Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Facing facts about the presidential race

The growing agitation in the tone of rhetoric coming from both sides is starting to affect us. It feels like we are more polarized now than perhaps since the Civil War. Cries that Obama is an extremist bent on destroying our country or that McCain is erratic and certain to drive us to doom are signs of some deeper desperation.

We should take a moment to set aside our differences and examine this underlying issue. We can't argue over the merits of steering the boat north versus south if the hole in the hull is going to sink us. Let's see to the hole first and then worry about the direction. The question is: what is the hole?

This is bigger than our current financial crisis. It's beyond left vs. right. There is something else eating away at us and we need to address it, come to terms with it, and know the problem so that we can either fix it or learn to live with it. The water is boiling and the pressure is building. We need to vent the steam before someone gets burned.

The American psyche is a palpable thing, easily played upon and easily turned away from the big picture. We Americans wear blinders and often focus on one thing at a time, that being whatever we convince our collective self to be most important. Our minds are consumed by the soup du jour of political issues, celebrity news, sports, or anything we feel immediately affects our daily lives.

Here are some facts we should face. Regardless who wins the race to the Whitehouse,
  • America will continue more or less the same as it has over the past 140 years. There will be ups and there will be downs and the USA of today will not be the USA of 2050. Like our own mortality where life is just a journey toward an obvious terminus, America is going somewhere and we're along for the ride.
  • The economy will recover and, sadly, before long we won't remember the crash of 2008 as anything more than a footnote.
  • People will still claim to see UFOs, Bigfoot, and Liza Minella when they're out in the wilderness alone.
  • We will still have enemies and we will still have allies, and those relationships will experience small and large changes along the way.
  • Culture is never a constant and never will be a constant. Though values and principles change slower than other popular tastes, they still change. How you define America is not how your parents defined her and will not be how your children define her.
  • Politicians on both sides of the aisle will continue to find ways to abuse their power, break the rules of propriety, perform immoral acts and love their country like no other all the way to the next election.
  • The principles of freedom and equality will always be a part of America, but they have changed in the past and they will change in the future. Call it fine-tuning or a blurring of boundaries, the freedoms we embrace today may not be the same freedoms we embrace tomorrow.
We admit that Turner/Phelps is not a fair playing field. We use satire and absurdity and sometimes a veiled meanness to make light of current issues. But as we draw close enough to the 2008 elections to count the distance in days, not weeks, it's getting more difficult to find anything funny out there.

A hatred is growing that is dividing this great nation. It is a hole in the hull of our ship. And we need to patch it before the sea comes rushing in.


Blogger David said...

I concur! This is so far out of hand that it makes me not want to support ANY candidate. That any one of our current options can say with a straight face that they're honest, faithful, or trustworthy is crap! They continue to lie, exaggerate, twist the truth, bend the rules, and generally make me depressed that our system is where it is today. Who's to blame? Politicians, ALL of the media (this is not a right / left thing), Americans who allow ourselves to get sucked in, and just about everyone else. How will it be stopped? It probably won't - which is why I no longer watch the "news" channels that are more about opinion than news; I no loner watch debates and political infomercials; and I no longer read emails with "facts" about candidate a or b...

6:48 AM  

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