American Ideals by Cindy Cross
I've been looking for some rational way of processing my feelings after watching a CNN interview with Michelle Bachman after her victory at the Iowa Caucus two weeks ago. With that crackpot look in her eyes, she recited the simplistic tea party line that her victory was the result of Iowa voters wanting less government and less taxation.
What I found perplexing about this interview with representative Bachman was not the message, although silly as it was, but how far we have descended as a people in accepting nonsense for truth and substance for sound bites.
Once again we are being asked to believe someone who proposes to represent the interests of common, hardworking middle class Americans, but the problem is, that's not the truth! Charles and David Koch want us to believe that because their interests are better served by less government and less taxation. That's not my opinion, but rather the financial reality of who supports the tea party movement, a movement that did not exist during the Bush years of tax cuts and two wars.
Add the Fox News media empire with Rupert Murdoch and his 24/7 propaganda machine, and you have a national conversation on nothing of substance and nothing that is going to get us out of our many crises. But the lack of truth is in large supply from every direction, with both parties and the corporations that own the media poisoning the well from which we drink.
Just as the likes of Palin, Bachman and any republican with any hope of getting elected, spout their narrow path to the Promised Land that is the American Dream; the democrats haven't had a good idea coming from their chambers since the Civil Rights legislation. Therefore this is not a partisan problem but a systemic illness that has infected our political system by greed and an unrelenting quest for power.
Our politicians feed from the same corporate trough and with the same agenda, only disguised by polarizing rhetoric that gives comfort to our personal points of views and interests. I think most of us Americans are more likeminded than one would think after watching either Fox News or MSNBC. Who really wants fewer teachers in our schools as a result of layoffs, or less police and fire department support protecting our persons and property? When will it become too terrible of a burden to pay exorbitant prices for gas while the oil companies post record profits while paying little in the way of taxes? And when do we agree that spending billions of dollars a month on wars that cannot be won, while young men and women are losing life and limbs in this mindless pursuit of nation building?
We're being lied to and it seems that unless we unite around higher ideals than personal gain, we're doomed to be a once great nation, not the dynamic nation most of us seek to be a part of.