A British-American bluestocking living in the UK writes about politics, pop culture, and emerging new paradigms as they unfold on both sides of the Atlantic. (New content.)

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Red States, Blue States --- Who Rules America?

I purposely did not blog immediately after the election. I wanted the dust to settle. I wanted to think about what exactly had happened in America, away from the hype and the hoopla, away from the rhetoric and the ridicule that permeated this much anticipated  American mid-term election.  I have never seen so much invectives hurled, nor have I seen a country as divided since the days that Nixon was in office. It gives one pause.

2008 Presidential Election Map of America
In a casual conversation with an American recently, I off-handedly mentioned that I was pleased that the Republicans had won back the House. I wasn't even able to complete my sentence or my thoughts, I wasn't allowed to qualify my statement (and I had a lot of qualifications), before I was confronted. I never got to say what my comment meant in full. I was told that I didn't "know anything", that I had no business writing or speaking about things that I was ignorant about.  As I attempted to respond that I had access to the same information as anyone else, I was again told to basically mind my own business. I am an American. I was born and raised there. I lived there until a decade ago. I voted, protested, marched and cared about what happened to my country. I still do. The love for America doesn't go away when you leave home. This is why I was gobsmacked. I realized at that moment how far the polarization of America had gone.  Someone whose opinion I hold very high, thought I was shallow for even mentioning the Republican victory in anything but being debauchery of the highest order. I wish it was that simple, but the truth never is. I wanted to say, "I respect your opinion...in no way do I feel that you are wrong...I just want to qualify what I said." I never got it out. So, I'll blog instead.

Has America changed that much? Where thoughtful political dialogue is no longer entertained? Are differing political viewpoints now viewed as heresy? I was told once (twice, thrice) that Obama's criticisms in America were because he was black, not because someone might think  he had not been  an effective President . "No one has ever criticized a President like they have Obama, " I was told. Now that comment threw me for a loop. George Bush was vilified, criticized and skewered openly for his policies ( and his butchering of the English language) on a daily basis. (And no, I am not a big fan of George Bush.)  Richard Nixon was Lucifer during the Watergate scandal. Yes, Clinton and Reagan were popular Presidents. They managed to somehow navigate the treacherous waters of the Oval Office with aplomb despite some of their controversies. Why? Because they appealed to the "little guy". They "felt our pain".  But to assign blame to racism everytime anyone criticizes the present  President is an easy way to stop dissenters. It is not allowed. Of course, I am sure there are racists who oppose the President. Just as there were Americans who thought Reagan was just an idiot  because after all, he was a B movie actor, not one of the elite intellectuals who should be populating the White House. (Never mind that most of the Presidents, like George Bush, were not exactly MENSA material.)  However, the only way that President Obama could have been elected was because the majority of Americans voted for him, wanted him to succeed and race played no part in it. If it had, he would not have won the election. And as I've said in this blog before, and I will say it again, I want this President to have a "road to Damascus awakening" and bring us all home. I want this President to succeed. Perhaps he will give the White House a good spring cleaning and get rid of some of his minions who are not allowing him to govern effectively.  The idea of wishing any President failure is wishing your country to fail. What I see at the moment is a President who has locked himself up in the Oval Office, negating the affable persona that the American people loved. He is out of touch with what is happening. It's like the charismatic, "I'm going to change the world" guy is gone.  In many ways, it isn't any different than the way Bush holed up in Crawford and didn't come out (which I thought was not Presidential in the least.)  In truth, I was pulling for Hillary Clinton for that Democratic nomination. I suppose that makes me sexist.  I knew that she was well-versed in the ways of Washington and she was tireless in her pursuit of knowledge about all the issues. She made sure she was ready for the dance only to find out that the handsome boy was named King of the Prom. And perhaps, I wanted a woman who had been through the wringer with a wayward husband to finally be given her place in the sun. After the lamp-throwing and the stained Gap dress, darn it, I felt Hillary deserved to be President. She was a sister.

Let me finally set the record straight.

