Monday, June 09, 2008

Divide and Conquer ... or ... That was Yesterday, And Yesterday's Gone

I remember the day that John Kennedy was assassinated. I was just in grade school, but I remember that day the teacher came in and told us the news that The President had been shot.

I remember the day that Martin Luther King was assassinated.

I remember Robert Kennedy coming into my city and breaking the news to us. And due to Bobby's speech there were no riots, there was just a shared sense of loss.

I remember the day that Bobby Kennedy was assassinated. I remember being woken up and told the news and not believing it. It had to be a nightmare.

I had worked for his campaign, sure it was only stapling posters and stuffing envelopes, but I met him, got his autograph, heard him speak from 30 feet away, and I was inspired by him ... and when I heard of his death I just thought 'this can't be true!'

But it was true. 3 of America's best of the best had been assassinated within 5 years.

And that day was the day that I wondered if my love for the American ideals I'd been brought up to believe in were just bullet holes and blood stains.

I've come by my cynicism honestly. I've lived thru Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush! (WTF!?, A Bush TWICE!)

My ideals have suffered under all of them. Maybe I'm just naive. Maybe I'm a patriot. Maybe I just thought we can be what WE THE PEOPLE said we can be.

But that was yesterday, and yesterday's gone. Today I feel like we have a chance, just a chance, of reclaiming the ideals on which our country was founded.

I read the polls and it seems currently to be a statistical dead heat between Obama and McCain. How is this possible?

71% of the country disapprove of Bush's performance. And McCain not only endorses Bush's policies, he wants to expand them: Roe V. Wade overturned; More tax cuts for rich Americans; indefinite occupation of Iraq; attacking Iran; less health insurance for most Americans; less benefits for our troops; extending illegal spying on Americans, etc, etc, etc.

So, how is it possible that overwhelmingly most of our country disagrees with McCain yet the polling has them in a statistical heat!?

As FallenMonk noted; "The areas of the country where people are spending over 10% of their income today on gasoline are smack dab in the middle of the most reliable Republican-voting states. You do have to wonder why they can't see it, but regardless we obviously have our job to do."

I will be the first one to admit that I don't know why folks have consistently voted against their interests.

But I have a supposition: It's always been about the politics of divide. It is based in ignorance, amplifies a non-existent 'problem', bullhorns a lie long enough that folks who are actually just trying to make a living hear nothing but that echo echo echo chamber.

Why else would politicians be able to pit the majority of Americans against the majority of Americans? Examples to follow:
White men, women stole your jobs thru affirmative action!
White men, the black folks stole your jobs thru affirmative action!
White men, immigrants stole your jobs thru illegal immigration!

If you look at the history of the politics of divide it also includes Italians, Irish, Chinese, Greeks and ... name any other people who immigrated here. And we all immigrated here ... except for Native Americans, and the worst politics of divide were played against folks who were ALREADY HERE.

The one singular point that crops up, and is obvious thru all these false claims, is that rich people wanted to keep poor people divided so the rich could prosper even more ... at the expense of the poor.

And they have succeeded. Oh sure, there's always been folks in those communities, (AKA America), that have prospered against the norm. But almost always, after climbing the ladder, they kicked it out from under the ones who could have climbed up with them.

We need to talk to our brothers and sisters, our fathers and mothers, our neighborhood friends, the folks who live down the lane, and the folks who work next to us.

Maybe we don't even need to talk, maybe we just need to ask questions.

And if you ask the question 'will we be better off?'

And if they think about it, the answer should be clear.

Cross posted at VidiotSpeak