Thursday, September 03, 2009

my follow on...

It’s with the heath care debate, for now. But I want to walk it back about ten months, maybe seven if January is the starting line, before jumping into what we’re seeing right now. It wasn’t too long ago that the phrase “that’s not the kind of world I want to live in,” stuck in my craw. When we decide that we are unable to either move the inclusive line, or move it only further in our direction, then we’ve really lost something. What the last election began was a solidifying of the position held by the shrinking majority in this country; particularly those left standing on what they consider the ‘right’ or ‘safe’ side of the line because they were, and are, unwilling to even consider anything other than their own self-interests. Even if we were to sprinkle fairy dust over the issue of money and access – money’s no problem and access was for all – the right side of the center line would still not agree to participate in any kind of world that I want to live in. It’s easier to stand slack-jawed and against everything then it is to remove yourself from your position in life and even – for just one second – imagine that you aren’t you and you don’t have everything you have right now. Deep down the fear isn’t that anything will be taken away from you, it’s a fear that others might get some ‘stuff’ that you don’t feel they deserve; or some stuff that you believe is your God-given right. The fear digs real deep when things don’t appear to be going your way and about right now it’s ground into your bedrock, The idea that someone (or 70 million voters) is pushing for a tide that lifts all boats, not just yours, is terrifying. It’s so terrifying that any success, in any arena, is untenable and undeserved. Even if you personally gained from an Administration initiative you would consider it unacceptable if another gained along the way; and that’s the greatest issue of our day. Those that stand over on what they think is the safe side of the line are more willing to completely burn down this country than even consider the possibility that health care, the wars, the economy, regulation, Wall St., or any other bastion of white dominance to be under threat. Burn it down…to the ground. It’s truly mind-numbing. That we as a country will stand around pushing back against someone trying to gain civil rights; we’ll scream against people having access to insurance; we wring our hands because a Latina might sit on the Supreme Court; and we sit around lighting matches and throwing them on the tinder. Look at the health care debate and try, for those few seconds, to really look – with your eyes. Who’s screaming at those town hall meeting? Who’s attending those meetings? Where do they come from and what do they want? If you could really be objective for a little while you’d find it disconcerting. Then again, maybe not; just bring along your semi-automatic assault weapon and stand around threateningly. I can smell the sulfur.

I honestly don’t know what to say.

“I’ve lived at the very end of what must have been a wonderful country.”
- Merle Haggard

No comments: