Our Suspicions Are Nearing Absurdity

I’ve decided to avoid any political debates or news reports about the coming elections. I mean, why bother? Politicians, pundits, lobbyists and expert-journalists are already so sure of their stances, there’s no room for hearing, for learning something new or learning from someone else. (You’re not listening if you’re thinking about what you’re going to say as soon as your opponent stops speaking.) A mindset of conservative vs. liberal is strongly in place and not just in America. But we Americans are really good at it–aren’t we?–so certain of ourselves and our opinions.

There was a time when people knew how to be civil, how to cooperate, how to care about everyone, how to respect others and how not to be so suspicious of the ‘other side.’ A friend of mine, a Christian conservative, believes that his difficulties are happening because God is making him stronger. People who have work and health insurance may have sold their souls, or some variation of this, to keep their jobs. In times of his personal prosperity, he is blessed by God; those who are suffering then should have been paying better attention to God’s laws. This is no way to live, so certain of our own convictions that we throw everyone else to the gutter, unwilling to see our own reflections in them.

Our opinions, our suspicions, are nearing the point of absurdity. The truth is, we are all so caught up in survival and/or acquiring and we spend so much time thinking about what is important to us, we can’t see the picture that is larger than ourselves. There are other people in the world!–each a child of God/Love/Great Spirit, each and every one loved by God, deserving respect for that reason alone. We are sisters and brothers, made from the same gene pool, cut from the same cloth, with only surface- variations like the color of our skin. We are created to embrace each other, to heal each other, to support each other. We are created for peace and togetherness but we have forgotten. Will any of our leaders hear the stories of our lives? Not in the current mindset, no, they won’t.

Equally Outraged, A Guest Post by Sven Eberlein

By Sven Eberlein

Well said yesterday, Pam. As FDR said, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” We’re all our sisters’ and brothers keepers, and anyone who says that they’ve earned everything they have all by themselves is living a complete fantasy. I think that a lot of people who are in the Tea Party movement have legitimate gripes, but it’s misdirected. It’s the big greedy banks, corporations and their political tools in the Republican Party who ravaged this country during eight years of Bush/Cheney deregulations, cronyism and wars of choice that have wrecked this country.

You should really ask your brother why he didn’t speak up when BushCo ran up the biggest deficit in history, legalized torture and cut taxes for the richest of the rich. Where was the Tea Party when our sons and daughters died in Iraq, one of the biggest and most expensive misadventures ever undertaken by a U.S. Government. Where were they when Bush Treasury Secretary and former Goldman Sachs CEO Henry Paulson bailed out his former employer with our tax money?

You see, I understand the anger, but it’s utterly disingenuous to direct all that outrage at President Obama and his administration who’ve had to spend the last 20 months trying to clean up the incredible mess left behind by the robber barons of the Bush administration.

For all the hyperventilating shouts of socialism I would tell Tea Partiers to take a trip to some of the social democracies in Western Europe and see how well off regular middle class folks are over there, not just a few rich people. Having basic needs like health care or education taken care of prevents so much unnecessary suffering and in fact makes people so much more productive. I could go on and on.

Anyway, I love the U.S. and so much of its great spirit and creativity, but I’m just puzzled sometimes at how shortsighted, and frankly, ignorant, people can be here. I guess we all create our own realities, and you certainly have a right to believe whatever you want. The freedom of religion certainly applies to political philosophy as well, and it’s part of what makes this country great that people can believe whatever they want. But you cannot make up your own facts and expect us to just swallow it. Your brother’s favorite Tea Party candidate wants to deport all illegal aliens, but is your brother willing to pay double and triple for his food when there’s no more cheap labor to do the backbreaking farm work that no American is willing to do anymore? What does it say about us as human beings when we’re deporting children who were raised and have gone to school in this country to places they’ve never set foot in and have no relatives or families to come back to?

Again, I understand the outrage, but I don’t buy what the Tea Party is selling. It’s confused. It’s simplistic. And worst of all, it’s heartless. I prefer channeling my frustration with the political system into doing constructive work and helping to build this country and each other up rather than screaming and complaining. I for one think Barack Obama has done an amazing job considering the incessant and almost irrational opposition he has faced from people and politicians who want nothing but to tear him apart. As Albert Einstein once said: “Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocre minds.”

Sorry for this rant, but sometimes we just have to speak our minds.