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Duplicity, Hypocrisy, and Mean-Spiritedness… The New Spirit of American Politics

By Martie Hevia | Blue Beach Song™

What is going on out there in that intersection between the world of politics and the American public? Duplicity, hypocrisy, and mean-spiritedness is the short simple answer, but perhaps fear is the more complex interpretation.

The new spirit of American politics has left me stunned, disappointed and concerned. The conversation is drowned out and the information is lost amidst the orchestrated shout-downs at Town Hall meetings, the Nazi-Monkey-Obama signs carried at Tea Party protests, the conservative bloggers proudly calling for vandalism and armed violence, and the individuals incited to throw bricks, insults, racial slurs, ethnic epithets, and homophobic affronts beyond human decency at Congressmen this past weekend in front of the Capitol building.

Yes We Can Do Better (1a) - Poster - Just Say It print

Why? What can be accomplished with this extremism? Why are we unable to have a conversation, debate the issues, form an opinion, agree to disagree, respect our opponents, and allow people to vote their conscience? Why are people with a platform or power acting so irresponsibly by blatantly lying and inciting violence?

Sarah Palin is no longer talking about death panels and unplugging grandma, but she has now posted a map of states, on her Facebook page, where politicians who supported health care reform efforts are targeted with crosshairs; and on Twitter she told her followers “Don’t retreat, Instead – RELOAD.” I respect Sarah Palin as a woman who has accomplished much, a mom who clearly loves her family, and a citizen who is entitled to her opinion. But she has millions who listen to her, believe her, and love her, and although I understand she is a hunter and the crosshairs may be innocent enough, is it responsible?

Is it responsible to be asking readers to clean their rifles and get them ready, as one conservative blogger did, and to have another conservative put crosshairs on a map with names of politicians that should be targeted? After all, it is still within our country’s recent memory, several generations worth, the assassinations of John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, Robert Kennedy, and so many others who were targeted for their beliefs. In fact, it is within our recent current events to find people who were targeted and killed because of their beliefs, color, ethnicity, or sexual orientation.

So, I wonder… Is it fear? And since ignorance breeds fear, do we need to better educate ourselves about each other’s points of views and strongly held beliefs?

As an independent, I read and follow newspapers, politicians, bloggers, and thinkers from the full political spectrum. I form my own opinions about issues, following my conscience, my head and my heart. I grew up in and belong to a family where we all hold very different beliefs, but we are able to have intelligent conversations, spirited debates, respect for all points of views, and an open mind that gives credit where credit is due, and occasionally is swayed a little this way or that way.

The amount of and access to information is clearly not the problem. The Internet and the world wide web have placed at our fingertips unprecedented access to voluminous amounts of information, so, are we choosing to not educate ourselves, to read only what is within our world view? Are we so afraid to be wrong, that we don’t care if we are right? Or have we become so lazy as a country of citizens, that we prefer to be fed whatever the partisan politicians and slanted news media outlets want to feed us?

“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence [sic], promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”
— Preamble to the Constitution of the United States

The Declaration of Independence

We are so fortunate to live in a country founded by some of the most intelligent, insightful and introspective minds ever to come together. The Declaration of Independence, have you read it? It is beautiful, introspective, and passionate. Get a copy of the Constitution of the United States, read the Preamble, read the rest and explore the intelligence it took to create a balance of power, a protection for minority opinions, and the insight to make it a living, flexible, amendable constitution, because they had the humility to accept the fact that they didn’t know it all and that they could not anticipate everything that would come.

Wow, what a gift to us. I get goose bumps just thinking about it… okay, so I’m a little bit of a geek.

This is our country. We should respect it and the political process. Our politicians should respect each other and the public they serve. They should be in awe of the incredible honor they have to serve in Congress, in the White House, or in any public office. To be linked to those incredibly intelligent, insightful and introspective minds that came together more than 230 years ago is an honor and a responsibility they should take more seriously, more honestly, and more respectfully.

All too often, politicians behave like they are playing a game, they enjoy it, they want to win or at least make the other side lose. We the American public are pawns to them. Right or wrong? What is that? I don’t think they know. And if they don’t, we should fire them and hire someone who does.

But let’s begin by truly educating ourselves about the issues, the pros and cons, the truth and lies, and the politicians and pundits. We should be wary of those on the left or the right who try to manipulate us, incite us, and weaponize us against each other and against their opposition.

Duplicity, hypocrisy, and mean-spiritedness… the new spirit of American politics?

We can do better. We should do better out of respect for our founding fathers and mothers and in the hopes of a better future for our children and grandchildren. We can change it or we can let them win. We can be a part of the solution or contribute to the problem. It is up to you.

Martie Hevia © 2010 | All Rights Reserved

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Yes We Can Do Better (1a) - Poster - Just Say It print

4 Comments leave one →
  1. 2010-March-28 4:58 AM

    A lot of good stuff here, Martie.
    Well-written and,
    you couldn’t have said it better.

    Okay, maybe. 😉
    Yes, we can!

    • 2010-March-29 10:19 AM

      Thanks, Uncle Tree, I appreciate your comments. (And I really love your blog/website! Great talent.) -Martie

  2. Sinda permalink
    2010-March-27 4:55 PM

    Very insightful. I am of the opinion that this nation is abhorrent to change; it does expressively fear anything that departs from “business as usual” and guided by the likes of ignorant and inherently violent spokepersons like Palin and her semi-respectable ex-running mate, McCain, (of the lock and load genre) I can only expect more of the same. The irresponsible and abhorrent “Pig in Lipstick” is going to have her own talk show: What a waste of airtime!

    Unlike you, I neither respect or consider Palin a good citizen or parent. She is a media hog: “A pig wearing lipstick, is still a pig!” Now paired with that other media hog, McCain, they make a lovely and cohesive couple of pigs: both love to wallow in mud and sling mud. They offer no solutions to problems or issues, they just love to sling mud. Watch them wallowing together, they are so gleeful.

    I have heard plenty of racial slurs about Obama; his being neither Black or White; and other mean-spirited insults that have no bearing on the issues at hand. I am so disgusted by many of our country’s citizens who are more concerned about their president’s “color” than they are about “getting involved and offering solutions” to our nation’s problems. Its just “Bash Obama” that fuels the fires in their hearts.

    Racism is back and flourishing in America: I was even taken aback by someone I considered my friend until I heard her utter a racial slur in regards to Obama (she “was” a Democrat). Amazing! Ignorance must be bliss, because there seems to be so many pigs wallowing in it!

    I used to love my country, but now I only wish I could love it. I stand apart from what most Americans consider “patriotism”. It does not involve waving the flag; more likened to “Free Speech” however unpopular it may seem to my audience. Whatever happened to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” or “the government of the people, by the people, and for the people”: Has it perished from the earth?

  3. 2010-March-24 11:52 PM

    thanks ahhhhh my family and ask ouselves those questions everyday about OBma I just want to see him trying his best and all the politicians trying their best to serve the public

    Maybe one of these days we will get what we deserve as a nation meanwhile I wait and try my best to be a productive and decent human being to the best of my ability

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