“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.
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.
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.
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.