Friday Feedback: A Better, Stronger, More Unified Nation

istock_000001483014xsmall.jpgFridays the LA Progressive features a comment that was particularly noteworthy. This week we are featuring a comment submitted by Denise Michaels, commenting on Jonathan David Farley‘s “Gunning for Obama: A Modest Proposal.”

Here’s Denise’s comment:

When Obama was elected I thought it would be interesting to see how quickly racist, right-wing whack jobs would respond. After all, with few exceptions they’ve held power – from the White House to your local Town Hall.

We’re finally, slowly morphing away from a nation of “entitlement” to something new and different. We’re re-building our country into to a more egalitarian America that works for a larger percentage of the population that’s lived on the fringes in the past.

In my opinion, that sounds like we’re starting to do a better job of living up to the promise of, “We hold these truths to be self-evident. That all men are created equal…” We’re crafting “a more perfect union.” Not socialism, as protesters claim. Despite it all, the ugliness of racism is oozing out around the edges.

Obama was prescient when, just a few days before the election last November, he said, “Power won’t get up and walk away. We have to fight for it.” He understood the stakes.

I was struck by a recent video of a blonde-haired woman in Arkansas who at a Town Hall meeting cried, “I want MY America back!” It’s been “her America” because advantages always went to people who look like her. She can see it’s changing. Instead of looking at how change could lead to a better America – yes, even for her – she’s reacting with fear.

It’s not the same America. The changes aren’t just because we have an African American in the White House. Demographics have shifted dramatically in the last generation. Minorities who formerly remained quiet and went along with “the entitled class” are standing up saying, “My opinion counts, too!”

The GOP “base” energized by Sarah Palin during the campaign, who consider themselves “real Americans” just doesn’t include enough numbers to elect a social conservative into the White House. A GOP moderate, maybe. Truth is, real Americans come in all colors, genders, political persuasions, sexual orientation and religion. They are liberals, independents AND conservatives. And all their votes count.

Don’t forget, just a few years ago in Arkansas, a statue of “The Ten Commandments” was removed from a state building because a court said it violated separation of church and state. Protesters sat outside for months trying to block the statue’s removal. Why? Because Christianity permeates the southern red state culture so much, they actually believe America and Jesus are one and the same.

Part of why Americans voted for Obama is for health care reform. Me, too. But now that he’s spent billions on the stimulus package I’m wondering, “Can we really afford this?”

If I can see numbers that show it’ll pay for itself – or at least mostly pay for itself – then I’m all in. But most Federal programs like Medicare, the VA and others are close to bankruptcy already. That’s my concern.

deniseI don’t know what the solutions are. I’m sure glad I’m not in the President’s shoes. Whatever happens to health care I hope they seriously look at how to make it financially viable.

Just as importantly I hope the right wingnuts come to understand America will be a better, stronger, more unified nation when it works for all it’s citizens – not just some of them.

- Denise Michaels

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