Thursday, September 27, 2012

Eyes on the Prize

We are heading into the final leg of this political race (and those of you who follow this blog for the book end of things, I apologize), and it's looking like Mr. Obama will be re-elected, barring some horrific gaffe or disaster on his part. And it also looks like a number of Tea Party favorites are currently in a position where they are fighting for their political lives.

This is the thing. I'm pretty left. There hasn't been a major candidate that exists that is as left as I am. I acknowledge that my views are not mainstream. I also acknowledge that there will NEVER be a candidate who passes my litmus test. I have made do with all the Democratic candidates that have come along. Probably my favorite has been Bill Clinton. And yet he also deregulated banks so that they could merge their securities departments with their banking functions, which essentially laid the ground work for the financial meltdown you saw in 2008. And he also pushed through NAFTA, which killed the labor movement in the United States. As much as I adore Bill, he's not perfect by a long shot. But basically, he adheres to a general philosophy of that it takes-a-village mentality, and doesn't chastise the poor for being, well, poor, unlike the Republican mantra that equates poverty with sloth and sin.

I acknowledge my otherness. I don't hate the system because it doesn't adhere to my views. I believe that democracy, which is the general will of the people, is a pretty damn fine system, and if I'm outside the bell curve, that's is my problem. The majority of Americans are far too conservative for me, but I recognize that THEY are the majority. I am not.

So Tea Partiers, this is a shout out to you. Accept your otherness, your extreme point of view, much as I have learned to accept mine. Do you know why your Republican candidate is losing? I will tell you why. Because you have bullied and threatened and forced others in the Republican party to adhere to your narrow viewpoint, so much so that you have ensured his defeat. I don't think much of his moral center (indeed, I don't think he has one--ambition thy name is Romney), but he's fairly middle of the road, albeit a little wedded to a leaner, meaner society. You pushed him into extreme positions (that he now finds himself backtracking on) to satisfy your narrow point of view.

Which was so pointless, Republicans! I thought you guys had brains.

How do you combat Obama, a President who inherited a mess of an economy, let's be fair, and who couldn't possibly fix that economy in four years, but why quibble about that. Common sense would say pull that centrist rug out from his compromised economic feet and hijack his stage. Romney would have been an ideal candidate for that. You didn't. You lurched even FARTHER right. Bad call. And Romney, who is basically a centrist, found himself caught in a horrible bind. He was dancing the extreme right mamba when really he was a centrist waltz kind of guy. Which he had to do to appease you people. Which meant that he entered this election with a credibility gap that continues to widen.

I know you wish that most Americans would think like you do. I wish that most Americans thought like I did. But I don't push my admittedly different agenda onto my candidates. I accept that I'm far too left for most Americans, but you have failed to accept that your viewpoint is far too right for most Americans. You have brought this on yourselves. I hope that this elections finally ends the hegemony of the Tea Party because I am sick of you people. I am sick of someone like Sarah Palin who thinks her high school education has given her the credentials to comment on global, political, and economic issues. I am sick of candidates who have benefited greatly from lucrative government contracts and yet see everyone else's use of government funds as handouts. I am sick of your racist, ignorant remarks. I am sick of you debasing, ignoring, and trivializing women.

What is even better is that I think that a huge number of Americans are sick of you, too. You know what? Keep on talking. Keep on exposing your ignorance. Keep on advertising exactly who you are and what you stand for: bigotry, sexism, hatred, racism, and ignorance. Talk your way out of office. Talk your way into political oblivion. Because you've had a little over two years to spread your message and let me tell you, people are getting it. Ask Mitt Romney.


Phyllis said...

Amen, Sister. On all of it. I don't know where you live, but try living on the buckle of the Bible Belt where everyone thinks someone who believes as you and I are from the devil...literally.

I'm a sweet, smart, educated former teacher still married to my high school sweetheart. I taught music in public school, raised two great kids, I volunteer, give charitably, babysit my grandkids, and am basically an all around good egg. When anyone I know realizes I'm a democrat and voting (again) for Obama, they are stunned and say so! "You seem so nice and smart -- how could you possibly vote for him?!" In addition to being insulting, I have to bite my tongue until my mouth bleeds to stop myself from telling them (constantly) that one, that's insulting, and two, I happen to think THEY are the idiot.

Obviously, you hit a nerve...don't know you, but like you.


Claire M. Johnson said...

@ Gigi

Yes, there is a reason that I live in California, and it's not only because of the weather. I really do accept that I'm out of the mainstream. Does that mean I don't vote? Of course not! It means that I look at all of the candidates and I (usually) have to choose the one that I think generally adheres to my basic philosophy. I do believe in the village metaphor, which is a general Democratic philosophy.

Don't you think that a lot of this is just plain racism, given that Obama is actually fairly conservative for a Democrat (listen to the left wing of the Democratic Party and they are in despair over his policies). Basically, we are no longer a nation of white people (not that I think we ever were). And it really rubs people the wrong way. There was an interesting report that the racial profiling in Arizona is how galvanizing Latinos to get out the vote. This is the flip side of race-baiting, which the GOP seem to be embracing with a vengence. Sigh.