We are not yet one nation

I fell asleep last night thinking about some of the blogs I had read yesterday. Of course I didn’t expect them all to be ecstatic about Obama’s election; after all, almost half the country voted for John McCain.

No, what stuck in my mind was how many of those McCain supporters were expressing fear (their word) over Obama’s election. I was prepared for great disappointment, nasty remarks, accusations of fraud and vote stealing. But fear? We’ve just elected a highly educated, politically savvy, dignified, poised, iron-willed man to the most important office in the free world, and some Americans are reacting with fear?

I tried to equate their concerns to the deep apprehension I felt after George Bush was elected, and then re-elected, but I sense it’s not a valid comparison. I was leery of Bush’s braggadocio, his patrician sense of entitlement, his frat boy image, his lack of intellectualism, his cowboy swagger and mentality, his born-again self-righteousness. It was enough to make me finally bolt the party and vote Democratic for the first time.

Now the shoe’s on the other foot. My candidate won. So are those in the losing camp feeling like I did when Bush was elected? I don’t think so. Obama seems to be the antithesis of Bush: humble beginnings, a scholar and intellectual, confident and strong, cool under fire. On the world stage, he is already meeting with more approval than Bush had. At home, it’s highly unlikely he can make things any worse than they already are.

What I concluded, finally, is that those individuals must fear what McCain and the Republicans told them to fear — blacks, terrorists, youth, funny names, new ideas, and all those “others” — nations and religions and races — that are not US.

And yet, we are all those things.

How ironic, how sad, that while I stand taller and sleep more soundly as a result of this election, my neighbor now shrinks in fear and tosses restlessly. We are, indeed, a deeply divided nation.

Categories: Bush, Election 2008, Obama, Politics

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9 replies »

  1. The division you have started with Reagan – can it be closed in one term?

    I think it possibly can – but Obama needs help, a lot of help from the moderate Republicans. He won’t get any help from the Bush GOP – but I have read in many places that the Conservatives want to break away from that has become the GOP and organise themselves.

    Personally I couldn’t agree with them more.
    _________
    Good idea. With the ultra-conservatives off in their own little corner, the remaining moderates might be able to rebuild a big tent GOP. Being out here in the big independent middle has worked nicely for me, however. If I’m in any way typical, the GOP won’t be back any time soon.

  2. To me it is fear, anything new is scary- especially at the time of an economic meltdown seems a very normal reaction to me (which has never happened during a an election, nor have we been at war; I believe except Vietnam?- could totally be wrong on that last part) A new job, scary, – a new home/neighborhood, physician, all scary. To me, it has nothing to do with color or a funny name. To me, he is a character that burst into the media light out of nowhere and I haven’t seen a thing from him but talk. Talk is generally what politicians do best. I don’t understand 3/4 of the political jargon, and I wont even pretend to know- I am an emotional thinker with logic a close second – a lot is instinct and how I was raised, influenced by my parents. He was a state senator from Illinois, the state where I reside and he did nothing here, behind his talk, nothing happened here- so, I hope you can see that for this American, it has nothing to do with race or religion- but yes, being scared, and not necessarily for the reason’s you’ve concluded. I am happy to say I am sleeping just fine.. just worried for these uncertain times. The fact that America is hated by so many other countries, and WE ARE ALL NOT BAD HATE MONGERS who only care about ourselves. I consider myself to be extremely open minded. But, yeah, I am very scared too.

    “At home, it’s highly unlikely he can make things any worse than they already are.” – – just look at the market for the last 2 days. I AM WILLING TO GIVE HIM A CHANCE. I just know how it’s been with him as our state senator- we also have a highly corrupt democratic governor with a 12% approval rating that Obama cheered for…. not to mention his ideas and his record- and lack of experience with … with so much. My god, I am scared – I’m not embarrassed nor feel like a racist for saying so.

    I don’t even feel like the “losing camp”… strangely. I have no control. I can only turn this wad of shit over to the Lord and pray. That’s me, that’s what I’ll do and pray, pray, pray for the best outcome.

    I think, the reason you heard more about fear from the losing camp (as you put it) is not that a black man, with a different religion, with a funny name, and all the wonderful things you think about is in office – Maybe people are just sick of the political games and fear he wont keep his promises as so many before him have not. Especially in this mess we have ourselves in. No hard feelings toward a single thing you wrote- we do disagree but it’s ok- I respect what you have to say always. We are all so different, and interpret things so differently, it’s just good to be able to talk it out without hatred, just hoping for a good outcome because we are all tied together regardless of race, color, religion, or background. We all bleed the same when we are cut and we all just want what is best for our families and loved ones. Emotional thinker checkn’ in here babes 🙂 Love ya PT!
    _____________
    I think we can all agree on fear of the unknown, fear of being disappointed, fear of the mess this country is in. We want what’s best for our country, we want things to get better. We hope for better days and fear they won’t come. I’m sleeping better, for the moment anyway, because possible change is at hand, because I think we’ve elected a person well suited to improve things. Talk about emotional thinking: I just like “the cut of his jib.” Oh yeah, that was a logical vote! (My conservative white Southern Presbyterian roots are all in knots over that.)

