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I have read more than once that Ben Franklin, on signing the Declaration of Independence, made the most profound statement of "we are all in this together" that was ever spoken:

We must, indeed, all hang together, or most assuredly we shall all hang separately.
And he was being literal. If they had not succeeded in starting the Great American Experiment, every one of them would have been strung up by the hangman and done a little air-dance. He was making a joke, of course, but he was also deadly serious. This was no small enterprise they were entering into - and they all knew it.

With that pun on "hang," with that play on words that demonstrated just how important it is that we all stick together, that we all realize we are in this together, Mr. Franklin then set his pen to the Declaration and signed his name.

President Clinton and Elizabeth Warren and many other speakers tonight articulated this same premise. It's one of the things that the Tea Party and all its ilk - as President Clinton said, "the faction that currently has control of the Republican Party" - cannot stand about us. It's the source of President Obama's statement: "You didn't build that." It's an echo of Hillary Clinton's powerful statement that it takes a village to raise a child.

Why do the Tea Partiers and their buddies reject this idea? Why are they so afraid of it?

Jump past the fleur-de-Kos... not for answers, but for a little bit of discussion.

Well, as Dr. Warren said, "The Republican Vision is clear: I got mine; the rest of you are on your own."

When did so many people in our nation become so afraid of asking for help? When did asking for help become asking for a handout, instead of a hand up? Who poisoned the well with the idea that we are in this individually and don't you dare ask for help?

How long has it been since we have really all been in this together?

Dr. Warren also quoted the Bible: "Inasmuch as you have done it unto the least of these, you have done it unto me." Now I may be an atheist, but you'd think that people who claim to be Christian would take that particular verse to heart. So many members of the Tea Party proudly tell you that they're Christians. And yet they ignore Jesus' words that say, in essence, "We are all in this together."

Why don't they take that verse to heart? Why do they ignore it?

Was it the Moral Majority who poisoned the well? Who was it? How long ago was it?

I don't have answers tonight. I'm too tired, and I have to be awake in seven hours and driving through crappy traffic to my wonderful job for at least an hour and a half after that. And I'm moving house, too. Maybe after I'm done with my move and settled down a little bit I can come back and talk about possible answers to this. But I'm throwing the question out to y'all in the meantime - do you have an answer for this? Who poisoned the well and made us afraid of hanging together?

And I'll say this, too. I love President Clinton's vision. I love President Obama's vision. I love the Democratic Party's vision for this country:

Let's not forget it again.
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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (13+ / 0-)

    Science can tell you how to clone a dinosaur. Humanities explains why this is a bad idea.

    by Killer of Sacred Cows on Wed Sep 05, 2012 at 10:11:58 PM PDT

  •  I quoted that exact same line (8+ / 0-)

    earlier today after telling some nutjob that my family believes we, and everybody else, has a God given obligation to help out those less fortunate. He never responded.

    These capitalists generally act harmoniously and in concert, to fleece the people... -Abraham Lincoln

    by HugoDog on Wed Sep 05, 2012 at 10:15:52 PM PDT

  •  I don't have an answer either (4+ / 0-)

    There have always been divisions in this country.  Heck, we fought a Civil War against each other.

    But I feel that the current incarnation of division really got started when LBJ pushed through the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  Dixiecrats, then Republicans, rejected the whole idea of true equality.  They didn't want to share their tax dollars with "those people".  And the divide has just grown wider ever since then.

    Democrats pull together for our fellow citizens.  Republicans thrive on division.

    "Safety and security are the result of collective consensus. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear." - Nelson Mandela. Donate to TREE Climbers

    by TX Freethinker on Wed Sep 05, 2012 at 10:30:05 PM PDT

  •  Beautifully said, KoSC. (2+ / 0-)

    Ben Franklin would approve of this diary, too. ;-)

    Ho'oponopono. To make things right; restore harmony; heal.

    by earicicle on Thu Sep 06, 2012 at 12:31:05 AM PDT

  •  It was Ronald Reagan (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rat racer, Killer of Sacred Cows

    who poisoned the well with his nonsense about government being the problem rather than the solution, although the so-called Moral Majority was happy to be his handmaiden.  Drinking that particular koolaid enabled the "I've got mine" society for a generation  I only hope I live long enough to see his false "legacy" of greatness tarnish so that we don't have to hear about it anymore.

  •  Most would point to Reagan (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Killer of Sacred Cows

    but it goes much deeper than that, it goes to the split in the Democratic party with the passage of all the legislation from Lyndon Johnson from the most famous of Civil Rights to often overlooked creation of Housing and Urban Development.

    This expansion on the new deal split the Dems and the what we would call Dixiecrats now, went on to slowly take over the GOP. Championing their states rights views using a stance of moral authority.

    Essentially Angry Old White Guys who yell at empty chairs and shake their fist to the sky.

    Thankfully we're getting browner and folks my age (early thirties) are getting older and more influential in the political process.

    No worries, we'll get this place sane again ;)

    --Enlighten the people, generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like spirits at the dawn of day. - Thomas Jefferson--

    by idbecrazyif on Thu Sep 06, 2012 at 06:41:47 AM PDT

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