Tuesday, March 04, 2008

For Real?!?

My plan was to write a post about plantains and how I have almost totally swapped them for potatoes in my diet, but on my daily rounds of online news sites, I read an article about how Ohio has been the determinant in every presidential election since 1964 and why Ohio is a barometer of sorts for the nation's social and economic welfare.  I am from Toledo originally and while I lived there no longer than about a year or so when I was but a pup, I can tell you that after 30+ years of visiting periodically, that we're in a lot of trouble, if Ohio is every(wo)man's America.

As if we all didn't know that.  Anyway, what struck me about the article was a statement made by a couple of people that the author identified as diehard Republicans who had turned up at a Clinton rally.  Apparently, they decided to check out Hillary because they don't like the direction in which the country is heading under the Republicans.  

To this I say:  

I take this personally.  Who are the people offering up these inanities?  It is possible that the comment was taken out of context for journalistic license. Perhaps, but I doubt it.  Truthfully, I know who these people are, we all do.  They are my neighbors, acquaintances, even a few family members.  Hell, some of us are them.  I also know that things here in the United States could get worse.  Any follower of truth, any realist, knows, things (anything) can always get worse at anytime, but damn, heading?  Heading

They're only worried now?  I remember when GWB was first elected.  I was sick.  I vowed never to watch a State of the Union Address until he vacated the premises.  I decided that I would prefer to look up on the horizon and see the proverbial mushroom cloud (or literal, there's still time) rather than read about it's prelude day in day out or listen to dude rationalize ridiculousness each year, which would only serve to depress me further.  When it happened a second time, well, I really can't even begin to express how I felt.  I took that shit personally.  So, as an act of self-preservation, I have kept that initial promise to myself over the years and really, when I had a television, everytime GWB came on, I changed the station.  He offends me and he offended me long before Katrina and the recent trip to Africa.  I mean, think back to 2000, when he thought it pertinent in the course of addressing a meeting of the NAACP to remind the attendees that the Republican Party was the Party of Lincoln.  What?!?  

In 2001, I owned a television.  But the morning of September 11th, I remember that I got sick at work with the stomach flu, so while everyone was glued to the television in the conference room, I was driving south on Lake Shore Drive toward home, listening to radio coverage, crying my eyes out, and trying not to vomit.  I was fortunate enough to have missed the planes slam into the twin towers, fortunate enough to have missed desperate human beings hurling themselves from the windows of the buildings, and especially fortunate to have missed GWB's first reaction upon being informed while reading to babies in Washington, D.C.  What shocked me was that he was reading to them (no really) not his reaction, one could have easily predicted that.  I was annoyed (and still am) that he didn't actually go to New York after it happened.  He really should have, I don't care what anybody says. I n hindsight, is it any wonder that he did little more than fly above the hardest hit areas in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, or that he decided on his recent visit to Africa that he would focus on the success stories?  He's a punk. But, no, all of that is not what made people think we're heading in the wrong direction.

Which brings me to Katrina.  I didn't have a television at that time.  So I only saw what happened months after.  Why is it that only now, these people (who I am using as a representative entity for the great majority of Americans) don't like the direction in which the country is headed?  Why is it that no one says, 'Look, Bush and his crew have run the country into the ground, blatantly showcasing their racism, class-ism, and sexism and I am ashamed that I've played a role in letting them, so that's why I'm here to see what Hillary has to say'? That of course, doesn't exclude me or any of us who consider ourselves, thinking adults, liberals, whatever...but

Just once, I'd like to hear it said just that way.


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