I have learned to like ‘hard conversations.’ A ‘hard’ conversation is something I would define as me sitting down and talking politics, healthcare, moral issues, etc., with anybody who claims to be a conservative. In my own little world, the conservative cause is claimed by nearly everyone with whom I come into contact. Nearly all of these people demonstrate a hatred either for Obama himself, something they think he has done to harm them, or both. Over the last four years, my default thought during these conversations has been ‘Where do they get these ideas?’ I have always thought of myself as a fair person. In the context of the present discussion, I would define ‘fair’ as being willing to listen to the arguments of the other side without rancor, disgust, or ridicule. This fairness concept has generally not been extended to me by others who disagree with me over the past few years. I am just now beginning to understand why. A recent Republican nominee for U.S. Senate has just declared that his idea of compromise is to take a position on an issue and wait until Democrats cave in, i.e. no compromise whatsoever in the sport of politics in which compromise, in the vision of our founding fathers, is the heart of the system. I listen to Fox and Rushbo on a regular basis to try to understand the hatred aspect of the conservatives, and I have thought and listened long enough to now put everything into place.
What now comes thorough loud and clear to me, an epiphany if you will, is that we are all puppets. We, liberal and conservative alike, think we have a participatory society in which our opinions (and votes) matter. Folks, I have a hot news flash for you (and me). What we say or think or do doesn’t matter one whit. Money talks. What happens in our society is what the big boys (I use the masculine reference, because in actual fact very few women participate effectively in the big picture which is larger than we can imagine). This Jamie-guy who runs Morgan Stanley is a good example. The bank suffers a three billion dollar (and counting) loss and he still has the temerity to suggest that there is too much regulation of banks. The amount of taxpayer money to bail his sorry ass out, as well as those of his small investors, is greater than the cost of some smaller social programs to temporarily aid the needy in our society. This all happens while Obama is in office, so whose fault is it according to the average Fox-watching Rushbo-listening conservative? Obama’s of course. We, the small people, deal collectively with our frustrations at big money run amok by getting mad. Obama is the biggest target, but I notice that conservatives, when pressed for details about his alleged shortcomings, shift the topic to Barney Frank or Nancy Pelosi. My object lesson in this rant is to suggest that all of our collective anger is, indeed, misplaced. We are angry because we are frustrated. Kicking Obama is like kicking the dog for something the wife or kids have done. Republicans are good at this. Democrats not so much, but those who tend to be centrist in their leanings and disappointed in Obama because he, in the face of an intransigent and uncompromising Congress, has been unable to pull off the miracle of ‘change’ also have developed an intolerance to this good and honorable man. In truth, we are all puppets. This 99% routine currently being hotly debated has focused on the inequality of income between us and the one percenters. This is misplaced anger because what is really at issue is the control that this big money provides. Democrat and Republicans alike, we have zero control, nothing, nada, but the system is counting on us to think we do, in effect, creating a straw man for what is really going on. Money not only buys influence, but buys control. Control is where its at. And we have none. Corporations rule and set the rules for us all. We are all puppets on strings being pulled, controlled and manipulated by those at the top of the money game who understand that by fanning the flames of anger, they can control us all. Simple as that, just saying . . .