I have been trying to figure out the wide array of emotions I’ve been feeling since Tuesday’s election. I think I’m beginning to understand, but only beginning.
I think I took the mid terms personally, both as a woman and as an African American. I have been stunned, more often than I’d like to admit, at the spirit of the political ads that ran and the political rallies that were held. The Republicans couldn’t really attack President Obama frontally, because he wasn’t running for office, but they attacked him nonetheless by the ugly signs they carried and seemed to brush off as not being any big deal, they called him a Nazi and a Socialist and probably, behind closed doors, things far worse.
The attack on the sitting president was nothing new, but the viciousness, which I believe in my heart was and is based in racism, was profoundly disturbing. I am still processing it. I am still thinking back on what I heard, the buzz words that said to those who were in position to understand, that this black man has to go, however we do it, and no matter who gets cut down in the fray.
So, I’m wrestling with that …but I am also wrestling as a woman. The attacks on Speaker Nancy Pelosi were as sexist as attacks on President Obama were racist. I was stunned again. This woman, the first female speaker in the history of this country, was vilified by men and women candidates alike. Why? She did her job. She did it with skill, and patience and intelligence and perseverance. She did not back down, she did not whine (as does Sarah Palin whenever she gets bad press), but she was steadfast and she was effective. And for that she was cut up like a piece of paper, to be thrown away.
She was and is tough, as anyone in politics must be, especially one in her position.
So, this African American man and this white woman joined forces, along with Harry Reid, and pushed forward an ambitious presidential agenda. They accomplished something, with all of its flaws, that had not been accomplished for nearly 100 years. They did their best, followed their advisers and their guts. They did in fact bring about change; whether everyone likes it or not, it is change, nonetheless. No, there are no jobs, and I just shrugged as I listened to Republicans say that once they were in office, there would be. Well, how? Corporations are sitting on profits, not hiring. Are the Republicans saying that the inaction of the corporations was intentional, to help bring about a Waterloo for President Obama? I don’t know. Everything is so …ugly.
And I guess that’s where I am stuck, in a bowl filled with the ugliness of America. Mitch McConnell’s primary goal is not to get Americans back to work but, rather, to get Barack Obama out of office. Karl Rove is in the fray, having supplied a fair amount of money to bring on the Republican onslaught, and the Chamber of Commerce is on board for the castration of this African American man and the castigation of this white woman.
I am still processing it all. I wonder what people in other countries think of the way Americans have dealt with their president. It has all been so disrespectful. Disagree if you want with our national leader; I certainly disagreed with George Bush …but I would never have thought of being as disrespectful of him as have so many been of Mr. Obama and Ms. Pelosi.
Even today, Michelle Bachman, who is seeking a leadership position in the Congress, was on television spewing blatantly inaccurate information about the cost of Mr. Obama’s trip to Asia, saying that it is going to cost $200 million a day. Really? I mean, it’s par for the course for the opposition party to criticize the members of the other party, especially when the drive is on to get someone from that party out of office and out of the way. But to unabashedly feed into the anger of jobless people with such a blatant lie …well, that’s a low blow that is unconscionable and unacceptable.
I read today that repeal of the health care reform bill is not likely to happen, because the insurance companies like it, minus a few things they’d like this Republican Congress to fix. Well, if that’s the case, if repeal is not likely to happen, and if there are no jobs, which means that the economy is not going to suddenly burst onto the Yellow Brick Road and finally reach the Wizard of Oz, what will be the cry of the Republicans who have so ably fit into the molds of racism and sexism which are so much a part of America?
I don’t know.
But I do know that the ugliness of America, its spirit which is so infused with racism and sexism, has reared its head with a boldness that is troubling. I pray for the strength of the president and for Nancy Pelosi.
And I pray for America, so sick but so in denial about that sickness.
That is a candid observation.