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     Volume 9 Issue 44| November 12, 2010 |

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Writing the wrong

There had to be a Morning After


Rally to restore sanity.

Halloween weekend in NYC is when the freaks are freakier than usual and it is more than acceptable, indeed, expected to fly that freak flag. Wallflowers, who normally blend into the background, carefully sew slabs of meat on to their white body suits and glue on those false eyelashes and call themselves Lady Gaga. For the normally narcissistic and attention grabbing, Halloween is an opiate, where the words “LOOK AT ME, LOOK AT ME” are all but plastered on to their costumes. Illusions are encouraged and embraced, and we can pretend for one shining minute that we are someone else. But you know what? The fact is, the next day, you wake up, your head pounding, your false eyelashes having migrated to your chin at some point during the night (perhaps during that unfortunate karaoke stint where you destroyed your favorite Chaka Khan song), and you look in the mirror and you are the same person; with the same demons, same flaws, same challenges, same enemies, and hopefully, the same friends. The mask is off and you are world weary and well, let's face it, not pretty.

If we expand on this metaphor and make the Halloween celebrations, say, the illusion of our liberal leanings as a nation, and the hungover reveler, President Obama and the entire Democratic party, then you can imagine how the left is feeling at this moment. The illusion of yes, we can, has been blown to smithereens, and not too many people are feeling hopeful or audacious. The House now belongs to the other side, and one is left to wonder, what happened? When did our President drop the ball? Did he, in fact, drop the ball? Has his single minded public focus on healthcare rendered him myopic? Has he lost touch with his constituency? Or, further still, what in tarnation is his PR team talking about all that he and his team are actually accomplishing. I am going to throw some numbers at you, as numbers sound official (also, part of the illusion as it is all relative in the end).

The average annual unemployment rate for 2009 was 9.3 percent. In October of this year unemployment was 9.6 percent. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, approximately 6.3 million workers, or 41 percent of those unemployed have been out of work for 27 weeks or more. This number of 9.6 percent has been holding firm since August. Some say job growth is slow but steady. *There are, at present, 94,000 troops serving in Afghanistan as opposed to the 92,000 who are on the ground in Iraq. The Obama administration has deemed Afghanistan “the more important conflict”. I am not a political analyst ( as is quite obvious) but what just this cross section of national concerns indicates to me is that the country is going to be chomping at the bit for a change. Even if that change means taking two steps back into the familiar abyss that was the Bush administration.

Unemployment and wars with dodgy agenda and no end in sight bring out the worst in people. It plays to their innermost bigotries and fears. History has shown repeatedly that this is when a national conscience is at its most vulnerable. In the 1930s, a loquacious Austrian was able to prey on those same fears and convinced the German people, who were still reeling from their humiliating defeat during WWI, to turn a blind eye to herding people into death camps. Whenever I draw comparisons between Nazi Germany and the current social and political situation in this country, people roll their eyes at me and tell me I am being hyperbolic. I maintain that it is that kind of insistence on ignoring the poo on the table that leads to horrific things, such as Sarah Palin picking out new wallpaper for the Lincoln Bedroom. It could happen, because what is so wondrous about this country is also what is the most frightening: nothing is impossible.

The working class conservative elements in this fair land have bought the GOP party line that Obama is pushing his diabolical liberal, ethnic agenda, where women will retain their rights over their bodies (horror of horrors) and colored folks will run amok in the streets, working, paying taxes, rewriting high school history text books, and pushing that hip hop music. Last Tuesday they voted against their best interests. They actually voted in the people who use them for their real political agenda, play into their fears and spend the rest of the time stealing their pensions.

On facebook, that diabolical social experiment (gone awry), there is a website that outlines, in a somewhat scatological way, the various milestones and legislation that the current administration has passed. Some examples: Obama issued an official edict to shut down Guantanomo Bay, signed the Children's Health Insurance Reauthorization Act that provides health insurance for four million previously uninsured kids, and issued an executive order repealing Bush era restrictions on embryonic stem cell research.

Political analysts say that Obama was given the impression that he had only two years to push and pass that which was most important to him, such as healthcare reform. As a result of this idea, which I feel is an inaccurate assessment of the situation, he might have neglected the warning signs of dissension in the ranks. Indeed, his whole party appears to have lost sight of what got them in office in the first place.

Halloween weekend, I attended the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear in Washington DC. It was exhilarating, with an incredibly large turnout, hilarious signs and John Legend (whom I could barely hear, even from atop the porto potty I was perched on). The air was electric and was testament to what makes this nation so extraordinary. It gave me hope, but not the audacity of it, because just three days later, the Republicans conquered the House. And that is the truth, THAT is where we stand now. The Tea Party (another article) is gloating, Sarah Palin has a reality show on how great and wholesome her life in Alaska is, white as the driven snow that caps the state's peaks, and Obama and the Democrats are hopefully soul gazing into the mirror the morning after and seeing things for what they are and if we are not careful, what they horrifically could be.




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