29 August 2009

Something 4 The Weekend # 133

The passing of Massachusetts senator Ted Kennedy this past week has heightened the already extreme polarity of American politics between liberals and conservatives, Democrats and Republicans. While most liberals have been effusive in their praise for the man's many legislative accomplishments and his championing of those among us who are in need of the most championing (the poor, tired and huddled masses), many conservatives have approached the man's passing from an entirely different direction, honing in on the incident/crime at Chappaquiddick as the jumping off point for demonization of the man's entire life and career, and even much worse, celebrating his death, and wishing death upon others who share his political philosophy. They celebrate his death because of the death of Mary Jo Kopechne. They cheer his death because of his pro-abortion beliefs, but mostly they rejoice in his death merely because he doesn't share their same basic political worldview.
This is the America we live in today - largely devoid of empathy, sympathy, compassion, forgiveness, understanding, compromise, etc...We revel in the misfortune of others, we take great comfort and joy in the misery of those we do not like, or merely don't agree with. We demonize those we do not understand because it is far easier to do so than to try and simply understand.
And I say this not to necessarily demonize the conservative right, because you and I know damn well that when Dick Cheney dies, there will be far too many on the political left who will act and speak with the same kind of vitriol we are currently seeing directed at Kennedy. Hell, I'll likely be one of them...
And the saddest part of all this is - I believe this country hasn't been this divided since the Civil War era, and there is no easy way back to civility, respectful discourse, and the ideals upon which this country was supposedly founded. We are a country adrift. We are lost, and it remains to be seen whether or not we can find our way back.
Ever the cynic (I prefer pragmatic, but whatever), I fear we are beyond the point of no return.
But hey, have a fantastic weekend!
Hotcha! Hank

Labels: , , , , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home