see it on a daily basis, being proudly displayed by people I once thought were close to me. If there is anything you LOVE with a passion that many of you claim to reserve for Jesus, it’s your God given right to be a total damned hypocrite and thanks to electronic media and social networking that allows a complete nobody to be a major cheap shot king or queen among his or her peers or “minions”, most of you manage to get in several hours a day of practice at it.
Going to use the small town I grew up in as an example. Small farming community, 50 years of history during the transition from the dust bowl migrant system of agriculture through the bracero era to the almost full mechanization employed by the factory farms today. Hard little dirt scrabble town straight out of Grapes of Wrath in the 40s when I landed there. Poor. The kind of poor that “grinding poverty” doesn’t begin to describe.
There were times during the 50s and 60s, even into the 70s, when at least seven or eight out of ten families in that town were flat on their backs broke and on some form of assistance. There weren’t a lot of social programs other than direct assistance through the USDA commodities program and some small cash aid grants. All of the major social programs came in the late 70s and 80s when our kids were growing up there and thereby hangs the tale.
I would guess… conservatively… that 75-80% of the (white) families in that town during the late 60s-70s lived in FMHA subsidized homes and were on various forms of assistance for varying lengths of time, including food stamps, Medicaid, rent subsidies, etc. No shame in it, really. Basic farm labor just doesn’t do a whole lot in providing more than the most basic of necessities.
The kids that were born there during that period and who went on to have families of their own there? Nothing changed. I look at my own two oldest daughters and most of their poorer friends and the pattern is clear. Most of them had kids early and were immediately absorbed into the system, some of them struggling to escape, many of them not making it for up to ten years or so before they finally managed to plant their feet on higher ground and get above it all. The point is that very few of these people escaped some degree of the kind of poverty that had worn down every generation before their own and that required liberal applications of social programs to keep them going until they could make it on their own… those that hadn’t managed to escape early. And who was paying for it? Right, MY generation. That’s the way it always was when we were a people instead of a rabble… one generation paying it forward for the next.
You’d think that kids that had basically been born to poverty, grew up in poverty and had been forced often to live a life of poverty on various forms of subsidies from the taxpayers that were part of the great social experiment that had begun with the New Deal would be those more likely to have compassion for those who find themselves in the same boat today. If so, you sadly underestimate the capacity for hypocrisy that pervades today’s Republican voter base. In fact, sad doesn’t even begin to describe it.
Until a couple of days ago, I would get up in the mornings and check my Facebook page like millions of others and seldom would a day go by without that whole little knot of about ten 40 somethings posting several examples each of what they called “humor”, some harmless but some also mean minded little cheap shots at this group or person or that. Some directed at the president, others at “Liberals” at large or, more and more, at the expense of those who today are exactly what they were 10-15 years ago, all designed to lay claim to some kind of moral superiority that they had neglected to earn during their relatively short lifespans.
To hear these people go on you’d never believe that most of them were largely raised on the very programs and social safety nets that they want to deny the next generation now that they themselves figure they no longer need them. It’s the whole “welfare queen” syndrome that began under Reagan all over again only the ones doing it now are the ones it was being done to then. It doesn’t get much more hypocritical than that.
Today, I am no longer on Facebook and seem have been pretty much disowned by most of my family which is no big deal really. I made the mistake of calling bullshit on some of the stuff being said that I took issue with, which is interpreted in 21st century Newspeak as “Trolling my timeline” or some such gibberish.
Truth of the matter is that I’ve been dying alone in this little apartment for several years now and seriously doubt that the time I have left will be any the worse for lack of something I never had in the first place. But I will always regret seeing some of the kids I loved most in the world, including a few not even my own, become selfish, self absorbed little brats who seem to have forgotten the first thirty years of their lives and the crap they had to go through to get to where they are today.
It hurts to see them working so hard to deny the same opportunities they were privileged to receive to those who are following them, especially in these depressed times when we should be pulling together and doing more for each other, not less. I’ll be gone in a manner of a relatively few months now. They will have to live with the results of their actions for a while yet and part of it’s going to entail explaining to their kids why they allowed the Fascist vampires to take over the country because they hated one man more than they cared about the country’s future. Good luck with that.