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Friday, October 9, 2009

Teach, your parents well...

Great old song by CSNY. If you are too young to get the reference, sorry you missed some of the greatest music ever made. Actually, the title line is Teach, your children well. But the point of the song is otherwise.

The lesson of the song rings true today as the conservative world spins on a new axis of Obama hating and does contortions to not say what they must really want to say. I don't know what that is, but the tongue twisting of "what was the committee thinking" and "Obama should refuse the award" is double speak for we really don't like Obama. These people wouldn't know how to speak truth to power if they were given a script and coached with "line!"

I thought the Prez was gracious in his acceptance and unifying when he put the Prize into a "call to action." That's our community organizer! Just makes my heart sing. But I get it that others are not willing to heed that call. But let the rest of us have a chance to do so. That's what the right can't stand - is that for every step taken by Obama, they see their forward progress eroding. Despite our best efforts to play winners and losers with elections, politics is NOT a zero sum game. This notion that if I give in to you it hurts me (like the my marriage is threatened if gay couples are allowed to marry) is so closeminded that there will never be a solution. It is like a Jihad...I keep fighting you until I beat you or I die trying. This is not what politics is supposed to be and every day we take more steps down that slippery slope. Have you noticed the rhetoric is bolder in terms of calling out the President on things that aren't even real - he's a communist, he's a socialist. These are not just pejorative slanders. Many's the time I called Bush a moron. These comments are meant to incite fear and resistance to a mythical enemy. I guess if the cold war is over, we should turn on our President? How did we get here? Go read the NYTimes. There have been so many good columns about this topic, I can't even keep up with it here.

I want to call your attention to a writer that I read regularly. Her blog can be found here and it is called "My World." It is artistic, it is savy, it is plainly spoken - in the vernacular of a young urban person. What I like most is that it is HONEST. There is no attempt to bring fear or to threaten. There is no hiding behind a bunch of b.s. It speaks honestly of what the world is like as seen through her eyes. There are others that write better than this, but it doesn't matter, because this young woman is from Camden. She's not hiding out in some suburban bunker lashing out at a world that does not fit her wishes. She's writing about the real life she leads and how it affects her. Of all the people in this country, she has the right to call politics a zero-sum game, and she doesn't. That's truth to power.

Teach, your parents well....

3 comments:

macon d said...

That's what the right can't stand - is that for every step taken by Obama, they see their forward progress eroding. Despite our best efforts to play winners and losers with elections, politics is NOT a zero sum game. This notion that if I give in to you it hurts me (like the my marriage is threatened if gay couples are allowed to marry) is so closeminded that there will never be a solution.

Exactly. That's a great way to put it!

And I agree that the Right seems determined to tear down the "enemy" at any cost, which they often do by pursuing any flaw in Democratic politicians, no matter how trivial ("I did not have sex with that woman.") or how false (Whitewater). I wonder what sort of "scandals" they're going to try to pin on Obama. I'm sure they've been digging around trying to find one.

Do you see me? said...

I think that's what the "birther" movement is. Phase one attack.

Hilary said...

As my parents age & I find myself (selfishly) grumpier & grumpier at the larger role I must take in their care - as well as well as my (selfish again) general irritation with their aging issues - I have found myself reflecting on what they taught me. To remember the positive, you know.

Even though it wasn't explicit, they taught me what a true progressive was (among many other things). It totally shaped my world view & I am eternally grateful for that.

I try to teach my own children about being progressive too. It's encouraging to listen to them interpret world/national events, and try to understand what's going on. They're doing fine.