A Tale Of Two Americas?

 

 “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand.” ~ Abraham Lincoln

I remember former New York  Governor Mario Cuomo  and decades later, John Edwards use of the metaphor, “two Americas” to point out the distinction between the “haves and have nots” in our country.   Today, I envision that term the same way, economic inequalities for Main Street, while Wall Street basques in its greed and deceit.

Mario Cuomo, 1984 – The Democratic Party Credo:

We believe in only the government we need, but we insist on all the government we need.

We believe in a government that is characterized by fairness and reasonableness, a reasonableness that goes beyond labels, that doesn’t distort or promise to do things that we know we can’t do.

We believe in a government strong enough to use words like “love” and “compassion” and smart enough to convert our noblest aspirations into practical realities.

We believe in encouraging the talented

Yet, I also see two Americas in a different context as well.  One that was spawned by this ultra right frenzy that we are witnessing.  Those folks see themselves differently from Dems or some Independents.  They see themselves as “patriots” who love their country.  They see people with opposing views as unpatriotic and a real threat to their existence. 

Make no mistake about it,  although they will deny it,  these people are very unhappy that there is a Black man in the White House.   Any and everything he does, in terms of policy symbolizes an unexplained blow to their freedom/liberty.   

 In the same way that  the north and south were divided over Abraham Lincoln’s intent to abolish slavery, we now find the same fevered pitch cry of “state’s rights”, but this time they tell us that it’s  about “liberty” and “freedom” instead of slavery and one could make the argument that the man occupying the White House is actually a  byproduct of Lincoln’s policies associated with  abolishing slavery, a Black man.

Mario Cuomo, 1984:

We believe — We believe as Democrats, that a society as blessed as ours, the most affluent democracy in the world’s history, one that can spend trillions on instruments of destruction, ought to be able to help the middle class in its struggle, ought to be able to find work for all who can do it, room at the table, shelter for the homeless, care for the elderly and infirm, and hope for the destitute. And we proclaim as loudly as we can the utter insanity of nuclear proliferation and the need for a nuclear freeze, if only to affirm the simple truth that peace is better than war because life is better than death.

 There is a re-emergence of “southern pride” in this country, accompanied by pride in the civil war and the confederate flag.  The problem, however, is the attempt by some southern leaders to omit that one “minor” problem which actually caused the war between the states…”slavery”.   Several southern governors have issued proclamations paying homage to “confederate history”.   Some have not included the issue of slavery.  

In my opinion, with the heated rhetoric from the teabaggers and militia types, including racist faxes, phone calls and threats to any politician who supported the Health Care Reform bill, is the catalyst for some GOP politicians to join them in subtle ways.

There has been evidence that shows the teabagger nation is disenchanted with both Republicans and Democrats in Washington.  There was some recent talk about “The Tea Party” running their candidates on a third party ticket.   That idea didn’t float very well with the leaders in the GOP.

Mario Cuomo, 1984:

We believe in a single — We believe in a single fundamental idea that describes better than most textbooks and any speech that I could write what a proper government should be: the idea of family, mutuality, the sharing of benefits and burdens for the good of all, feeling one another’s pain, sharing one another’s blessings — reasonably, honestly, fairly, without respect to race, or sex, or geography, or political affiliation.

If the “Tea Party” were to try and run their own candidates for the 2010 fall elections, that would mean disaster for the Republican party.  Splitting  conservative and some independent voters who lean toward GOP rule, would be a disaster for Conservatives.

Therefore, I contend that very powerful forces in the GOP have decided they have no choice but to swallow the bitter pill of “teabaggerism” and join them…but on GOP terms.  Say what they want to hear, parrot their favorite media gurus, empathize with them and their grievances, but without the Beckian blackboard calculations or the  not so subtle Limbaugh racist rants.   They’ll keep the Fox news memes, because the baggers love Fox News’ empathy for their cause.

So we see the likes of Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann on the stump in Minnesota today,  playing to the Fox News, Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh devotees.  Bachmann and Palin make sure they say exactly what they believe the crowd wants to hear: “Patriotic Americans”, “Repeal Health Care”, “States’ Rights”, “Obama is over reaching”, etc.  The two seasoned politicos must remember to stick to the talking points of the crowd’s media idols, yet ratchet down the rhetoric just enough to be palatable for the GOP movers and shakers behind the scenes.

