America the Butifull

The spelling error in the title is a deliberate error – unlike the unintentional errors we see everyday in our once great nation. We have moved from being a nation of dreams and achievement and become a country of complainers, screamers and worriers who are ready to jump on any bandwagon without thinking critically. The loudest screams and the greatest complaints rarely come from any valid point or research and are rarely supported by facts. People are all too eager to jump on a bandwagon or cause and follow it along blindly – often against their own best interests.

The grammar and spelling atrocities that were on display this past week all of over the Internet in a “Teabonics” http://www.flickr.com/photos/pargon/sets/72157623594187379/ slide show were simultaneously funny and disturbing. Too many people are quick to follow a cause because a media or political windbag waves their arms and yells to make a point. It is sad to see mainstream America bamboozled in this manner.

Many people are legitimately well-served by the platform of the GOP – most of these people are highly educated, professional and wealthy. They are also not the people you see at Tea Party gatherings. It is disturbing to see so many of the working poor and the unemployed buy into the false pretenses that the conservative political machine best serves their needs. The people that get riled up the most by Beck, Coulter, Hannity and Limbaugh are by and large not wealthy and do not benefit from a national conservative agenda. In our modern age these media talking heads wield a great deal power at outlets like FOX News and on the Internet.

The working family gets caught up in the hoopla of the mantra of anti-regulation/pro-business, Christian Nation, anti-abortion and traditional values that they do not realize they are being bamboozled. Thomas Frank’s excellent book, What’s the Matter with Kansas? How the Conservatives Won the Heart of America (Metropolitan Books, New York, 2005) show many examples of the working class blindly following the above lines and really getting nowhere fast. Frank points out that abortion rights have remained the same, de-regulation/pro-business has costs tens of thousands of jobs nationwide – the values of the GOP are not providing the new morality that they promised and they are taking jobs away from people who need them in the name of corporate greed. The lowest common denominator is fed to these people with no facts, rhyme or reason on a daily basis through the likes of Beck, Hannity, Coulter and Limbaugh. These conservative talk show hosts are very wealthy and certainly benefit from a conservative political agenda – the people they are yelling at every night do not. Coulter is particularly interesting as she is from an “elite” New England town and has three college degrees – it would sound like she is so often criticizing herself.[1] Hannity[2] and Limbaugh[3] both dropped out of college, and Beck interestingly was granted admission to Yale[4] and dropped out after one class – I guess he knew everything already.

The modus operandi of the modern conservative talk show host is to yell and scream and wave your arms in a frenzy about an issue that your viewers or listeners can latch on to. The issue itself, and the facts associated with the issue do not matter in the least – just toss the dogs a bone and go with it. This yelling and fist pumping practice is counter productive, tedious and reminiscent of the caveman dating method. Many people in the Tea Party movement are being harmed daily by the conservative agenda, and yet over 70 percent of the Tea Party members are Republicans or are in step with the GOP.[5] These folks are living and surviving off of the government benefits they are against.

The Democrats do not get off free in this diatribe either. I admire President Obama’s work towards health care – the actual package we got leaves a lot to be desired and the reconciliation method used to pass it was deplorable. However, when faced with the GOP’s “lock step” methods of refusing to talk, debate and create better legislation he was left with no other choice. Something that is as fundamentally unsound as our health care in the United States deserves the full attention of all of our elected officials – not just one party and a few voices. As voting constituents we were all cheated and I hope people consider this on both sides of the aisle when voting in this year’s elections. Our leaders are elected to lead – and debating key issues of the day is part of their job – playing partisan politics – and they are all guilty – is childless and gets us no changes; no improvements; no progress. This once great nation would never have lifted off the ground if our founding fathers were so unwilling to debate issues and work together. People need to hold these politicians accountable and everyone should seriously ask themselves which candidate best serves my needs and my countries needs.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anne_Coulter

[2]. Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved April 7, 2010.

[3] Paul D. Colford. The Rush Limbaugh story: talent on loan from God: an unauthorized biography. New York. St. Martin’s Press, 1993.

[4] Alexander Zaitchik (September 23, 2009). “Glenn Beck rises again: Getting clean, getting Mormon, getting talk radio — and going to Yale, with the help of Joe Lieberman”. Salon Magazine. http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2009/09/23/glenn_beck_three/print.html.

[5] http://www.nowpublic.com/world/tea-party-republican-party-new-polling-data-shows

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