The American Dilemma and How We Can Fix It

A WILLING SACRIFICE

Most of us do not go out of our way to look for trouble.  Trouble seems capable enough of finding its way to our doorstep without our having to solicit it.  But occasionally, something that is so important is presented to us that we have no choice but to take action – even if that poses a threat to our safety.

In my view, the election of November 6, 2012 is just precisely that kind of an event.

This election may be the most important in my lifetime because it will shape the way America functions, not only for the next four years but, possibly for decades to come.  By that I refer to the implications of President Obama’s making appointments to the Supreme Court during the course of a second term should he be re-elected.  That is the gravest concern should Mr. Romney lose his bid to defeat the incumbent this November.  Of course, it is not the only reason for concern.

The immediate implications of an Obama second term are that we will continue to muddle along in the same way that we have now for three and a half years with rising deficits, continuing record high unemployment and nobody at the helm to offer positive programs, guidance or encouragement.  We both need and deserve better as individuals and as a nation.

In fairness to the President, he has a willing partnership in ineptitude which he shares with the Congress.  One of the bumper stickers I created, referring to members of that august institution reads, “Never before have so few done so much to screw so many.”  Even the most partisan of us have to admit that there are many members of our party serving either in the House or the Senate who haven’t had a creative idea since Moses was a pup.  Those people should be replaced by We The People.

Well, the subject of bumper stickers brings me to the title of this quote.  Late last year I wrote up more than one hundred slogans for them and found a local graphic designer who did the artwork.  The subject matter covered President Obama, the Congress and our need as a people to take responsibility for our actions – whether in terms of healthcare or driving, among other subjects.   These are issues about which I have written frequently on this blog.

Of course, every writer would like to think that all of her work is brilliant, but pride of authorship often belies the truth.  So I asked some friends and neighbors to review these slogans and see which ones had the most appeal to them.  They were very courteous in doing that for me.

One of the comments that was made was, “Oh, you’re not going to put these on your car, are you?”  That seemed a curious statement to me as, if the appropriate place for a bumper sticker weren’t on your car, well then, where exactly were you supposed to put it?  So I said, “Of course I am.”

“You know, you may get your car ‘keyed’ if you do that.”

Notwithstanding their warning I displayed four of my favorites on my car and have done so for the last five months.  If we are not free to express our opinion in the United States – we might as well move to Iraq.  There has been no “keying” done during all that time – until last night.

A friend invited me to join him at a restaurant in North Las Vegas.  The restaurant was located in an area where during the 2008 election, according to election statistics, ninety-five percent of the residents voted for President Obama.  As I started for the dog park this morning, I noticed that both on the driver’s and passenger’s side of my vehicle there was evidence of scratches made by someone’s key.

I cannot say definitively that this property damage was done by a supporter of President Obama – but I think that there is a high probability of that being the case. I do not believe the President would endorse this sort of bad behavior.  In fact, I’m sure he would not.  This speaks not to the President but to a hooligan who happens to support him and who has little respect for other people’s rights or property.

Well, cars can be touched up and re-painted.  In the ultimate scheme of things this is not a big deal and both my car and I will survive this episode.  My car, however, will potentially be subject to yet more damage in the months ahead because, if anything, this has simply firmed my resolve to display my bumper stickers and to voice my opinion.

I mentioned in an earlier post that when I was in college I was ambushed by three thugs who kicked me unconscious and stole what little I had on me.  I spent five days in the hospital with a concussion – and came close to losing the sight in my left eye.  The worst part of this episode was breaking this news to my parents.  I made a full recovery and the incident lingered with me only as a bad memory.

My parents wanted me to transfer schools – or at the least – find an apartment away from school and commute to classes.  I thought about that suggestion and realized that their only motivation was concern for my well-being.  But I felt they were wrong and I told them why I thought so.

“There are good people and bad in the world.  They come in both sexes; they come in every color; they subscribe to every religion or lack of one; they are young and middle-aged and they are old; the are rich and they are poor.  But if all the good people run away and try to hide themselves from the bad ones – those people will eventually find them.  No, I refuse to change where I live because a few cowardly thugs mugged me.  I won’t give them the satisfaction of scaring me into moving.”

I stayed and lived in that neighborhood for many years until moving out west – and I am grateful that I never had a repeat performance of that grizzly encounter that winter night.

So I will continue to display my bumper stickers on my wounded vehicle until the election this November.  I am offering up my car as a willing sacrifice.

