Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Well then, let's get started

I think my friends are getting tired of my political rants and my mother hides my posts on Facebook (she denies it, but I know it's true), so perhaps a blog might be a better outlet for my outrage.

What am I outraged about?  Politics, mostly, and the way that self-described Christians don't act very Christlike.  As Bill Maher points out, Gandhi was more Christian than most Christians.  Some people just give a good thing a bad name.

Politics... there's a hot-button issue.  Back in the day when dinosaurs roamed the earth (before they invented saddles; I like to think of herds of untamed brontosaurs running free), I was pretty "meh" about politics, as were most of the people around me.  If pressed, we'd probably say that we were politically conservative but socially liberal.  We mostly didn't care above the local level; we didn't see how national - or even state - politics affected us much.

And the "socially liberal" wasn't true, either.  Everyone knew everyone else's business, had an opinion on it, and wasn't shy about voicing that opinion, either.  Lip service was given to "live and let live", but that was just the illusion that people hid behind while they gossiped about you.... oh, excuse me - expressed concern for their fellow brothers and sisters (gossip is what you did about people who didn't attend your church).

But I left my small cozy Southern town and ventured out into the big world, and - pay attention, this is the important part - started to think for myself.  I grew up.  I started to ask all those questions that parents fear: "Why do we go to church?"  "Why is that man asking for money on the street corner?"  "Why is everyone tsk-tsking over the pregnant homecoming queen?"  You know, the questions that make people uncomfortable and tell you, "That's just the way it is.  Now go outside and play."

And the more I thought for myself and paid attention to the world around me, the less I believed in American exceptionalism and the more I believed that we are all in this together so we should work together.  Yeah, yeah... just like any good liberal, I had a kumbaya moment.  So sue me.

Which brings me to outrage.  While I've often been disgusted by certain political philosophies (**cough** capitalists/republicans/randians **cough**), there was at least a veneer of pretending that those philosophies were just a different way of governing.

I don't think that any more.  I am shocked (shocked, I tell you!) how open the GOP has been since, oh, the election of the very first not-white-male President about dismantling the very social fabric of this country.  In the perfect Republican world, there is no Medicare (seniors can die), no Medicaid or WIC (those poor women and children can starve), no unemployment insurance (no jobs, but don't let that get in the way of a good bootstrap myth)..... basically, if you're not rolling the dough, you aren't a Real True American (RTA), you're just a leech on those who are.

For a long time I gave my conservative/GOP friends a pass.  They're good people, most of them volunteer, they're kind to children, they don't kick their dogs.

But I'm rethinking that position.  They may personally be wonderful people, each and every one of them, but they're voting in people who hold frankly unAmerican positions, who try to destroy the safety net that our most vulnerable citizens rely on, and they are trampling on the rights of Americans in order to enrich their corporate overlords (and themselves).

Elections have consequences.  If my friends vote for GOP candidates, then one consequence is that I might think less of them.

1 comment:

  1. Brava! Very nicely written, Susan.

    I think you do yourself a disservice when you say "no one wants to read what I have to say".

    CAREERS have been made on lesser talents than yours.