    You’ve seen Illinois politics from the inside; I grew up hearing about how evil and corrupt Chicago politicians are. I voted for Obama anyway. I grew up as a doctor’s daughter in the Fifties, with a black maid in the house, blacks sitting at the back of the bus, and not a single black in my public schools until I went to an out-of-state university. I voted for Obama anyway. Groups of blacks on the street (or Hispanics or Asians) make me very uncomfortable. I voted for Obama anyway. I travel very little and don’t have a world view; I barely have an out-of-state view. I voted for Obama anyway. Nope, this is not the voice of a “logical” voter, girlfriend!

    I read so many blogs, not just yours. And I suspect the anxiety I saw in you and others was only a reflection of my own. I’ve done some mountain climbing, both literally and figuratively. And the night before I hit the trail is always full of both apprehension and excitement, hope and fear. There’s the potential for abysmal failure, but also for great accomplishment. I try to prepare for every contingency, and I may not sleep very well. But finally, in the predawn darkness, I take a deep breath and step onto the trail. Above me somewhere lie both the unknown and the summit. Whichever I reach, it will have been a great day.

    Luv ya, JQ! Let’s go climbing together!

  3. Java –

    Are you right in your mind?

    [ … ]

    I am an English guy – I live in Canada, I saw Obama in 2002, I have followed his progress since then. You don’t know him? I read your blog BTW.

    Sorry Pied if this person is a regular reader, and please feel free to delete this post if you wish – but for Christ’s Sake!

    I can see why people were so scared while the election results came in – McCain may have been elected!

    The US grew up on the 4th – it came back into the real world after 8 years of Bush – my dear Lord Almighty – if Bush III had been elected you would be looking at the US in a world war, with no allies!

    The least you have to look at is this: McCain would have had to lead the US with an idiot as VP – and idiot who didn’t even know that Africa was a continent and not a country.

    That is how close the US got to being as bad as Iran!

    When the US gets real Christians in the country let me know – if Christ himself had turned up on the door step of the US in the last eight years he would have been interned in Gitmo!
    ___________
    Now, now, Will. JQ is a good egg and she and I have lots in common. I enjoy chatting with both of you about all kinds of things, and I know you’re both quite capable of defending your views if you feel the need. (No personal attacks allowed here.)

  4. In the words of a well-loved and long-cherished Democrat who oversaw another time of great uncertainty and change: The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.
    _________
    Well, now that I think about it, we should fear fear, or at least show it very healthy respect (Mother Nature gave us that response for a reason). Actually, I think we have a lot more to fear than just fear — you know, war, poverty, hate, all that bad stuff. The point is we mustn’t allow ourselves to be paralyzed by fear; we acknowledge it, make allowances for it, and keep moving.

  5. I pay no attention to Mr. Rhodes, live and let live dude. As far as feeling fear- I do, and make no apologies. Who does not feel fear?
    ________
    Aha, I just said much the same thing in the previous comment. Fear is a built-in thing. How I got to that from my original post, I’m not sure. But whatever I said, whenever I said it, made sense to me at the time.

  6. Personally, I still don’t believe Obama is up to the job. He’s just too inexperienced and appears too reliant on those so called “experts”. It is good to listen to other people, but he has to show leadership. Mr Bush listens to experts like Cheney and Rumsfeld; I don’t think it works out well. Hillary Clinton is the only one whom I believe is up to the job.
    ____________
    Time will tell, won’t it? We’re all in the same boat now, bailing like crazy and hoping the new captain will get us through the storm.

  7. Oh, I love you too and want to go climbing 🙂 Thanks for listening to me and taking it for exactly what it meant, that means a lot to me PT. Thank you! We’ll become one nation, I pray – it’ll just take some time to sort this whole thing out I’m guessing…. but, again, thanks for knowing me, how I write, and where my thoughts come from.
    __________
    I hope I didn’t come across as accusatory or judgmental. I was just trying to understand what different people are thinking about all this, while trying to stand outside my own prejudices and comfort zone. And you’re so right; it’s going to take time for things to settle into whatever the new “normal” is going to be. Actually, I’m not sure there is or ever was such a thing as “normal.”

  8. Ya didn’t come across that way at all. I read what you wrote, and just wanted you to know that even though I didn’t vote for Obama, it was for different reasons that you may have thought. Just kinda giving you where my mind was. That’s all. After being examining politics for the first time in my life- I am more sure than ever that there never was such a thing as normal. I just want to say also, it’s hard when the huz is a republican and when you are trying to sort things out in your mind to have that constant voice attacking the other side. But in the end, I became educated, watched, read, listened, and came to my own conclusion based on what I know. You are very helpful to me in the learning process, believe me and I value your friendship. Thank you again.
    ____________
    You’re welcome. 🙂

  9. The fear you’re talking about is a major pet peeve of mine after this election! I usually vote Republican, but I’ve had to steer away recently because I’m really disappointed in the party and its hypocrisy. I may not agree with everything about Obama, but I’m really excited about the historic election and some of the great things that can come from it.

    But like you said, sooo many of my friends are downright scared! I honestly don’t get it. People are blowing some things way out of proportion. Some of it also has to do with some Republicans’ attitude that they are “God’s party” and no one else is. Personally, I think both parties have attributes that reflect God and, since we are human, both parties have attributes that do not. No one has the corner on perfection.

    All that to say… I like your post!
    ___________
    “No one has the corner on perfection.” I can’t improve on that.

“We have met the enemy and he is us." ~ Pogo

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