We have become a nation of slogans, that has also divided us as a people, and that is now the driving force in politics. Fascists, socialism, communist, conservative, liberal, Democrat, Republican, fundamentalist, Christian, Jew, Moslem, believer, non-believer, gay, straight, and any other phrase that can be used at the moment. Every one of these words brings up an image, depending on the person's political proclivity, and their life experiences, but many times their understanding of the word is erroneous. Fascism, that has been used to describe the Obama Administration so frequently, could just as easily be used to describe the Bush Administration, as Fascism has a close relationship with the corporate world and strongly suppresses criticism. We saw much of this when anyone questioned the Bush Administration about weapons of mass destruction. The truth is, that the word is used because the connation is negative, very much like "your mother wears combat boots".
If you believe in the rights of women, the rights of minorities, the right to speak out against government, Social Security, you can be described as a liberal but many of the people that would agree to the above, would never agree to being called a liberal. By the use of "hot button words" one does not have to speak intelligently about the issue, so that when health care reform is the topic, we hear, "socialist agenda" and that begins and ends the discussion. There is no need for sensible dialogue, no need to read or study or understand------"it is a socialist agenda" and that is the end of it. It makes no matter that the president of the AMA is supporting health care reform or that 99% of the people know only what they have heard and have read nothing about what is being proposed, just that it is a socialist idea and I don't want it. There is not one single person, including the President, that knows exactly what, is being proposed; yet there are large groups of people that are against it. It is a bit like stating I don't like what we are having for supper when in fact I don't even know what the meal is.
The latest complaint to get national attention is the televised speech the President is giving to schoolchildren, encouraging them to study hard and stay in school. People are talking about not letting their children go to school on that day and David Frum, former Bush speechwriter, stated that it was because the word "mobilized" was used by the Whitehouse. We certainly would not want to mobilize children to stay in school and study hard, as that sounds like a socialist idea if I ever heard one. No matter both Bush Presidents and Reagan gave similar talks to children, and one advantage Obama has over the other 3 is that he not only came from a poor family but also was able through hard work graduate from Harvard. What better role model could a poor black kid have?
I say black kid because a big part of the problem is that the President of the United States is black and those that deny that fact are either in denial or living on a different planet. I have more respect for the redneck that simply says he can't tolerate a black man for his President than I do for the racists that hides behind political correctness. When asked recently, Colin Powell laughed when he was asked if he had ever been discriminated against. Ask any black professional that question and you will get the same answer. Does anyone believe that women in the cooperate world have not been discriminated against? When the President was campaigning, we heard over and over that he had been a community organizer, that he was too young, too inexperienced, a Moslem, went to Rev. Wright's church, when what was really meant was, that he is black. Jim DeMent is a good example of how to use race for personal gain, when he spoke of "Obama's Waterloo", knowing that it would play well with the voters in South Carolina. Can anyone possibly believe that the "birther movement" would have ever occurred if Obama had been white?
It was only 6 months ago that most financial experts thought there was a good chance that the country was close to the second Great Depression, and although we have far to go, the Dow has recovered some 40% of its loss and there is more talk of recovery. Recovery however, will be made much more difficult if the majority of the Republicans are led by ideologies like those of Jim DeMent. Obama has over and over again tried to reach across the isle but other than people like Snow and Collins, Republicans seem to have one agenda, and that is derail the President. It may well be time for the Democrats to use their majority and let the chips fall where they may.
Gin Arnold is a 70 year old liberal living in Cotacachi, Ecuador after living in S. Alabama. I have owned several businesses, lived aboard a 32 foot sailing yacht, been a bar tender, boat captain, short order cook, and imported furniture from (more...)