I was listening to 105.9 today on the commute home, and the speaker said one or two things that resonated with me, especially following my– – albeit cursory– glance-over of last night’s Union of the State address, as follows: “The Obama administration has failed to acknowledge the definition imposed upon us. ” He went on to rail against the related ‘phony box’ within which we’ve been, by definition, confined. Having grown up in the metro DC area, I am used to the under-toned message that ‘we (the Republicans, the GOPs, the big elephant in the room (of which, to be obnoxiously tangential, is a Hindu-associated symbol of good luck ) are the problem. Honestly, when someone says they are a Republican or conservative, I think there’s a certain instant stigma attached to that claim, a construct of that claimant as being a bone-headed, close-minded, money-mongering species, set apart from the true ‘American people’ and the party that works for the ‘common good.’ I see far more abusive-style rhetoric flung at ‘us’ in a very off-color, un-politically correct manner without a fairly paralleled scrutiny applied…than that IS applied towards the opposing party if they were to dare do the same.
‘Last night, Obama ‘made clear — both in terms of the policy proposals he outlined and the rhetoric he used to do it — that his focus for the next year would be on what he could do without Congress. “Whenever and wherever I can take steps without legislation to expand opportunity for more American families, that is what I am going to do,” Obama said in the early moments of the speech. ‘ And, embedded into that picturesque, lofty rhetoric that boasts the greats in pathos-geared speech is the underlying message: We, the other party, are the problem. We are the modern-day Confederates, the real-world version of the Dark Side and, by the simplistic villianizing of us as such, we equally American in spirit and individuality are marginalized. Nothing wrong with you, Obama, appealing to the middle class– the beef of the nation’s sandwich. But why do it at such a cost to us — by your vice and virtue of attacking the ‘phony-box’-derived core of us …why make it such a devisive matter of the have’s and have’s not as a conceptualization of a curtain of the opportunistic privileged versus the gallent, deprived disadvantaged? This is not a fairy tale in which one party rises as the protagonist– contrary to popular/populist thinking. But, to many of you, your view of us vs. you enables you to feel at moral liberty to villianize ‘us’– without taking into consideration, that if it was the other way around, we’d be– as we ever are– labeled The Problem.
Guess what? I’m a novice Republican, a half-jestingly proclaimed Warhawk— categorized as a radically-considered 75% conservative according to various Politico-style quizzes. Like my Daddy, I have certain reservations about the DREAM act (of which’s passing in his Maryland state last year, he woefully observed), about extensions of unemployment insurance, about arguments for tax hikes for the upper class (because while I’m currently in the 5th to 10th income-earning percentile, I will one day truly and unabashedly, un-apologetically be in that <5% percentile where such-said measure would truly hand a personal sting). At the same time, I’m also a former public-school teacher who believes in Obama’s goals of expanding Pre-K and universal education, and better-aligning job-training opportunities to the workforce.
What I’m not for is another party’s type of gallantry derived from ‘cherry-picking.’ Whatever my/our party line, we, as much as any other, represent the people and voice of this country. We are not more American, nor “un-American” by virture/vice of having a different vision of what constitutes working for the common good. I’m sure I’m inviting flak for even referencing the following…but such demoralizing-ly categorized groups as the Hezbollahs come to mind. (I’m aware of the danger of interpreting said reference in a hyperbolic fashion and, of course acknowledge, that we are far from being the Western counterpart, and far from ever being labeled as a ‘terrorist organization’ but let’s focus on the fact that some countries [looking at you, America] has eschewed any nod to Hezbollah’s social, medical, and educational work and the fact that their most bellicose move was to drive out invading Israelis from southern Lebanon and that the Hezbollah demographic make-up include Christians and Sunnis because why? Because, bottom-line, America is Israel’s buddy and because the Hezbollah’s ‘vision of working for a great, common good’ is different from ours.)
There is a virtue to respecting the grays. Inequality…growing gap? You don’t say. Reality as well as construct of such, my friend, foe, and family.