Before it’s too late every thinking man and woman in the U.S. needs to take stock of what it means to be an American.
This word has been hijacked by the Far Right– just listen to Boehner today unveiling the “new” GOP “Pledge to America”. The Obstructionists are promoting, nearly to a talking point, the precise agenda that didn’t work under Dubya Bush, trumpeting, “Americans want this…”
The implication: those of us who don’t want it and who have, albeit tenuous at times, faith in Obama and his platform, are not Americans. Also implied if you listen to some of these people and take a look at the demographic: “we white people think that you black people are so strange, so likely to be Muslims and terrorists, we can’t have you in the white White House.”
Many of us know what we are against, at this juncture, but what do we really believe, and believe in? Democratic principles? Sure. Like, health care for everyone, an education for everyone, the one for all and all for one precept?
Noble. But we aren’t there and we can’t talk about being Americans in the ideal.
Here’s why it’s important to get practical about definitions, discourse, and commitment, and fast. One of the talking points of the pie-in-the-sky GOP plan is that every new piece of federal legislation must be measured against its conformity with the Constitution.
One would hope that we can all agree that we don’t want unconstitutional laws passed, but consider that this morning on Fox News a self-anointed terrorism expert from “the Executive Group” (?) proclaimed that “we” need to infiltrate the American Muslim community to get a grip on domestic terror. Yes. He said that.
And the law passed to bring this about would be “constitutional” how?
Who elected Barack Obama? Americans? Or, as those hanging back on the then fringe in apathy contend, deluded people.
I don’t think we were deluded when we permitted ourselves to dream, hope, and follow someone who had some definite ideas about how to make things better. We weren’t deluded when we celebrated the inauguration of the first African-American president.
Who packed the National Mall 2 million strong on Inauguration Day, 2009? 2 million foreign nationals? Americans high on water?
The resounding silence on the part of the Democratic Party will deal the death blow to the revival of the American dream we felt and understood to be possible on that cold day, when a brave young man took the Oath of Office and hit the ground running.
It is irrefutably American to take a position and make that position known, a position that defends equality and vision. If we don’t, it is not far-fetched to think that the pendulum that swung so far out that we have Mr. Obama for our President will swing to Mars in the other direction, and the likes of Christine O’Donnell, Sara Palin, Newt Gingrich and others in what the Huff Post called “merry band of wack-jobs” last fall, will not be checking their collective tunnel-vision and jingoism at the door when Congress reconvenes.