Time will tell whether our “teabagger” friends will be influential in shaping the politics of this country.

Mario Cuomo, 1984:

We believe we must be the family of America, recognizing that at the heart of the matter we are bound one to another, that the problems of a retired school teacher in Duluth are our problems; that the future of the child — that the future of the child in Buffalo is our future; that the struggle of a disabled man in Boston to survive and live decently is our struggle; that the hunger of a woman in Little Rock is our hunger; that the failure anywhere to provide what reasonably we might, to avoid pain, is our failure.

4 Comments

Filed under Tea Party Anger, Teabaggers

4 responses to “A Tale Of Two Americas?

  1. Montana

    I love that they asked for “Public Defenders” (and they thought they could bring down our government), undercover FBI agent, sweet. Since their inception the Teaparty crowd (not a movement since they do have the numbers or clout) because they are haters not debaters or as others have dubbed them screamers not dreamers. The simpleton Tea baggers are the same whiners that were crying when the McCain/Bailin ticket lost. Now that their yelling and screaming failed to stop the health care debate and the bill from passing they are crying again. Lets face it the Republicans had eight years to deal with health care, immigration, climate change and financial oversight and governance and they failed. The Republicans are good at starting wars (two in eight years, with fat contracts to friends of Cheney/Bush) but not at winning wars as seen by the continuing line of body bags that keep coming home. Instead of participating in the health care debate of ideas the Republicans party turned inward to your old fashion obstructionist party. In my opinion the Republican Waterloo loss was caused by the party allowing a small portions (but very loud) of the republican party of “birthers, baggers and blowhards” to take over their party. I will admit that this fringe is very good at playing “Follow the Leader” by listening to their dullard leaders, Beck, Hedgecock, Hannity, O’Reilly, Rush, Savage, Sarah Bailin, Orly Taitz, Victoria Jackson, Michele Bachmann and the rest of the Blowhards and acting as ill programmed robots. The Teaparty crowd think they can scare, intimidate and force others to go along with them by comments like “This time we came unarmed”, let me tell you something not all ex-military join the fringe militia crazies who don’t pay taxes and run around with face paint in the parks playing commando, the majority are mature and understand that the world is more complicated and grey than the black and white that these simpleton make it out to be and that my friend is the point. The world is complicated and presidents like Hamiliton, Lincoln, and Roosevelt believe that we should use government a little to increase social mobility, now its about dancing around the claim of government is the problem. The sainted Reagan passed the biggest tax increase in American history and as a result federal employment increased, but facts are lost when mired in mysticism and superstition. Although some Republicans are trying to distant themselves from this fringe most of them, having no game plan/ vision for our country, are just going along and fanning the flames. For a party that gave us Abraham Lincoln, it is tragic that the ranks are filled with too many empty suits. But they now claim they have changed, come on, what sucker is going to believe that? All I can say to you is remember Waterloo.

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    • LongTimeLurker

      Montana:

      What really worries me about the tea baggers is they are spreading this new credo called “don’t believe the facts.”

      That’s difficult to fight.

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  2. LongTimeLurker

    kstreet: Aside from the substance of your posts, I have to admire your presentation. Your points are often written in way that is kinda jazzy with hip hop overtones. Witness the samplings from Mario Cuomo’s 1984 Democratic Credo intermixed with your expression of your own views. In addition, your links to relevant passages and expansions on information at other sites are like little rifts by soloists in a jazz group (actually now more like a big band at your site) except that the audience can CHOOSE whether and when to groove on that solo at another site before coming back to the main melody of the particular post.

    Rather satisfying, really.

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  3. Welcome Montana. Thanks for your detailed comment. You are right about “St. Ronald Reagan”. It’s ironic how the right embrace him while not focusing on HIS policies like tax increases which appears no where in the hyperbole of praise and the revisionist history echoed over and over again by the right.

    LTL, thanks for that very distinct description of this post. I had never imagined the things you describe while writing the above peice. But hey, it sure sounds good! LOL Thanks for that unique perspective…quite interesting.

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