Today’s America — Love It Or Leave It?

I’ve been in a real conciliatory mood toward my conservative-but-not-nuts (aka “actually normal”) friends recently and I still think that’s the best way to go in life, but I was thinking — and this may not be helpful — as I read a column about Ann Coulter’s speech to the Conservative Political Action Committee.

Apparently, she was complaining about “The Browning of America”. I wanted to see who “The Browning of America” was — thinking they meant the modern Robert Browningsome probably gay poet that she didn’t like. Once I understood that she meant that American skin was getting browner, I thought to myself, “America. Love It or Leave It, Baby!”

I was at the Springfield, Mass Museum of Science recently  and there was a lengthy history of Springfield, including an African-American man who had “hit it big” in the Gold Rush of 1849, moved to Springfield, and bought up big chunks of land and developed them. He was there before many modern white folks had moved there rather than the “came up to find work” traditional history of Blacks in this area. Did he complain about the “Whiting of America”? No. So what’s her problem?

It occurred to me that it might me be fun to turn that old chestnut of xenophobia on it’s head.

To Rush Limbaugh: You may have noticed that there are many women in this country. There are many women who use birth control. They want to have sex — some of them even want to have sex, even with you. They also want to be respected, want to get paid for their work, serve in the military,  work, pay taxes, run for office or do none of that if they choose. In short, they want to act like the citizens they are. They are already here, have been for some time. If you can’t handle that, I say, “America. Love It or Leave It”.

To the Westboro Baptist Church: There are many gay folks in America who want to be a family, have a family, serve in the military, be healthy, work, pay taxes, run for office… In short, they want to act like the citizens they are. If you can’t handle that, I say, “America. Love It or Leave It”.

To George Zimmerman: There used to be a boy named Trayvon Martin. He, too, was an American citizen. He probably wanted to have sex with someone. He also wanted to be respected, He might have wanted to get paid for his work, serve in the military,  work, pay taxes, run for office or do none of that if he chose. In short, he probably -as he grew into adult life — wanted to act like the citizen he was. He was already here, had been for some time. He — as well as you — was American. You can’t bring him back, but there are many more like him out there. If you can’t handle that, I say, “America. Love It or Leave It”.

To the Ku Klux Klan. American Nazi Party, Aryan Nation, and skinheads of all sorts: There are all kinds of people in America — Catholics, Jews, atheists, Buddhists, Muslims, Taoists, Pagans, Mexican-Americans, Korean-Americans, Native Americans, African-Americans, Chinese-Americans, Polish-Americans … American Americans. They also want to be a family, have a family, serve in the military, be healthy, work, pay taxes, run for office… In short, they want to act like the citizens they are. If you can’t handle that, I say, “America. Love It or Leave It”.

To the Tea Party, the Koch Brothers, and Rich Tax Cheats: There are plenty of folks who work hard in this country. There are plenty of people who want to work in this country. There are plenty of people who also expect to eat, have good schools, have a fire department that comes when their house is on fire, have streets they can drive on, housing they can afford and pay their taxes because they work. It seems like a fair trade to them. Somehow, it doesn’t to you. All of these people  want to be a family, have a family, serve in the military, be healthy, work, pay taxes, run for office… In short, they want to act like the citizens they are. If you can’t handle that, I say, “America. Love It or Leave It”.

To those who refuse to work with  the President all the time, on every issue, even though a majority of us voted for him, I point out to you that he wants the country to eat, have good jobs, be families, serve in the military, have fire departments and streets that work, run for office. I disagree with him sometimes about the best way to do that. I don’t always like the way he acts in some situations. I don’t block everything he has ever done, or tried to do. I don’t vow to stop him on every issue. Neither do most Americans. In short, they want you to act like the citizens you claim to be — intelligent, thoughtful, caring, and wanting the best for America. If you can’t handle that, I say, “America. Love It or Leave It”.

As this next election approaches, as has often happened in the past 30 years or so, I consider moving to another, more peaceful, more just, country. Because I can’t love it, I think about leaving it. Then I realize that the voices I just spoke to are a small percentage of who we are as a country, and I’d like to think — as America gets more diverse — they will become fewer and fewer. Still, hate mongers persist and they clutch onto power like America was theirs and theirs only. They rig elections by not allowing people to vote, They play with laws so that they win. They make laws so that they win. They would rather people live in poverty so they can be in power.

