Wise words from a wise friend. This man needs to have a blog . . . or so I keep telling him . . . but he’s not so into technology, so I’m thinking that won’t happen. But he said I could share this here, and so I am.
Here’s the way the election looks to me.
We all see that our country and the world are changing:
- We’re becoming more multi-cultural and multi-racial. The sheer demographics tell us this but we also see more opportunity for People of Color to enter into more “mainstream” America. We are no longer even able to pretend that we are a WASP nation and more and more of us embrace this diversity.
- We’re becoming less male dominated with females given more opportunities and a more egalitarian place in the family and society in general.
- More and more of us are seeing that sexual orientation should not affect one’s ability to function as a citizen or participate in other benefits of living in community.
- We’re becoming more aware that “the world is flat” in terms of economics and political/military power. We may be the only super-power but that means less and less. We are part of an inter-related, connected, networked world and we like it like that.
- We are less rural and more urban, not just in the geogrpahic sense but in the lifestyle/ identity sense. We’re city people now, even many who live in the country are city people now. Our culture is increasingly urban in spirit.
- We are more and more multi-religious/ spiritual. Not only are we not mostly Protestant we’re not even necessarily Christian, or if we are, that is less and less part of our identity as citizens because we think that non-Christians should not in any way be disadvantaged as citizens. We see little meaning or value in the “Christian nation” myth. It serves little useful purpose and it causes a lot of mischief.
- We are passing the baton to the next generation. Those who’s world-views were formed in the context of WW II-The Cold War –Vietnam– the Civil Rights Movement–Watergate are being superseded by those for whom the Computer / internet Age is much more significant.
The upcoming election presents us with two broad-stroke reactions to these factors: hope and fear.
The Democrats’ slogan, THE CHANGE WE NEED, means to me the change in attitude and spirit, the change in leadership and policies which will help us as a nation engage these kinds of factors in ways that are helpful and healthy for all of us, for the whole universe. They enter the new realities with hope. Many of the changes they embrace because they find in them new opportunities for making this the nation “of the people, by the people, for the people” more and more of a reality. The Democrats look at the changes around us with hope; they see the potential of a better society emerging.
The Republicans’ slogan, COUNTRY FIRST, means to me holding on to the attitudes, leadership and policies which will continue to keep the current (at least as its imagined) power structure in place. The “country” in mind here is not the country of black people or brown people. It is not the country of the poor; its the country that Sarah Palin recognizes as the “pro-America” part of the country; it’s a country dominated by over 50’s white Christian men for the benefit of over 50’s white Christian men. The Republicans are opposed to all of the above changes because they threaten their fundamental reason to be–to make sure the rich and powerful stay the rich and powerful. The Republican response is fear and their primary strategy is to create and spread this fear as widely as they can. Only a sufficiently terrified population can be manipulated into continuing a political system which benefits only a few wealthy at the top. So, “the blacks are taking over”, or “the Hispanics are taking over”, or “the gays are taking over”, or “the Islamofascists are about to destroy us” , etc. become the rallying cries.
The candidates pretty well visualize the Parties’ spirits; the old angry white guy stuck in Vietnam and the young very-international smooth and soothing black guy.
We have the choice between a Party which will try to bring us hopefully into a future which is evolving or the Party which will fearfully, and hopelessly, try to force us go back to past that never really was.