political rant (a little all over the road)

I don’t often get into arguments with people who have different politics than I do. I find it exhausting. Perhaps I get too emotional around it all… but the thing is, we’ll never change each others minds, so why bother. That doesn’t mean I’m not politically active or I don’t enjoy a healthy debate. My rants normally take the form of poetry.

But I finally have to say something to the right wing in the U.S…

This tea party thing (sponsored by FOX “news”)… you know, I take no issue with a protest. Protest your hearts out. Just don’t be hypocritical when you do it. When we were all protesting the president we didn’t vote for, we were being “unpatriotic” and aiding the terrorists! When you’re protesting, it’s your duty! Now you’re all you have to listen to us, we’re mad! Well, we were mad, too. But you lost this time around, and as John Stewart says, it’s supposed to taste like a sh*tburger.

I also think it’s irresponsible for FOX “news” reporters to go around calling President Obama a fascist. Especially when they don’t even know what the word means. They’ve also called him a socialist… in the same sentence! Which is it you nitwits? They’re two different things. Fascists are anti-liberal/anti-socialist as much as they are anti-capitalist.

One protester was holding a sign of an Obama hitler. Hello? Hitler was a fascist and totally against democracies and socialism or anything claiming that all working people deserved equal reward. Hitler persecuted the communists, who waged war WITH the U.S. against the Nazis…

When they accuse Obama of being a socialist, I always laugh, though. For one thing, I’m more of a socialist than Obama will ever be. Secondly, the fact that the word “socialist” is used to frighten people, like they’re going to lose all their STUFF!  Socialism isn’t evil any more than capitalism is. The thing is that people have to make either system work and the problem with people is that we’re human.

(Besides, the U.S. already has some social welfare programs. Did you know that part of your taxes pays for books that anyone can get for FREE from the library? It’s true! We’ve got to stop this, you don’t want to pay for poor people’s books, do you? Let them buy their own books!)

I find it so odd that the right wing think reaching out to other world leaders, collaboration, and taking care of all the citizens of your country is a weak and bad thing. Individuals are not islands. But that’s the pervasive attitude of many Americans.

The U.S. is extremely ego-centric. There’s a great sense of adventure and individualism, but there’s also this sense of self-entitlement and of “me against you.”  It’s every-man-and-woman-for-him-and-herself-gotta-protect-your-STUFF-don’t-touch-my-STUFF! Why would I want to help that lazy guy who lost his house or that fat dude who had a heart attack? There’s this attitude that everyone is soley responsible for their own success… and if you’re not successful, well then you’re just lazy.

If you want to read a super book about how individuals are not the sole makers of their success, check out Malcolm Gladwell’s book OUTLIERS.  It demonstrates how people succeed through the opportunities given to them by others, and through the circumstances that lead to those opportunities.

I think a country is only as healthy as its least fortunate individuals. We should raise each other up. That’s how I envision a proper community working. We would be stronger for it.

7 Comments

  1. goatcheesellama
    Apr 24, 2009

    I always wonder if the people who use the word “socialism” as a curse word and fear it would mind not getting social security benefits, medicare, medicaid, welfare and food stamps.

  2. art predator
    Apr 24, 2009

    You go girl!

    Seriously, the freakout going on about socialism at least seems to be getting some people to find out what SOCIALISM means and that it isn’t the scary thing they’re afraid of. When people share with me their fears about socialism, when I talk about how great it is, at first they’re shocked but then they get a curious look on their faces…aha!

    and yeah the fact that people are calling Obama and his policies fascist and socialist in the same breath is funny and sad at the same time.

    often I start the conversation with, well, what do you mean by that? or what does that mean to you?

  3. openchannel
    Apr 24, 2009

    goatcheesellama – I’m betting there are many who think we should do away with all social welfare programs.

    AP – that’s a good strategy… finding out what they mean and why they’re scared. I’m glad people are educating themselves. I get concerned because there are people who believe FOX without question and they’re not about to sit down and explain the differences between fascism and socialism (or socialism and communism, for that matter).

  4. openchannel
    Apr 24, 2009

    This rant was just the tip of the iceberg… there’s so much more I’d like to say, so perhaps I’ll rant again when I’m in the mood.

    For now I’ll just add:

    1) I love the U.S. I love its natural beauty, its vibrant cities, and its people. And I am quite saddened that it isn’t taking care of all of the above like it should.

    2) Socialists don’t want to destroy/overthrow the capitalist system (that’s Communism), socialists want to work within the system. I love this quote from The Monthly Review’s “Introduction to Socialism” – Socialists believe “it is possible to make the transition from capitalism to socialism without a basic change in the character of the state. They hold this view because they do not think of the capitalist state as essentially an institution for the dictatorship of the capitalist class, but rather as a perfectly good piece of machinery which can be used in the interest of whichever class gets command of it.”

    3) I’ll never in my life understand why anyone wouldn’t want all the citizens of their country to have health care. If nothing else, what about children? I would hate to be the parent who couldn’t take their child to the hospital because they couldn’t afford it.

  5. Paul
    Apr 25, 2009

    I don’t watch the TV or know anything about American politics but I agree with you. Especially the last paragraph.

  6. Susan Helene Gottfried
    Apr 26, 2009

    Nicely put! I’m all for protest of any orderly sort — those people who set fire to couches (oops. Sorry. They are celebrating) and breaking stuff like at the G-whatever summit… they’re missing such a golden opportunity to get people talking about what’s important. Instead, we’re talking about damage and arrests. Whee. That solves things.

  7. goatcheesellama
    Apr 28, 2009

    I recall reading somewhere that if we spent 1/10th of 1% of the budget that we have for Iraq that we could provide medical insurance for every child in the United States.

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