Thursday, December 26, 2013

"We are two nations, but we do not have to be"

The always-strong Charles P. Pierce had an amazing essay right before Christmas that sums up where we're at quite well. It's the 3rd part of a Three Part series called "We are Two Nations," and here is an excerpt.
We are two nations but we do not have to be. We are two nations because we choose to be. We are two nations because we choose to blame the poor for their lot. We are two nations because we choose not to alleviate problems but to place the blame for them on the people least capable of solving them. We are two nations because we rationalize selfishness as virtue, success as being moral in and of itself, and however it was achieved, and contempt as wisdom. We are two nations because we choose to be.

We are two nations but we do not have to be. We are two nations because we choose to be. We are two nations because we have separated work from wages, justice from the law, and public service from politics. We are two nations because we have made the government an "other," a thing to be dreaded, a creature to be feared, instead of being the highest creative act a citizen can perform. We are two nations because we choose to be.
It explains our disease in this country quite well. I feel I am existing on a different planet than far too many in this country, because I have the ability to see more than 5 feet past my own nose and understand that governing means promoting policies that work out FOR PEOPLE THAT MAY BE OTHER THAN ME. And the reality that many of these people on a different planet are the ones making policy is something that often makes me very melancholy.

However, Pierce is still hopeful.
There is a kind of justice rising, I believe, and not just because of the season, although I freely confess to being a sucker thereto. There is a pope impatient with the shotgun marriage of cupidity and virtue, and who is not shy about explaining why. There is a sense in our politics that we are now paying for having abandoned the creative act of self-government through which we build a political commonwealth, a sense that we allowed that great work to be hijacked by religious grifters, and political bunco artists, and the various assortment of thieves and brigands to whom we handed the world's finances. There is a feeling in the land that the mist has begin to burn away, and that we see more clearly than ever the consequences of decades of choices, made and not made, and that we see more clearly than ever the work that has to be done to repair what we have chosen to do to our country and to ourselves. We can still refuse to do the work, but we no longer have the excuse available to us that we don't know what has to be done.
I agree that the everyday person recognizes that things are rigged in favor of the oligarchy, and that something should be done about it. But do the everyday people have the desire and time to make the effort to change that the big-money lobbyists and interests do? I hope so, but worry about how bad things have to take to snap enough people out of their comfortable lethargy.

I do believe that we are currently two nations, even though the vast majority of us have relatively common values and desires. But there are enough people in that other nation that aren't going to want to work with us in above-ground America, and don't have those common values, so we have to work around them to show the bystanders just how shallow, weak and foolish the people in the other country are. If you want to call it a Cold War, go ahead. But the older I get, the more I know I have no common ground with the "divide and conquer" crew who only communicate and receive information from within the right-wing bubble.

With that in mind, I believe there is no sense in trying to reach a compromise with a group of people who Pierce recognized in October were the logical extension of Nixon's ratfuckers from the 1970s. Tactics and power are everything with these guys, and basic governance is not a matter of concern. If it kills thousands of people due to substandard health care or drives millions more Americans into poverty from a lack of stabilizers in the economy, it's just collateral damage. Recognize that, and react accordingly. I don't have confidence in a corrupt political media to tell the truth, because they get paid big money from those who promote the division, hate, and oligarchy. But maybe enough everyday people will stop accepting the shit being shoveled to them, and start returning fire with the facts. That's the hope I cling to in the face of unparalleled cynicism, it's a big reason I write as much as I do here, and I will continue to do so in 2014.

Because just like 40 years ago, the ratfuckers can't stay in power any longer if you want this country to continue to be worth caring about. If these divisive bastards can be isolated into the fringe that they really are, then we can finally start progressing into a 21st Century nation, and stop being 2 nations, but instead be united by our common purposes and dreams.

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