The man did it again! What a relief to those of us who were terrified by the idea of an America under the divisive rule of “the other party”. A party that presents itself as driven by oppressive, partisan, money-driven, religio-fanatical neo-conservatives. And as with any major conflict, we (the American people) have simply won another major battle. The conflict is not nearly over yet, and promises to parade into the future, as far as the eye can see, and as far as the mind can project. Yet if we hope to truly win, in the years and decades to come, we must have a clear understanding of the nature of our opponents. In short, what is it exactly that we’re striving to overcome? To distill it to its essence – we are laboring against an incredibly well-funded ideology which is characterized by a view of our society which is fundamentally alien to what we’ve come to regard as “the American way of life”.
What exactly is this concept, which we call “the American way of life”? In large part, it’s the single device which was structured into the foundations of this country – a device that was designed to bind together, into a single nation, all of the citizens of one of the most diverse societies in human history. The essence of this device was chiseled into stone over the entrance to the Supreme Court of the United States – “Equal Justice Under the Law”. It was that sense of equality which drove the writers of our constitution to inscribe the very first line of the very first Amendment to the Constitution (in our Bill of Rights) – “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion – ”. A statement which simply means that the government of the United States shall never sanction any specific formalized religion, as being preeminent above all others. By extension, it means that no particular religion’s beliefs or moral convictions shall be imposed on our people, under force of law. Yet the “political Right” as a religious moral conviction which demands that *their* moral conviction against abortion be imposed- on every woman and every doctor in the nation. It goes on to demand the authority to dictate to all of society, a constraint on the insurance industry to prevent insured funding for contraceptives. It begs the question- What the hell business is it of theirs anyway?
Those who lean to the political right will loudly voice “Equality for all!” – except when it comes to equal pay for women for doing the same work as their male counterparts. Or, “Equality for all!”, except when it comes to rates of taxation for those who must labor for a living as compared to those who make millions every year by simply clipping capital-gains coupons. Or, “Equality for all!”, except when it comes to voting rights of those who might vote against them.
Then too, is the Republican view of “the American way of life”, that the United States should be the only country in the industrialized world without a universal healthcare system? Is it telling of their core beliefs that after we’ve finally got the beginnings of proper health insurance system, that they would try to take it away? Keep in mind that this is a system, which now enables 30-million families to be insured who couldn’t get such insurance before- a system that now covers pre-existing conditions- a system which keeps kids on their parent’s policies to the age of 26- a system which constrains the insurance companies from profiting by more than 20% of their revenues.
Is it “the American way of Life” when a political party strives to corrupt our Social Security system (which has functioned so effectively for nearly three-fourths of a century) by demanding that future earners be encouraged to gamble their pensions through the massive shell-game called the stock market? Or is it “the American way of Life” for old-age pensioners to suffer the loss of Medicare, in exchange for some nominal amount of money with which to plead for the benevolence the Insurance Industry, to satisfy their healthcare needs?
I say that it is not- America is not defined by such a narrow view. America is born of big, brave ideas, and putting aside subjectivity for shaping the best and most sound future for all races, creeds, sex’s (sexuality’s) and religions that make up the citizens of these United States.
Remember this when you hear the voices of those who claim membership in such a radical Right-wing party. Remember this when they speak of the future of all of us. A future in which the rich get infinitely richer, and the rest of us are left to scratch for crumbs. The maggots have invaded the system, and during this past campaign have shown us a crystal clear image of our collective future- But only if we allow that future to happen! As I said, we’ve now won another skirmish, but the battle goes on.
So what must we do? If President Obama is to complete the work which he’s so painstakingly begun, he will need the cooperation of the Congress – a Congress composed of a Republican House which has spent the past two years with its heels dug in, and a Senate which has been plagued by a tally of Republican filibusters unequaled in the 230+ years of the history of that body (along with a fair share of democratic party cat herding). It is now the responsibility of the American people to take careful note as to whether or not this partisan obstructionism will continue. And if it does, to then sweep away, in the 2014 elections, the bulk of those obstructors, so that the President can once more lead this nation to the true prosperity to which our labors have entitled us.
Only a well-informed, and vigilant electorate can achieve the task of sifting through the sophistry and political rhetoric, to give this administration the opportunity to properly fulfill its task.