Today's political world reminds me of the tangled mess on a fishing reel backlash. Media sends out the word and people swallow it whole, without testing or question. Quips which feed the fears of the receivers are grabbed and owned, without vetting. What the hell is going on in the country?
A conversation with a co-worker, yesterday, absolutely confirmed what I fear the most. Today's voters do not understand how our system works and the majority vote how they feel rather than how they think. Why do I say this? Because most voters don't think.
There are so many people who still hold on to the tea-party argument of our POTUS not being a legal citizen. They openly brag that our POTUS is not the President of the United States they wont let it go. The are reminiscent of a snapping turtle, once they have a grip on something they can't let go until a clap of thunder scares the crap out of them.
These same people are white and openly racist, in the 21st century, in the United States of America, you still find people who are racist morons and are irked to their core over the election of a "Half-Black" man in their WHITEHOUSE!
I am a white woman over 50, educated, liberal, underpaid, overworked, married, step-mother of 3, grandmother of 7 and a Democrat. I have grown up in a Catholic educated life with liberal Democrat parents. The pain of letting go of most teachings from school regarding religion was tough, but I had to do it, the teachings were wrong for me. Additionally painful was letting go of the social norms of segregation, equal but different, I can't explain how I was taught that you married your own kind but I grew up believing the myth. I clutched my purse when dark skinned men were close to me on the street, I didn't step into an elevator with a dark skinned man. I have the myth deep in my psyche, I know it, it's there. I cannot deny the pain of arguing with my parents in the 60's over civil rights, I heard what they said and couldn't believe it was coming from their mouths. I hated the feeling of not respecting their ideas, how could these two good people be against equal access to schools, public transportation, jobs, voter rights be my parents? How could they gasp at the horrible images of Selma and then tell me I couldn't have a friend over for dinner who's skin was so much darker than my own? Those were tough times in our house.
Both parents encouraged me to think openly, and through the years I saw their attitudes change. My Mother's life reflected the changing times and I saw her let go of the past and embrace the truth of the future. She changed. My Father changed as I brought home my friends, no matter what skin color, he accepted them as individuals. I stopped hearing the comments about the people we saw on the television who had much darker skin than we did. I could hear and see their reality changing right in front of me.
Their actions taught me that liberal thinkers embrace the current truths and let go of the lies of the past when shown the truth. I embraced the liberal truths of my generation as did my parents. My parents grew and changed and openly admitted they had believed wrongly and they acted on the new truths and beliefs, they voted for the right things in their changed beliefs and choices, they changed and openly supported the civil rights changes and voter rights changes of the 60's, they put their new attitudes into action and openly moved to make this country better for everyone. We didn't eat grapes for several years in support of the boycotts over the farm workers, we didn't buy Cannon Mills products during the boycotts over the working conditions in the mills of Kannapolis. My parents grew and taught me we had to be the watchdogs of society and protect the people who were unable to step up and protect themselves.
Our neighbors came to our house for political meet and greets with candidates. My father was a precinct committeeman, we organized and got out the vote. They taught me to be involved and to change my mind when faced with the truth that my thoughts and beliefs had been proven wrong. They taught me to ask questions when I thought the status quo was wrong. My parents' actions taught me there is no shame in changing your mind, no shame in learning something new especially when it unchains you from a rigid stance that held you in a stagnant and ignorant position. My parents leadership taught me to seek the truth and grow towards the truth, their actions taught me turn on the lights rather than curse the darkness.
Why are we no longer a society of questions, when did the people in this country turn into mindless sheep following the herd? What changed?
Can the meaningless pursuit of gadgets be the cause? I see people lining up at stores to buy the latest gadget, hundreds of people camping out for days to buy some piece of plastic and glass, yet there are no lines at the polls, why?
I hear my co-workers complain about "those" people on welfare, or "those" illegal aliens who are ruining this country, they vote for candidates who form groups and play army at the border. They applaud the ignorance of the talking heads who spew nonsense and will not listen to someone who speaks the truth. They grasp onto bigoted ideas like they are drowning and the spewing lies are their life preservers What the hell has happened to people?
My delusion is that all people embrace the truth and change. My delusion is that all people are like the example of my parents who grew threw the tumultuous times of the sixties and let go of the stagnant ideas of bigotry and "Jim Crow" and admitted they were from a generation who's ideas were sometimes wrong and change had to be the answer to undo the wrong. We watched a POTUS assassination, a civil rights leader assassination, a senator's assassination, and cried with the nation who couldn't believe what was happening. I grew up with parents who changed when the truth was presented to them, they didn't hold on tight to the bigoted ignorance of George Wallace and "Axe-handle Maddox" they marched hand in hand with people of color for change. Where are those like minded people and where are their children?
My Mother lived long enough to embrace the difference in my friends, gay, straight, black, white. I lost my Father too soon, but I have embraced his progressiveness and fondly remember his empowerment of myself and my Mother. Where are the children of their friends? Why hasn't the change grown in them? Where did they go? How did my generation let go of the promises we made come true in the 60's and the 70's?
How did we allow "Citizens United" to become the law of the land? How did we allow Nixon into the White house? How did we allow Jimmy Carter to be a one term President? Where are all those children who were there with my parents and their friends? Where are you? Did you get lost in the pursuit of gadgets?
If we allow the push for money to control our government and our lives we will lose our voice and our choice. I am hoping the children of the men and women who once stood in my back yard and became engaged in the political process of our government are still alive and still active. I am hoping you are still out there, I am hoping you wake up and take action. I am hoping you are registered to vote and I am hoping that you vote. I hope you have not lapsed into the mundane life of being a mindless sheep following the herd. I am hoping you still question authority and challenge injustice. I am hoping I am not alone, but I may be alone.
Where are the children of the 60's?