when i listen to the democratic candidates for the oval office speak- i want so badly to buy in- to feel that hope and change. and it stirs in my soul. and then, i take a step back and a deep breath, and i realize that they can't change all that much. campaign speeches are about rousing the party faithful and getting them out to vote. now, i am not saying that these folks don't believe in the words that they are speaking- on the contrary, i believe that they do. for as long as they are speaking them. cynical? well, we heard fancy campaign speeches and soaring rhetoric in 2006 when the congress was up for re-(s)election and we really didn't get many of those promises fulfilled. well, that's not entirely true- the republican folks did.
there was a time when i really bought into the american dream- no, not the one about working hard to get the ranch house with a white picket fence and a dog and 2.5 kids- the one about the american people. the dream that america was the greatest nation on the planet because we were a democracy- that the american people were fighters. americans fight for freedom and the constitution- or so i was taught in my nationalist propaganda- i mean history- class. i think most people i knew- in working class elmira, ny- believed that too. i don't know what they believe now.
yep. i am in a mood. as charlie chaplin said- on the sidebar- (and i am paraphrasing)- i am thinking too much- but i am feeling too much too. it baffles me how easy it is for white folks in the majority in this country to completely dehumanize other races. mom and i were talking native american history yesterday and the arrogance and hubris of the white majority in exterminating entire tribes of people is staggering. they had what we wanted. so do the iraqis. now, please don't jump in and tell me that other races do the same thing to the less fortunate in their midst- i know. but i am white. and so i speak to what i know.
and it baffles me how people interact in their daily relationships and how horribly we have learned to treat each other. and we don't stop to think of the impact it has on other people's lives. some of us are scarred for life. there are so many examples i could put here that i wouldn't have room but the particular one i am thinking about is personal. and it came to mind because of the parenting 'skills' of sarah palin- of whom i have focused much contempt on this week. she is put on a pedestal as some sort of perfect mother mary- and her children suffer. the pictures are out there- you can google all you want. or, if you don't want to look at the children- look at how she treated her former brother-in-law- and a vaunted employee. and these are the people other people look up to.
john mccain spent time in a pow camp. that sucks. but he survived and many didn't. to me, it makes no difference that he was a pow or that he was in the military- he was a dick before he got captured and he's a dick now. he can speechify all he wants but it doesn't negate what so very people know intimately- he abuses people verbally and misuses people for personal gain. and he is looked at as a hero by many. we look at barack obama as the messenger of hope- why? he seems like a decent human being but many look at him with hero worship because he's smart and eloquent. those qualities should be the norm- not the exception. and it doesn't make you a hero. it just makes you a smart guy who can speak in complete sentences longer than a monosyllable and without nicknames.
anyhoo- i am rambling because family has a way of dredging up old wounds and triggers and someone close to me still aches from old wounds. they are healing.
and the biggest part of me doesn't want to be cynical anymore and doesn't want to doubt everything and question everything and disbelieve everything- the biggest part of me wants to be an american again.