(11AM EST – promoted by Nightprowlkitty)
You there — I don’t know what to call you, because if I call you anything, you’ll change the conversation to how unfair it all is and how put upon you all are by the people who really should be standing by your side, arm in arm, your inferior but ever loyal allies who just haven’t been beaten enough to understand how loyal they must be to you, to keep things from getting, well, you know, really rotten and stuff.
But, uh, you, President Obama, you, Barney Frank, even you, Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow. You, on the blogs, for whom life is all about being in a big tent except for all those snarkers demoralizing you, you know, and elections, and stuff.
Yeah, you there. You know who you are. Because it’s so unfair, and life is putting upon you, and you’re just, you know, working for the good of all us ungrateful bastards, left and right, I won’t unduly burden your delicate psyche’s by calling you a name. But, you know who you are.
I might call you lily livered centrists, I might call you appeasers, or I might, as I said to my dad, being one of you all, in a burst, tonight, you who stand for standing still. And that’s the most accurate thing of all. You, who think that it works to play both ends against the middle, to say, well, yeah, you might not get your civil rights for a hundred years, but, you know, maybe you agree with me and still want to breath clean air, right, and that’s why you should be united with me, but, you know, with me leading, and you following, despite the fact that I don’t lead much of anywhere, except to nice laws and continuing decay?
And, really, when I burst out to my dad, “You who are ok with standing still,” it was the most accurate thing of all. It was unfair, he said.
You. You who call people unrealistic, say they’re dirty fucking hippies, want a pony, and are ungrateful. It’s time for a little backtalk.
You. You’re lazy. Arrogant. And shooting right wing fish in a barrel. But, when it comes to debating the left, it’s all so unfair. We just want a pony. And, why are you being criticized? It’s not like you’re not trying your best, after all — well, being lazy and shooting Christine O’Donnel over and over again, as if she’s not already dead — but, really trying your best, right?
Most of all, you just don’t listen, and that, I think, is your greatest weakness. You listen, of course, to what you want to listen to — I mean, your world is a political world, so of course, you listen to the Rand Pauls of the world. Or you’ll listen to Christine O’Donnell. Not to really listen, and think about causes, or the idea of perhaps WHY the far right is so nasty and so crazy and to do some analysis — but just to see a weakness. Because, you are all one big tent, right?
Even I, I am in your big tent, to be lectured to, whined at, told I’m whining and betraying. Because, that’s what you’re used to. Listening, not for hearing, but for sensing political weakness. And I’m in your big tent — EVEN IF I DON’T WANT TO BE. Even if I consider myself different and not part of your tribe. Because all that exists is you, the sensible middle, and the wackadoodle far right. It is your world. No colors, no rainbow, and for heaven’s sake, no shades of gray. So, it’s not like you’re kicking me out of the big tent — don’t have that delusion. You wouldn’t have it any other way!
So, if I don’t talk about how I want to get rid of the minimum wage, and if I don’t talk about how I want children to work, or to dismantle Social Security — you just can’t process. You can’t process ME. I don’t exist in your world. I am just a disgruntled member of your tribe. To be laughed at, and at election time, browbeaten.
So, attacking Republicans, but not just any Republicans, crazy insane world Republicans. But never the left — because that would be very hard, and the left — it just doesn’t exist, except when it’s convenient to exist! But not when it comes time to talk to them. Attacking Republicans. It’s what you’re good at. Laziness. Shooting right wing monkey craziness in a barrel, that wouldn’t even be there, or discussed, but that it’s so good for you — not to mention the Republicans and the corporate media — them, too, but you, also.
So anyway, politically, pretty much, my dad is one of you. It’s not like he’s rich, but, you know, he is set. He has his medical care, he has his Social Security, his Medicare, and, you know, for him, life is pretty much steady state. He’s not gonna be eating canape’s, but, he can wake up tomorrow not really worrying if he’ll be out on the street — know what I mean?
“So,” my dad said tonight, as I picked him up for bowling, “Obama’s really been making great speeches lately! He’s going to unite the Democratic base and he’s, he’s gonna…”
“Uh, I wouldn’t know, Dad, I don’t care and haven’t been listening”.
Later, after bowling, I sucked, he sucked too, but not so much. I drove him home.
He invites me over for a drink. Rachel Maddow is on.
“Rachel Maddow is so wonderful,” my dad gushes.
“Well, it’s really easy,” I remarked, watching her bash yet another round of media-enabled Republican loony-ness. “Maybe, the conversation wouldn’t be so easy, if you know she had to actually argue with someone to the left of her.”
“What do you mean?”
“Well, you all care so much about whether Christine O’Donnell is a witch turned Republican sycophant, whether Rand Paul really wants to abolish the minimum wage, and whether masturbation is going to be outlawed. But, you know, the 800 billion dollar military budget, that you’re evidently ok with.”
“That’s not fair!”
“Ok. I’m going out for a cigarette.”
(10 minutes later).
“Don’t get me wrong, dad, I love Rachel Maddow too.”
