Wednesday, November 7, 2012

How Do We Fix the Divide?

Four More Years!
I know most of you are as happy as I am about the results of yesterday's election. But there are plenty of folks who are not. Buzzfeed today ran a piece called 'The 31 Worst People on the Planet,' and while I am fairly certain that murderers; child molesters and dictators are probably worse than these people, the 31 blatant racists who had no problem Tweeting their hate for all the world to see are undoubtedly awful people. Tell me again, Ann Coulter, that racism is dead in America.

Then there was has-been comedienne and lunatic-fringe "Christian" Victoria Jackson who Tweeted: "America died today" and "I just can't stop crying." I posted on Facebook: "I hope she cries so much she dries up and blows away like a dead leaf" and Tweeted back to her "And I can't stop laughing at how pathetic you are."* And Donald Trump (who Brian Williams so brilliantly described as "driven past the exit to relevance") went on a multi-Tweet rant, just proving Williams' point so perfectly. Then there are those who were also soundly defeated in the election: anti-abortion, rape-redefining, Republican wingnuts Todd Akin (MO); Richard Mourdock (IN); Roger Rivard (WI); Joe Walsh (IL); Tom Smith (PA) and John Koster (WA). They must be wondering why their extremist views didn't win them their seats.

Just who are all of these anti-Obama; anti-gay; anti-women's rights; anti-progressive loons? They sure sound like Bondian villains, attended by their minions in secret lairs buried deep beneath volcanoes (and no doubt, a few of them may well be - Michelle Bachmann certainly is).

The truth is, the vast majority of them aren't. They are simply misguided folks who truly believe in what the espouse. Long ago, an acting teacher told me that even the worst villain has to believe that what he's doing is the right thing, no matter how misguided or wrong that belief may be. And that's certainly true of the people I'm talking about here (except maybe Coulter, who I am convinced is evil just for the sake of being evil - I can only suppose her only real hero is Machiavelli). They all believe in their heart-of-hearts that they are right and that their views should be everyone's views. That in itself, doesn't make them "bad" people. Unenlightened, maybe. Afraid of what they don't understand, probably. Mislead by antiquated religious doctrines, almost certainly. And a dying breed, most decidedly, as evidenced by last night's election results.

So, how do we close the divide between the Old, Rich White Guys (and Gals) and the rest of us? I'm not sure. It seems to me that their actions and opinions are informed purely by fear and ignorance. Education might help, though I doubt it. Thankfully, the generation coming behind mine seems to get it. But I think nothing short of contact with an advanced alien race who says "Hey! A-holes! You're wrong and here's the proof," will convince them. And should that happen, I still think many of them will cling to their fear and reject the higher wisdom. Maybe we just have to wait for them to die off, like the dinosaurs they are.

Until such a time, the rest of us have to keep fighting; keep protesting and keep making our voices heard. Yesterday's victory for progressive thought was won by too narrow a margin for my taste.  We need to find some common ground and come together as "one nation, indivisible." The so-called 'Culture War' won't end soon, though I have hope that it will end well. I don't know why but I keep looking for the best in people, as should we all.

Back to my usual nonsense, tomorrow (I hope) and then I'm off to Los Angeles for a few days on Friday. I can't wait to go somewhere warm and fun, especially since it's cold and snowing here in Southeastern PA!

*Don't forget, you can follow Uncle P on Twitter @Caliban761.

More, anon.

No comments: