I tried to lay off politics for most of November and December, after the election, because I got tired of all the same ol’, same ol’ crap. I just want to get away from the angst, from both sides.
But politics is in my blood, and now that the football college bowls are over, and all the Christmas shows on Hallmark and LMN are over, I suppose I will get back into the swim, although I imagine there will be the occasional movie, and the regular shows I watch.
I’ve already learned that nothing much has changed in Congress.
Let me begin with something that continues to bug me about racial discrimination. I still hear that Obama is greatly disliked because he is a black man, and how can anyone elect a black man to the presidency, even after we have done it twice. Perhaps a Spanish lesson is needed here. The names of colours in Spanish are white: blanco; green: verde; red: roja; blue: azul; yellow: amarillo, black: negro. Considering Florida was hugely populated by the Spanish, and Louisiana, particularly New Orleans, was also greatly Spanish, it should come as no surprise that the black folks transported to this country as slaves should be called Negros. This was not their original name because they had tribes in Africa, and they were known by their tribal names. The word Negro became an ugly name only after someone decided to call them nig***s. So it has always made sense to me that once they gained their freedom, they wouldn’t want to use the name Negro to refer to themselves. And the name went out of usage, changing to African-American, and now simply black. But they are people. And no-one should have to delineate themselves from any others with names, like Negro, Hispanic, Anglo, Arabic, Oriental, or otherwise. We are all simply people, human beings, folks.
But that will not be used until my generation, and most of the generation behind me, are all dead. My granddaughter’s generation will be the first to really see everyone as equal.
As for guns: again, it needs my generation and the next to die off to get over the whole gun thing. When I was estranged from my dad (another story, which I won’t go into, but it was not my choice, nor his), I used to admire and adore Charleton Heston. Because he and my dad looked quite a bit alike. But once I was able to get to know my dad, I realized he was one of the good (Republican) guys; Charleton Heston was just a good actor. But again, the people who really fight for guns are the older white guys, like Wayne LaPierre and the leaders of white supremacy groups who want the guns out there, mostly to kill the black guys, or the Muslims, or the Sikhs, or anyone who is different from them. I imagine I would be on their list as well. I don’t count the men and women who just want hunting rifles because they like to hunt deer and quail and such – I mean the ones who want their assault weapons, and their Saturday night specials and their arsenals that are intended simply for killing people. This includes those of non-white races who have been raised in a world of hatred toward anyone who does not look like them, old Mafia families, and old Tong families, and people who believe in war as the solution to all problems. I equate those people with Hitler, who called himself a Christian, and thought blacks, Jews, gypsies, and disabled people should all die, and the world should become Aryan – white, blond-haired, blue-eyed. Believe me, he didn’t even like dark folks, like he was himself. So those of us of that generation, and the Vietnam generation, need to die off, and my granddaughter’s generation to take over.
As for Congress, I think one of the silliest arguments being made by Democratic and liberal-leaning folks is the one that says “don’t they remember who won?”. Of course they remember who won. The Paul Ryans, the Eric Cantors, the John Boehners, the Ted Cruzes, the Michelle Bachmanns – they all also won their races. To them that means that people like them, just as those like me know that Obama/Biden, Warren, Grayson, Heitkamp, and the rest of them won their races. But we are not a Democratic country just because we won the Presidency and a majority in the Senate, and gained seats in the House of Representatives. There will always be those who will go against anything Obama wants because they don’t want him in the White House, whether it is because he is black, or because he didn’t come from money and political power, or for whatever reason.
Think Chuck Hagel – he is a Republican, but already members of his own party are trying to make sure he does not get the office of Secretary of Defense. I think he will get it, but it will be a nasty process if the far-right Republicans have anything to say about it. This will happen with anyone Barack Obama nominates – whether it is John Kerry, Chuck Hagel, or anyone else, and certainly it will affect the Supreme Court if one or more of the older judges retire, as I suspect will.
Now maybe we should look at one of the reasons why: And we need to go back to 2004, when John McCain chose Sarah Palin as his running mate. Who really was/is Sarah Palin? There was no Tea Party until she came along. She was the instigator of that group of far-right Republicans who hate the freedom that the country has in general, women in particular, and non-Christians in truth. She is the one who used her attractiveness, her cute winks, her way of talking, her love of shooting animals, to attract white men to her side – and alongside them their wives, who went along with their husbands to prove they could compete with her. And who do we have to blame for bringing her into the limelight? John McCain, who today is an old man who has no clue as to what the real world is like, whose daughter disagrees with him in so many ways, a man who has never forgiven Barack Obama for defeating him, and who seems to be a leader among the Congressional Republicans who follow him and his views. So two troublemakers, John McCain and Sarah Palin, are the leaders of those who simply will defy President Obama and not those who want to work with him, Democrats and Republicans alike.
So John McCain, along with Boeher, McConnell, me, and everyone of my generation need to die off. So do most of them in the next generation after me. Once the earth finally gets rid of all people who were raised in a time of hatred, discrimination, separate bathrooms, war-mongers, and white lunch counters, then she (the earth and her inhabitants) might actually get a chance to change things so that love and peace and prosperity will belong to all humankind.
This may be what the media needs to learn as well. Tempers flare, and hatred is preached on right-wing radio and television shows, and left-wing radio and television shows jump into the fray by talking about all the same things (yes, even my own Rev. Al and Lawrence O’Donnell), and they all keep the wrong and angst in front of our eyes and ears on a daily basis. Newspapers and magazines and rags report the same stories. They all know this is what sells.
Perhaps if a few more of them would spend some time on the good things that good people do, there might be a little more of the peace on earth and goodwill toward men that truly spiritual people would like to see. I’m pretty sure, being of that generation that needs to die off first, I will never see it. And perhaps because of this, politics will become no longer an important part of my life. Maybe if I just sit in my apartment and read good books, and watch insipid television shows, and ignore most of my Facebook friends, I can attain a sort of nirvana within myself.
Nope, won’t happen. At least I hope I’m not a carrier of the disease that seems to afflict so many – the disease called hatred and intolerance.
Carol Stepp, Austin