What must it be like to have so many people put so much importance on your every decision? I am hard on the President, and will continue to be because as a citizen in a democracy it is my responsibility to be so. I have no intention of letting him get away with his pandering to plutocrats, war hawks, and those that would chip away at our civil liberties. Likewise I am grateful for the end of DADT, for his refusing to defend DOMA, and for his stated position on women’s reproductive choice. He is a politician like most others. He has his good moments, his bad moments, and some that are hard to define as one or the other. Which is why it surprises me that he is as polarizing a figure as he is.
The script becomes really boring after a while: a leftist (say for instance, me) points out that a particular behavior of the Democratic leadership is no different from a particular behavior of the GOP leadership, a dyed-in-the-wool Dem takes issue and points out horrible thing X the Republicans did that the Dems did not and challenges me to now say that there is no difference between the two parties. I find myself flustered and angry every time I encounter this. Never have I, or any other leftist, said the two parties are the same, yet that is the Democratic faithful’s favorite straw man to hang on us. Continue reading
Most people think of May Poles and children dancing when they think of today. They think of today as maybe a celebrations of Spring. That is if people think of it at all. Really, for the most part, people are aware, but do not mark the day in any special way. That is too bad, because it is one of them most important days of the year. It is the real labor day. Continue reading
Can you hear that? In the distance? Can you feel the drumbeat in the ground? Is it coming from Iran? Maybe it’s Syria. For a while I thought it was North Korea, but I don’t think so. Can you hear the drums of war getting louder and louder? I can. I can hear it in the rhetoric of our leaders. I can hear it in the facile rationalizations of our “liberal” media. I can hear it in the militaristic cheer leading of family members’ Facebook posts. I hope I am wrong, but it seems inevitable that some time soon we will be sending our troops across the sea, again, despite the fact that we still have not paid for our last two adventures, both of which we have not finished. Indeed, the fear created by our debt hawks here probably has so many Americans eager for the release of bloodshed. Continue reading
The word is so full of emotion in almost any culture that has experienced any level of nationalism. It is so full of weight, so well revered, so endowed with power, that people of all political stripes fall over themselves, and each other, to lay claim to it. “Patriotism” is one of the highest traits one can possess, at least so the story goes in our country. If you want to honor a neighbor you call her a patriot. If you want to revile them, you point out just how unpatriotic, at least in your eyes, they are. When things get heated in political discourse in our society you can count on one side, the other, or both, trotting it out. What exactly does that word mean though? Continue reading
I do not know whether to be angry with the average American voter because they are so thick and I have to keep writing about the same stuff, or if I should thank them, because at least they are giving me something to write about. They show me again, and again, and again that they cannot help but wrap themselves in their party affiliations, treating them like a once beloved movie star whose films have been increasingly banal, but geez you just love them and have to see what they are going to do next, even though it is going to be more of the same garbage. Continue reading