If you’ve turned on your TV, opened up an internet connection, or switched on your car radio, then you know there’s an election coming up. The political climate in this country has gotten very nasty the past few cycles, and this one seems particularly so.
Much press has been given to the “Tea Party” people…”Taxed Enough Already”. Their name might make sense if anyone were talking about raising taxes. True, the democrats want to let Bush-era tax cuts expire for those who make over a quarter of a million dollars a year, but no one is proposing that the measly tax cut will go away for Joe Everybody. But there is something wrong in America when an entire movement parades behind some false idea that their taxes are changing. In fact, I recently came across a rather interesting article that showed that 47 percent of these Tea Partiers (in fact, half of us in general) don’t pay a dime in federal income tax as it is. Taxed Enough Already? Mmmmm-kay. If they are angry about something, and to be sure, they are, they need to make their message a little clearer, because their tax bullshit rings hollow.
Then there is the “Ground Zero Mosque”. As anyone knows who has read the plans for the center, it’s a mosque in as much as your local hospital is a church. It contains an Islamic prayer space. It’s also slated to contain art studios, a cooking school, and a fitness center. I guess all those who work out at the Y are “goin to church” since it, too, has religious ties. But there is something wrong in America when an abandoned Burlington Coat Factory is suddenly “hallowed ground” because it sits three blocks from where the towers fell while two strip bars sit even closer and not a word was spoken in protest. Those who so vigorously oppose it really ought to give themselves a reality check–there’s a huge difference between American Muslims, who we all work alongside and live down the road from, and the extremists who attacked us on 9-11. Put it in focus.
There is something wrong in America when otherwise intelligent people will hit “forward” on an email full of distortions, half-truths, and bald faced lies because it stacks the deck against whatever political party they don’t favor. My inbox is filled with them. I wonder how many of the long list of people from whom these emails were forwarded bothered to check the legitimacy of the “facts” contained within? We owe it to ourselves to know what is going on. Forwarding this junk means the sender either has erroneously bought whatever dish of bullshit they’ve been served, or they simply don’t care to know the truth. Either way, it’s unacceptable.
There is something wrong in America when the President (whatever your opinion of his policies) has been dogged for years by rumors that he is a Muslim, despite the lack of a single iota of evidence to suggest that there is any truth to it. But slap an “R” behind the name of someone who just converted to Christianity in 1996 and she’s a Sister in Christ to all the good ole boys voting in South Carolina. (Why haven’t the right wing blogs been calling ole Nikki Haley by her full name of Nimrata Randhawa Haley when they want to put Obama’s scary ole middle name in every sentence they mention him in?) There is something wrong when we have that sort of double standard.
There is something wrong in this country when we practice selective outrage. One of the many partisan emails I recently received decried “”If you think that the Chinese won’t hold this over us with all our debt you have another thought coming. Our children will have nothing. Let me repeat that, “Our children will have nothing to look forward to. Our grandchildren and perhaps all future generat-ions will be enslaved to China. And it will all be because we blindly elected a man to be president because he was good looking and spoke well. But we knew nothing about him. Now we know and we should be very, very afraid!” Now, I’m not making light of our worrisome national debt, it’s concerned me for a very long time. But were these people on Saturn the past ten years as the previous administration ran up then-record debt year after year? Where were their voices then? Either an issue is important or it isn’t…we can’t expect our politicians to give us any sort of accountability when we pretend something matters when one guy is in office and don’t give a damn when someone else takes the helm.