Natalie Holder-Winfield, writing for the HuffPo makes a salient point when she says that we on the left really did see a new era being entered with the election of Barack Obama. We truly did see the end of racial disharmony in this country. We, we thought, had finally grown up, put aside childish hatreds and fears, and were ready to enter the human race as fully human thinking members.
Alas, nothing could be further from the truth. We are still it seems held fast by our demons, those fears of insecurity and lack of self-esteem that make us look to others to point our finger at as the cause of our discomfort. We remain in our infancy, engaged in a constant struggle of us-them, I-it.
Anyone who has bothered to view the American political landscape for more than a few years is aware that there has been a real disconnect between right and left. It would seem that it is more tendentious than before, but that is hard to say from so recent a perspective. More and more psychology defines that these differences are real, and result from entirely different worldviews sparked by individual psychological needs and desires.
Knowing these things doesn’t help at all. The left continues to rely on logic and intellect as the standard for decision making, the right remains tied to heart and fundamentalist biblical interpretation as its arbiter of rightness. There is no common standard by which the two can speak. The one sees truth as fluid and ever changing and is open to listen to new ideas, the other sees truth as fixed and eternal and stops its ears lest it become polluted with dangerous ideas that will undermine its way of life.
Those of us on the left expected unhappiness on the right at the election of Barack Obama. We expected a tiny percentage of out-right racists to vocally denounce the black man in the White House. But we also expected that rational Republicans (yes I know, they may in fact not exist) to realize that the far right while providing a base, doesn’t provide a winning base, and its wackier fringe taints the entire party with the aura of wingnuttery.
We expected a real change on the part of Republicans to mainstream their message, go out and really work hard to attract the middle. Instead, they have sunk into the increasingly bizarre pit which speaks through the mouths of the usual nuts Hannity, Colter, Dobbs, Beck, Bachmann, Inhofe, Limbaugh, Palin, O’Reilly, Malkin, Gingrich, King, and on and on and on.
Yes, a few of the more rational ones have tried mightily to distance themselves from the truly demented: the birthers. And a few have been honest enough to admit that the deathers are purveyors of outright lies about the health care issue. But for the most part, they continue to embrace the seriously crazy and uphold them as the “voice of the people.”
Chuckie Grassley, no bright light, admitted that his opinion of what his state desired, was formed by “who shouted the loudest.” Not a very rational means I would argue to base opinion on. But the Democrats seem to be listening way to hard lately to the extreme right.
All in the name of political correctness. Somehow, because we recognize those with mental limitations as “challenged” we have gotten the notion that we must and should give their opinions real consideration. Gone are the days when batty Aunt Margaret was gently patted on the shoulder, smiled at softly, and dismissed as “off.” No today, dear Auntie Marge gets time on Fox and Friends to disseminate her opinion as the equal to that of any states-person with a suitcase full of credentials.
Joe the Plumber, proven to have but the most pedantic of opinions, is given air time along side of editors of Newsweek. Just another opinion right?
Not right. Wrong. Some opinions are to be dismissed as the product of I D I O T S. Yes, idiots. Nice, perhaps, but idiots none the same. I”d be an idiot if I listened to the likes of Jack Van Impe for instance. His wife Roxella gives “news” on their show, and cites to the worst of the worst of extreme right rags for her headlines. These Internet publications are not sited by even places like the National Review or the Weekly Standard, so off the wall are they. Yet no doubt, Jack has his followers who quote him and believe in his pontificating on the eminent threat of the New World Order. (Did you know Kissinger says Obama will be the head of it?)
Let’s face it, the Birthers are down right bonkers. The deathers are no better. These folks need to be ignored, not debated. So too the new group, the “Parents” who are pulling their kids from school lest the bad President indoctrinate them with what? The need to learn and study? Why are we giving credence to such trash?
What is at work is merely the cover for abject racism. These folks just cannot get over the fact that a black man is in the White House. They don’t consider him “their” president. They want “their America back” where white is right and well you get the picture. These are folks with strong needs to have an unchanging worldview, and black in the White House isn’t part of it.
We on the left, need to stop being correct. We need to stop paying attention to this small group of deluded people whose true motives are becoming all too clear. Let’s move on, we have work to do, and compromise is not on their agenda and should no longer be on ours. We are the majority here, and it’s high time we started acting like it.