This particular card, Let Your Mind Wander, is a very good mind-tussle for me today. It’s timely since there are many startling and mind-bending things happening in the news lately and I have so much to say! I have more to say than I can write here… I’m going to try to get most of it, out.
One of the things I’ve wanted to write about is the mind-bending topic of the crazy, bordering on obscene, GOP primaries. This whole GOP primary is a fiasco bordering on madness. Does anyone expect Newt or Romney or Santorum to be taken seriously? If it weren’t for the fact that it’s really happening, it would be a huge joke, and a great movie. It would be like one of those “Focker” movies. The Fockers are a focked up family who…..
Anyway…..How anyone over the age of 40 could actually vote for Newt Gingrich, after his despicable history in congress and as Speaker, is mind-numbing.
If Newt was president, wouldn’t you be afraid that he’d treat the U.S. and its allies like he treated his former wives? Wouldn’t you be afraid that he’d bring back his proposal to send the children of people on welfare to orphanages? Don’t laugh. That was a Newt proposal during his dismal “Contract ‘against’ America” days. Maybe he’d try to make school-children janitors, after all.
If the inane ideas of some (not all) of the people in the GOP weren’t bad enough, their religiosity drives me crazy! And yet, the GOP, with their heavy reliance on family values, are not even holding their collective noses when it comes to Newt. Now that surprises me. Unless it’s a matter of the GOP realizing that Newt can’t possibly win anyway. Maybe the GOP just doesn’t want to play with Newt. I don’t really think they like Mitt too much either.
But, really, to the GOP who would back Newt, I’d ask, “What about your marriage and family values? How does fig the Newt stack up with those principles?”
And now there’s Rick Santorum who, in the last three primaries, has trampled over both Newt and Mitt (Romney). Last week Newt and Mitt were the players to beat in Florida. Now Rick thinks that because he won Minnesota, Colorado and Missouri, he’s joined the big boys….
Um, does anyone actually believe that Rick has a chance to be the GOP candidate?
Back to Newt and Mitt.… (There’s something about the iteration of those two names together….. When I think of Newt and Mitt I think of the Little Rascal in Spanky and the Gang.)
Newt and Mitt, they recall (for me) the days of Ozzie and Harriet, Denice the Menace cartoons, coming out of the 1960’s and segregation to be bowled over by the surprises of the seventies…. another story, the 70’s.
The Newt and Mitt Show. The Mitt and Newt Show… No matter how you say it, it’s a lousy sounding title. It doesn’t sell. Neither does The Newt Show. Or The Mitt Show. Can’t take either seriously. One sounds like it could be another Sid the Science Kid show with cookie commercials, and the other sounds like a story about a kitten who looses his mittens…..
I was reading a book about the history of America yesterday. From the Civil War, to WWI, the Great Depression, WWII, and all through the struggle for Civil Rights in this country.
And, I am reminded anew of the hard-fought battles for Civil Rights and equality for all. And, not only did I realize that the lead-up into the Great Depression mirrors where we are today in our Great Rescission, but I realized that the GLBT is fighting just as hard for equality today as blacks (and women and other minorities), mostly blacks, fought for their rights. It’s the same type of battle. And the economy issues are the same issues today as the Great Depression. There are many, many similarities! Hoover’s failed state until FDRs New Deal… the rich v. poor, the banks, and on and on the similarities between today and the Great Depression continue!
The Hitler / Stalin Pact. Japan. How this country treated Japanese American’s after Pearl Harbor is such a terrible blight, such a huge sore that festered until the US finally apologized, in 1988, I believe. Can you imagine that happening now? No? I can. You know why? The people – not the government so much – the people of this country who are filled with hate and rage against “Muslim” or “Islam” that such isolation could happen all over again, like it did to the Japanese in this country. I hate to think that… but, if we don’t remember our history, we’re bound to repeat it.
I pray we never forget the horrors that we put the innocent American Japanese through. I pray we continue to teach the bitter and ugly history of slavery. I hope we continue to teach about what led to the murder of 6 millions, mostly Jewish, people. I hope we teach our children what hate does to people, to countries, and to us all.
Remember FDR? He was a Democrat. He followed Hoover who ran this country into the Great Depression. FDR and the New Deal (and the lead up to WWII) got this country going again. Anyway, FDR promised us that we need to hold sacred four freedoms:
The freedom of speech and expression.
The freedom of worship.
The freedom from want, and
The freedom from fear.
FDR, of course, and his congress were not perfect. Far from it. But, FDR understood oppression. He understood the need for equality. FDR knew about fear when he consoled the American people by saying: “…the only thing we have to fear is fear itself…”
Whereas the Bush administration badly wanted an America who stood afraid so he could better control it, FDR wanted to warn AGAINST fear when he said, on January 6, 1941, in his speech that is now known as “The Four Freedoms” speech, the following:
In the future days, which we seek to make secure, we look forward to a world founded upon four essential human freedoms.
The first is freedom of speech and expression — everywhere in the world.
The second is freedom of every person to worship God in his own way — everywhere in the world.
The third is freedom from want — which, translated into world terms, means economic understandings which will secure to every nation a healthy peacetime life for its inhabitants — everywhere in the world.
The fourth is freedom from fear — which, translated into world terms, means a world-wide reduction of armaments to such a point and in such a thorough fashion that no nation will be in a position to commit an act of physical aggression against any neighbor– anywhere in the world.
That is no vision of a distant millennium. It is a definite basis for a kind of world attainable in our own time and generation. That kind of world is the very antithesis of the so-called new order of tyranny which the dictators seek to create with the crash of a bomb.
To that new order we oppose the greater conception — the moral order. A good society is able to face schemes of world domination and foreign revolutions alike without fear.