The reason I wasn't upset that the Republicans won the House was simply because I knew that if they did, they would put a stop to the crazy out-of-control spending and bank bailouts that the government has been rubber-stamping in the past two years. That was all. We need someone to stop the spending and higher taxation that is threatening to undermine the country and leave my daughter and my grandchildren (I can dream) with a huge insurmountable debt. It doesn't matter if Bush started it and Obama inherited it. Obama continued the spending.  He pushed through a health care bill that has no stipulations for complementary health care and that will also curb/ban our use of supplements. Why would I want to support that? Why would I want to support a bill that will  force me to buy health care when I am struggling to make ends meet? What will the government force me to do next?  Mandatory vaccinations or imprisonment? Bring a country to its knees financially, and legislation is a lot easier to pass . While hungry people are busy foraging for food in trash bins, the government can do what they will. I have lived in the UK, I have been through the NHS system. It is not the utopian vision that Michael Moore painted. It's botched surgeries and waiting for six months or more for chemotherapy and major surgery. There is absolutely no dental care to speak of. People take their teeth out with pliers if the pain gets very bad. And more than not, it is also thousands of misdiagnosed cases. The local GPs are schooled in how to tend to complaints and not pass them on to a second opinion or specialist. This is what is in wait for the good old US of A. Better than nothing? Yes. But not utopia. Not by a long shot.

What is most disturbing to me is how the lines have been drawn so firmly in the sand in the United States. Well-educated, intelligent, watch Jon Stewart? Democrat!  Chew tobacco, believe in Armageddon and drive a truck? Republican!  Organic food? Democrat!  Guns? Republican!  Racist? Republican!  Non-Racist? Democrat!  If you eat organic food, enjoy Jon Stewart supported Obama and believe in the right to bear arms to protect you and your family...where does that put you?  What happens if you are a Republican and a member of a minority? Uncle Tom! La Malinche! Sell-out!  Never mind that a record number of minority leaders won in this past election and none of the winners were on the Democratic ticket. And the Tea Party? Just say the words and run for your life if you are in a Blue state...you are immediately labeled an "ignorant cretin".  What I liked about the Tea Party was that it proved to me that a grassroots movement could take hold in America. Whether you agree with the Tea Party politicos, or not, it proved to me that not all of America is sleeping, eating pizza and watching "The Jersey Shore."  ( Although most Democrats would say that the Tea Party members probably protested and then went home to do the above anyway. )

One of the main gripes of the conservative movement in the United States is that it seems that the US is leaning more toward a socialist/progressive agenda.  The current administration believes in big government, handouts, bailouts (all socialist leaning programs) ... but to whom? To the big fat cats--bankers, Big Pharma, corporations. "What? What did you say?" What's wrong with this picture?  Exactly.  But wait, you say, George Bush did the same thing. He favored the wealthy and corporations. Exactly.

Does anyone notice that one party, two party, red party, blue party....same party?

What I was not able to say in that conversation I mentioned above, was this...red state or blue state, neither party rules America. America is run by a small group of bankers and members of the corporate elite. Many of them aren't even in America anyway. We really only have one political party. One. There is a glimmer of hope and more and more "non-career politicos" are joining the fray. I know of two non-corrupt politicians who are attempting to forge new roads and that is Ron Paul and his son Rand Paul. They are not afraid to speak out for truth.  But they are in the minority.

So why vote if things are controlled by the elite? We vote because must see the old paradigm to its end and with that, will come new people to bring new life into a world that is changing very quickly. There are wars and rumours of new wars. Anytime there is a tanking of the economy, a new war is usually used as a distraction. Stay tuned for that. With the hawkish Republicans in office, the Democrats can now court a conflict, lay it in the House and then blame the Republicans when we march more troops into the "next conflict". "It was the war-mongering GOP that got us in this mess." And the GOP certainly like a good old war. The only thing is that the GOP and the Dems are the same party. America has one up on the Cameron-Clegg duet as  America has been a Coalition government for decades.

The people who really run this country want Americans to fight among each other. The louder the bickering, the better. Protests, violence? Fantastic, they think. That way while Americans are busy hurling invectives at each other, they can simply use this as an excuse to exercise even more control over the people. It's a tactic that has been used for centuries.  Divide a nation and you can conquer it.

Yes, the Republicans won the House and the Democrats still control the Senate. But who controls them?

Do the research...and until more people stop fighting long enough to know the truth, the truth about themselves and the power they truly hold outside of politics and division, no one will ever be set free. Scream all you want that the Tea Party is crazy and the Republicans are racist and that the Democrats are radical leftist socialists and no one will ever, ever win.

Except for the power elite.