But it does make me wonder…

If some of the President’s supporters are willing to engage in this sort of activity before the incendiary and divisive rhetoric of the campaign has even begun, what will they do should their candidate lose his bid for re-election?

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Comments on: "A WILLING SACRIFICE" (6)

  1. Why is it our elected officials will promise us utopia when they want our vote and then spend the rest of their term bickering with each other to the point they forget what they promised?

  2. The obvious answer is that they want to get re-elected. But the real question is why do people buy into this twaddle after they have seen what it produces? Perhaps it is true that we elect people whom we deserve.

  3. I just read this to my study group & we are ALL in MAJOR disagreement with many of your Obama points. But I’m stepping back for a moment to say, here’s what I think of the bigger issue in this post:

    Throughout history, in every nation, whenever everyone in a country agrees about everything, bad shit happens. Nazism. Religion. etc. You name it. Show me a country in which there is across-the-board political unity, and I will show you a social Armageddon in the making. Divergence is painful & messy. Democracy is messy. But, please, bring it on. I’ll take divergent, screaming-from-the-rafters-against-opposing-views-democracy over the silence of dictatorship any day of the week. Because I have been to countries where I have witness that silence, and I still have nightmares about being re-born into that kind of life. So, though I sometimes disagree vehemently with opposing political views, I am thrilled to be a citizen of a country in which that can happen without torture or death being the end result. And, though keying a car is comparatively small potatoes, it’s still falls under the same category. That is to say that no one, nor their personal property, should be defaced for expressing their political view.

    I’ve been studying without sleep “since Moses was a pup,” I’m bleary-eyed & nearly comatose, but I hope this came out right…I hope you understand what I’m saying.

  4. Dear SB,

    We have been conversing for quite some time and I value our dialogue and your opinions. Since you’ve been studying sleeplessly “since Moses was a pup” I am going to take that in consideration in my response.

    First, let me say that I am incredibly flattered that you felt this post was important enough to share with your colleagues. The goal of my blog is to get people to think – and you have validated that for me and I thank you.

    “I just read this to my study group & we are ALL in MAJOR disagreement with many of your Obama points. But I’m stepping back for a moment to say, here’s what I think of the bigger issue in this post:

    Throughout history, in every nation, whenever everyone in a country agrees about everything, bad shit happens.”

    I don’t know who the constitutents of your study group are or what it is you’re studying – but, thinking about them as a small nation leads me to wonder – are they not the textbook definition you have provided of tyranny – all of them being in agreement?

    Let me say further, that I am a bottom line sort of person. I have no personal antipathy to the President and I wish him all the best – as a matter of personal self-interest and in the general interest for all Americans. But I have not seen anything positive come out of his administration.

    I admit that I may have missed something. So – as a personal favor – please let me know what, in your view, the President has accomplished that has benefited the American people during the last three and a half years. I am always willing to be educated – because that is how we make informed decisions.

    • Lol 😆 to our study group constituting a small nation! Can you imagine? I can’t. God help us all if that happens! 😯

      I guess writing deeply while deeply fatigued can cause deep confusion 😛 When I said “I’m stepping back for a moment,” I meant for that to indicate a separation of points. While my first sentence is about our opinion of your opinion of Obama (good Lord, and I’m well-rested & wide awake right now!), everything after that is about how I feel about your (car) being attacked because of your (bumper sticker) views. My point was summed up in the last sentence: “…no one, nor their personal property, should be defaced for expressing their political view.” That’s how I feel about it. No matter what anyone believes and no matter who disagrees with them, no one has the right to deface another’s property for any reason & I’m sorry that happened to you. This is still, for the most part, a democracy.

      And as for being flattered that I shared this post….you bet! I share your posts all the time. I guarantee you that your posts are being shared by many. You are one of the most insightful thinkers I’ve come across in the blogosphere & I don’t have to agree with every viewpoint you have for that to be true. 🙂

  5. Wow, I’m almost a quasi-partial-sorta-celebrity (at least in the SB world – which is I’m sure a nice place to be). That made my day.

    I’ve said this often, “reasonable people can agree to disagree.” Obviously the “keyer” disagreed – but not in what most of us would consider a reasonable way. As to the car, it’s not a big deal. As I said, it can be touched up or re-painted. (I’m waiting until November 7th or later before I think about doing that).

    To be honest I get more annoyed when I see someone dump litter on the street or go to the dog park and see owners who fail to clean up after their pets – despite the fact that there are bags available throughtout the park.

    Thanks for getting back to me. Now I’m going to soak my swelled head in some ice water and see if I can get it back to its normal size!

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