Pretty much every day that I hang out on Facebook I am begged by one party or another to join them in the sincere and noble effort to Take Back America. Neither major party holds a monopoly on this crusade. We either have to “take back America” from the fascist, money-hungry right wing or the spend-thrift, socialist left wing.
I find it all very irritating. The mere fact that both groups are free to post their histrionic exhortations without being hung is pretty solid evidence that America is still what it always was.
This is what I find so odd about the state of modern politics. With everyone so busy trying to be More Correct than the other guys, we end up fighting over inconsequentials to the exclusion of getting anything done.
But I have to be honest and say that I genuinely prefer it this way when it comes to the national stage. Because the last time Congress got together and all agreed on something we ended up with The Patriot Act–a document few politicians admit to having read all the way through before passing, and a document that more than any other in recent memory really DID jeopardise the ideals of America.
Now I admit that I am no fan of Health Care Reform, the Obama Iteration. I think that it is an abridgement of free people’s rights, and a serious one at that. (They would have had me, albeit begrudgingly, if they’d left out the “you have to prove to the government that you are insured” business. That stinks of fascist bureaucracy. Brazil, anyone?)
But we haven’t lost America. It’s still here. Broke and boiling over–but here.
More than that, I find the intimation that America is lost to be grotesquely offensive. I’ve got dear friends, life-long friends and loved ones on both sides of the spectrum. Whenever one side says they aim to free America from the other that says to me that all those people standing on that wing are not Americans and that they have no right to claim ownership of America. How unAmerican is THAT?!?
In case I haven’t been clear, this would be the primary reason I eschew the Tea Party people, even though on paper we share many of the same ideals. In their zest for soundbites they’ve made a false religion out of ‘conservative’ politics.* They’ve alienated half the country by emphasising theatre over theory and foregoing gentlemanly behaviour in order to make some half-assed version of a point.
America belongs to all of us. By threatening to take it away from half of the country you condemn the spirit upon which America was crafted. Somebody may end up having to Take America Back from you.
*I’m still quite sickened by the Tea Party people holding a rally on Easter Sunday. That just seems a bit too gross for me.