“Well, you’re just not fair,” dad huffs. “I never said anything about the 800 billion dollar military budget!”
“That’s just it,” I reply. “You don’t say anything about the 800 billion dollar military budget. Neither does Rachel Maddow. So, you don’t want an 800 billion dollar budget?”
“What would YOU like, then, because I just don’t know — you’re too busy talking about how stupid Republicans are.”
“Well, an 800 billion dollar military budget is too much!”
“What about the U.S. having 5800 nuclear weapons?”
“Well, that is too much, too. Obama wants to cut them!”
“Ok,” I said. “What about Social Security, which you get, and I’ve paid into my whole life, that people are talking about stealing, not from you but from me? What about health care? What about civil rights? What about –?”
“Andy, please don’t get mean and yell at me. You’re being unfair. People have talked about how the military budget is too much —”
“I never once raised my voice. You only thought I did. Because you didn’t like the subject change. You talk, and you talk, about how bad the Republicans are. Why do you try to change the subject? You say you are about change, that you want Obama re-elected because he is about change, yet, the slightest talk about real change makes you uncomfortable. Why is that?”
“If the Democrats lose this November, we’re never going to have any change…”
“But, Dad, I love you but let’s face it. You are situated just fine the way you are. You don’t want things to get WORSE. You are just fine with it taking 100 years for it to get BETTER. Yet, you want your side to LEAD. You are just fine with people like Obama and Biden attacking all sides, because you really don’t care if things get better .. you just want me to share your fear of Republicans.”
“Well, I love you, Andy, but you’re just not being fair…”
“It’s very interesting,” I reply. “You don’t expect fairness from Republicans. Yet, I have to be fair, to you?”
“Well, you’re one of us!”
“Uh, no. I gotta go. Work to do, and keeping myself off the street, and all.”
“I love you.”
“I love you too, Dad. G’night.”
So, this is the conversation taking place around living rooms across America.
And, I am forced to ask, what do you people — you who talk about the end of the world being by Republicans, you who talk about elections — what do you want, but obedience and nothing else?
You don’t listen. And you don’t get it. You preach, to the disgruntled, about elections — and what I feel is, you’re not listening and you’re not having the right conversation.
It’s not about elections and it never was. And, if you feel you have to say, for the umpteenth time, that Republicans are evil and we just don’t understand how evil they are — understand that, with me, you’re talkin’ to a gay man, here.
You insult me with your insinuations that I “don’t understand”.
Yeah, I understand. Maybe better than you. I have, after all, a whole life of Republicans wanting me in prison, or maybe in a gas chamber. Still — there is no far left in this country, but you talk about the far left stealing your mojo. You lecture your leftie friends, and are discombobulated when they dislike you doing it. So, which is it? A far left that is weak and ineffectual and worthy of being laughed at? Or a far left that is torpedoing you getting anything done? And, do you want to get anything done? Or do you want to talk about how you can’t get anything done, and the far left, which doesn’t exist, is hurting you from not getting anything done?
This isn’t about elections, for me. Because, America is an ENDLESS ELECTION. Don’t you get it? Try, for a second, to be less political and listen to the cries of those you left behind. We’re not stealing your mojo, we’re not demanding a pony. And, maybe I’m more sanguine about things getting bad, really really bad, than you are. That might be something to consider. Because, in total destruction, total chaos, death and mayhem, there’s at least the possibility of choosing a different way. That’s how badly _I_ want things to be different, to operate in a different way. To even at the end, contemplate horror.
Since America is an endless election, there will always be people for you to browbeat, to tell, oh my, you better vote this election because this election is the most important one of all. And, if you don’t vote for this Democrat or that or do this and that activism, the Republicans will eat your babies. EAT YOUR BABIES!!!
Thing is, you can talk like that all day. In America, it never stops. And the ones who talk like that, it’s easy to observe, seem to have little else to talk about. Pray tell, if Christine O’Donnel were to get elected and masturbation WERE to be outlawed, would you even notice? Beyond, you know, having this fundraiser, or this fake unity march, or getting this new Congressperson elected? That’s not the kind of noticing I’m talking about. The kind of noticing I’m talking about is the general sensation of things decaying, that I have.
What we want is for you to lead, follow, or get out of the way. Issues, and principles. Remember those?
And yet, you cannot imagine a world with you following and with the so-called far left leading. Horrors. But if you don’t lead, it isn’t about lecturing us about the importance of elections. It’s about you leading. And telling the truth.
Since the “far left” doesn’t exist, or only does when it’s convenient — I almost didn’t, but I’ll leave you with this last thing to think about. We’re not here to support you. We’re here to remind you. Remind you of what’s important. And, if that reminder is inconvenient at any or all points — it might be worth asking onesself WHY such reminders are inconvenient. Maybe because, people aren’t paying attention to what matters? The lack of reminders sure doesn’t seem to be doing much good, since we are talking about how bad it would be to dismantle everything we’ve done to protect the poor, and even the Rachel Maddows of the world chatter about that all day, as opposed to the real big nasties that await us unless we, as a country, get serious. It seems much needed. Why the resistance?