You've probably guessed, if you've read this blog before, that I am a liberal feminist democrat. I consider myself a true believer in equality across the board. Everyone, whether gay, straight, or unsure; liberal, conservative, or in the middle; male, female, or unsure; wherever they are from, whatever they believe, whatever their skin tone, is equal. I am a believer in G-d. I was raised Jewish, but am open to all possibilities.
My kids have taught me a lot about, well, everything. Because of their autism, they have more than their share of challenges. But they are also kind, happy, incredibly loving kids. And when I am around their peers, in an environment where EVERYONE is accepted and embraced, no one is "weird," and every accomplishment is applauded, I see the world as it could be. It makes me happy and a little ashamed of my own prejudices.
We live in a world in which we believe we must defeat and dehumanize anyone who is unlike us. IMHO, it's easy to blame everything that is wrong with society on one or two groups of people. The truth is, we all hold at least some of the responsibility. We are not just responsible for ourselves and our families, but for the community at large, whether it's a neighborhood, school district, state, even the country. But these days it seems all we hear are "Those People" are destroying the economy, "those people" are putting us out of work, "those people" are ruining the country, etc. etc. And "those people" differ, depending on who is speaking.
A few years ago, I think it was '04, I watched the state of the Union address. Now, I'm not a big fan of President Bush's administration, but listening to the reactions from both sides during the speech made me think that Congress needed a time-out. (And that my kids, who were 1 1/2 and 3 months old at the time, were more mature than the congress!) And I still think that. In fact, after the time-out, they need to be forced to sit together (get rid of the Aisle) and learn to play nicely together. Regardless of which party holds the majority, if they don't get their act together and work together for the good of the country (and not just the good of the party, or to appease either Glenn Beck OR Keith Olberman), we are in serious trouble.
Civility and respect have gone by the wayside, and that is the beginning of the end for most societies. If you look at both the British and Roman empires, you can see that they fell apart from within. Is that what's happening with us?
I am embarrassed by the way we behave sometimes. Calling the president, ANY president, a liar during the State of the Union address? Yelling out "Baby Killer" at a congressman because he voted for healthcare? Although, apparently, he was referring to the bill, not the senator, but still!
And to both Fox AND MSNBC: the snarking you think is so witty and clever? It isn't. It's obnoxious. (I like Rachel Maddow, I think she's savvy and whip-smart. I just wish the network would let her be a journalist! I also like Shepard Smith, and I think I misspelled his name.) Why is it that the only people capable of seeing the ridiculousness on both sides are on Comedy Central? It's kinda sad when "The Daily Show" and "The Colbert Report," much as I love them both, are seemingly the only voices of reason out there.
When President Obama was elected, I was, like many others, truly hopeful. His message of unity was one that I truly believed in. I still do. I think that hope is still there, somewhere. But we are a society that is becoming un-governeable, it seems. Because as soon as a "winner" is declared, the opposition wastes no time in doing whatever is necessary to bring about their downfall, and the cycle starts all over again. Politics has become a big game of King of the Mountain, and we all end up losing.
I have learned a big lesson in the past few years; I can disagree with someone without hating them. We can disagree on EVERYTHING, but that doesn't mean we have to insult one another. We don't have to scream and yell and demean one another's ancestry in order to "prove" one is are right and the other is wrong. But that is EXACTLY what we, as a society at large, are doing. Falling on each other like a pack of rabid dogs. And who loses? All of us.
I understand people are angry; the economy sucks, unemployment is ridiculous, we're involved in 2 wars. But does the blame game solve anything? I don't think so. It's time the politicians and the pundits STOP trying to get the last word in and START getting over themselves enough to work with their rivals and help out the country. Yeah, this isn't the kind of talk that generates huge ratings on TV or sells millions of (hardcover) books. It's the plain, boring, unexciting work of getting the country back, for EVERYONE. And that doesn't show in any polls. There's no instant gratification.
So, to all the politicians; please I BEG you, just buckle down and get the job done!!!!!