So, yes. We must remember history. We must believe in the bottom of our hearts that all men and women are created equal. We MUST put religion back into the living rooms of our homes and in our churches or temples, where it rightfully belongs. We MUST not care if a man loves another man, or a woman another woman, or if a man born a man but meant to be a woman, becomes a woman not by choice, but by necessity. It is not our business. Be happy for the men and women who marry each other. There is no greater thing than the ability to be happy for someone else’s happiness.
There are mean and unhappy people in this world who wear their hate like a duck wears its feathers. These people let happiness and thoughts of equality drop off of them like water on a ducks back. The trick is to deny them an audience – let them swim in a pond of their own making. Ignore those who would wish ill on another person.
Our sanity depends on it.
February is Black History month, which reminds me of the enormous struggle, years in the making, that raged and raged, and to a large degree, still must rage.
However….. can it be there is light in the distance?
A wonderful and amazing and beautiful thing happened just the other day with regards to Civil Rights: California’s Proposition 8’s ban on same-sex marriage was declared unconstitutional! Which of course it is.
Other states, we hope, will follow suit and realize that equal treatment for all, means equal treatment for all.
Equal means just that. Equality doesn’t measure sexual persuasion or gender into its equation.
The US Constitution never mentions the bedroom or the bed, now does it? Does the Constitution mention sex at all? Nope.
So, I would tell Mr. or Mrs. Jane and John Doe in Idaho who rails against abortion, same-sex marriage, and all GLTB issues —> Keep your nose out of other people’s bedrooms, keep your hands off my female body, let me chose the contraception I alone want to use, and for Gods sake stay out of the marriage argument!
The only marriage argument any one person should have needs to pertain to their own marriage. How dare anyone try to relegate my marriage? I don’t think Mr. and Mrs. John and Jane Doe would like to be told who they can or cannot marry. Equal means equal. It doesn’t mean equal for everyone but GLBT and women!
Oh, and while we’re at it, can we please remember to treat Muslims with the same respect we give our Christian brothers and sisters? That would be wonderful.
And so, as I think about this 15th Creative Whack: Let Your Mind Wander, I think, well, this is a good exercise for opening the mind to the acceptance of other ideals or values that are different from our own.
For instance, I just read that Bill O’Reilly, the loud and wild man on Fox News who I am loath to listen to, recently stood up for Ellen DeGeneres . Yes, he is on record, saying that to fire Ellen or to treat her differently because of her sexuality is akin to McCarthyism. My, my, my! Who would have thunk that O’Reilly would have such a heart?
I heart Bill O’Reilly!!! Well, today anyway.
I think, therefore, we all can have new thoughts, just like Bill O’Reilly did! If we use creative associations that trigger thoughts and beliefs that are potentially loving and kinder towards groups that have historically been targets of hate, it’s a great start! After all, no one wants to continue to see children bullied to death or to suicide due to their sexual identity, right?
So, think of the children. Think of poor Robert Champion who was “hazed” to death by FAMU students. Think of humanity…… Think of the Ugandan government who believes so strongly in Western religion they tried to pass a law to give homosexuals who are “caught” either a life sentence in jail, or the death sentence. (Their legislation is “dead” but is still being “reviewed” by the government as of today.)
To start with, this creative whack uses the example of Work and goes on to compare it to play. You’d think that work and play would be opposite, right? Not true. To be creative and make work meaningful, there are strong elements of “play” (though some would disagree).
Anyway, the trick here is to keep our thoughts positive and kind….
So, when we say:
Marriage, let’s associate it with Anyone.
When we say: Equal, let’s say Same Sex.
When we say: Homosexual, say Love;
Reproduction: Women’s rights;
Religion: To each their own.
Respect: Women’s bodies; laws; rights of others; differences…….
And on and on we go!
When the vitriolic rhetoric of some Americans in politics, in radio, or in television, graphically targets others, using cross-hairs on a hate map, we are in trouble.
When horrific hate-talk threatens the very essence of sensibility and civility, the rights that we cherish are in danger. Political hate-talk, if left unchecked, threatens what Thomas Jefferson called our rights to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”.
We constantly hear angry mouthpieces like Sarah Palin who cry, “Don’t retreat, reload.” And Bill O’Reily, Rush, Joyce Kaufman, and their ilk, who sensationalize hate and killing and guns using maps and websites that brazenly depict political districts as if they were war-zones. What does this say about us as a country?
Why do we allow our government servants to target one another by virtue of a political bent?
What can we do when politicians or talking heads say things like: “if ballots don’t work bullets will?”
I don’t have an answer. But, I would ask the people who are the mouthpieces in this country to realize that people listen to them, and take seriously their hate talk. People who are not quite all there mentally, who can buy a gun as easily as I buy chewing gum, to settle imagined or delusional scores, do listen to you. Words ARE weapons.
I feel helpless in this fight. I stand by and watch this hate and ignorance spread and feel hopeless because there seem to be so few answers. And, those in government who do have answers, aren’t talking.
I hope and pray that, as a result of yesterday’s tragedy in Tuscon, Arizona, we will let dialogue, not diatribe, stretch and reach out across the land, silencing the hatred that political animosity has created – is creating.
We need to take some deep, deep breaths in this country. Let’s regain our civility as a people, as a nation of human beings with empathy for the common good. Of course, good for one does not translate into good for all, but we can start with civility.
Let’s hope that our 112th Congress, as they take this coming week off to regroup after the tragic events in Tuscon, will put aside their political brains and use their human brains to realize that hate speech engenders more hate, and more hate, and more hate and more hate until we become a nation of gun-toting, trigger-haired, lunatics.
Listen to Keith Olberman.