They are not most Americans, and as long as they continue to control things, there will be less and less of what makes America to love. When they accept that most Americans — of all stripes and looks, loves, and habits — want to act like the citizens they are, we will be better off. This is the America that exists. It is the America I know. So, to all the people I have listed, I say, “America — love it or leave it”. I’m happy either way.

Peace,

 

John

 

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6 thoughts on “Today’s America — Love It Or Leave It?

  1. You lost me when you grouped the Tea Party in with Nazi’s, the Ku Klux Klan, and the Aryan Nation. I know you didn’t directly compare them, but by putting them in this same context you pretty much did. We are so divisive because we do things like that. The Tea Party isn’t what the left has labeled them to be. They use as their proof that they are these things by showing some posters of Obama as Hitler etc etc at rallies. The problem with that so called proof is that those posters were also used at Occupy Wall St to describe Bush…BOTH sides use Hitler comparisons and inflammatory speech to drive home their points and if you look at the VAST majority of signs/posters or you actually know people who attend these rallies it has NOTHING to do with what the left purports. But don’t tell that to anyone on the left who has the tea party ALL figured out.

    You also point out as if it were reality that the tea party doesn’t believe that anyone deserves any help…again, that’s the lefts view of the tea party. Do our taxes all go to police, firefighters and roads? Last I checked they went to many other special interests. That’s what the tea party rails against, not paving the roads or paying firefighters. Now, do they EVER go against bills that have funding for these things? Of course, but that is typically because the particular bill has tons of other things in the bill. Most bills that go through Washington are bloated.

    Again, does that mean the tea party NEVER rallies against the wrong bill? Nope…just like the other side it is sometimes pure politics. But acting like that isn’t true on both sides is naïve.

    This is a roundabout way to say that grouping the Tea Party in the same blog as Nazi’s, racists and the like is not creating a less divisive dialog.

    • I believe that the Tea Party is what some call a AstroTurf group — fake grassroots — backed and supported by the Koches. Not usually a conspiracy theorist, I am aware that I could be wrong, but the more I read, the more I think so.

      That said, I will take you at your word and try to be more open minded. I’m trying here, Murph.

      Peace,

      John

  2. As am I John, and I don’t mean to imply that I think you are being purposely hurtful as I know that’s not in your makeup. I simply mean that we can be provocatively because we don’t understand what is behind a movement. Remember, the tea party did not start under Obama…it started during Bush with the first bailout. Portions of any movement, Occupy or the Tea Party will be usurped by the Koch’s on the right or George Soros on the left. The Tea Party is largely about small government and lower (not no) taxes. That is not to say that there is no bad element. There was also a bad element in Occupy. Maybe if the two groups joined we could see real change.

    • Sean:

      Can we agree that no taxes is a bad idea? Can we agree that people not working and expecting others to give to them when they can work is wrong?

      Can we agree that abortion is a bad choice but sometimes it’s necessary? Can we agree that men and women both have brains and hearts and are capable of making decisions?

      Can we agree that there might be Ultimate Truth, but we’re not it?

      I bet most people can agree on most of that,even it seems controversial.

      I guess my point is that, statistically, there are more of us in the middle of the Bell Curve than on either end,but you would never know it from the way we’re acting right now. I think that means that they are louder than we are and I think that’s a problem.

      Thank you for at least taking the journey. (I think that’s mixing metaphors, but I don’t care. It’s late).

      Peace,

      John

  3. We typically “speak” in writing…so there isn’t a lot of nuance. I have always said when I debate or converse with people on the other side that 80 percent of us can agree on most things but we only hear from the 10% on the right and the 10% on the left. That’s why you would never know it…it’s not that it isn’t happening it’s that the media is setup to only talk about those points of view because they are controversial. I typically call the 80% the common sense party. I appear right wing because I live in Massachusetts and I am for smaller government and lower taxes. Yes, we can certainly agree that no taxes is not even an option…I fall essentially pro-choice, though I think it should be difficult choice and unless the mothers health is at risk then anything late term should be questionable. I certainly agree that there is an ultimate truth and we are not it.

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