The State of the Union

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First post in too long!   Not sure if we will have time to post on a regular basis, but this political season is too wacky to pass up.

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Dipped in Fear, Fried in Anger

Change?  The election is over.  Obama won and Romney lost.  Where is that “change” we were promised?  Which version of America are we going to get?  First of all, for the average person change does not come from the Government.  The Government does not create “change.”  That change has to come from within.  It is not an external force acting upon you.  Both Republicans and Democrats have dangerously thrown that idea out of their political psyche.

Red, White, and Blue. What went wrong for Romney? The answer probably lies within the Republican party itself and less with Mitt Romney.  The Republicans were unable to win an election by leveraging emotional, not rational, anger about the economy and rouse enough people to vote “against” Obama.  Romney was obligated to indulge in politics Dipped in Fear, Fried in Anger, and served up like chicken and sweet tea on Red, White, and Blue party plates because that is what it takes to get a GOP nomination, but obviously not the Presidency.

Chameleon.  People were asking which Mitt Romney they would get get if he was elected.  Romney became a contortionist to try and please everyone in his Party.  Psychology would suggest that people would pick the Mitt Romney that suited them best by taking the things he said that they liked as the truth and dismissing what they didn’t.  Simply, they will accentuate what they want to believe and ignore what they don’t.  That strategy seems to work for people in Politics in both parties.  However, it seems that Romney had to twist and bend far too much for the average voter.

Race.  Was this about race?  Yes and No.  By and large people that identify with African or Latin heritage have been largely ostracized by the Republican party.  Again, this is based in fear of a America different from the one they know – or want.  Republicans have not been successful in suppressing or distancing themselves from racial attitudes within the Party.  Usually, this dissolves into a Freedom of Speech argument.  I have the freedom to say that women are less intelligent or capable than men, but it won’t get me a lot of dates.  Compassion and understanding goes a long way regardless of religion or situation.  Reaching out to people who are different than you does not mean weakness.

Here is an excerpt of a story written by Calvin Malone called Razor-Wire Dharma that highlights this:

Bulldog was not only loud and obnoxious, he was big and strong as well.  Few people dared to mess with him and he knew it.  I made sure to stay way from him as well.  Christmas season came (as it does each year), and most inmates were not looking forward to the holiday period.  In most prisons, there is almost nothing special done during this challenging time.  In our case, there is a holiday meal: a regular meal made “festive” by the addition of cranberry sauce and stuffing.  The next Christmas, I went to several friends and asked them to help me put on a Christmas party.  Our (Christmas) party was the talk of the prison for a year.  On several occasions Bulldog mentioned that he had heard about our parties, but I never entertained the idea of inviting him.  When I passed Bulldog’s cell something made me stop. I went back and straight out, invited him to the party.  His response was suspicious. “Why you invite me?” he grunted from his doorway.  When they had heard what I had done, two people decided that they would not attend. Others had serious reservations.  I went ahead with the plans and hoped for the best.

It was interesting that all those who attended were dressed in their best “civilian” clothes and made an extra effort to make this a special time for all.  Throughout the party, Bulldog was quiet and nice to everyone.  He got the most animated when we called out the numbers for the gifts. When he received his, he was like a child at Christmas!  Later he told me he thoroughly enjoyed himself.  Bulldog was moved to another prison after that Christmas party.  Three years later I saw him again.  When he saw me he rushed up and gave me a huge hug and flashed an uncharacteristic smile.  Yelling loudly enough for everyone in the next county to hear, he let me know how much that Christmas meant to him and that in all his years in prison that was his best memory.

Common Ground.  Practice what you preach.

The nation, as you know, is at a critical point. At a time like this, we can’t risk partisan bickering and political posturing. Our leaders have to reach across the aisle to do the people’s work. And we citizens also have to rise to the occasion. – Mitt Romney

 

I believe we can seize this future together because we are not as divided as our politics suggests. We’re not as cynical as the pundits believe. We are greater than the sum of our individual ambitions, and we remain more than a collection of red states and blue states. We are and forever will be the United States of America. – Barack Obama

 

They are BOTH right.  It is time that we stop laying blame on one Party or the other, work together as individuals, and not highlight differences, but find common ground no matter how far away it seems.  You will not only find the change you seek, but a life that is better than you imagined.  SQUAREROOTOFZERO