Sunday, October 26, 2008

Sunday Political Dish

In these last weeks of the election season there has been a disturbing trend perpetuated by Republican Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin: the consistent invocation of pro-Americans versus anti-Americans, and the real America versus the non-real America. Senator Obama has done his best to combat this rhetoric countering that there is only one America.

I'm not quite sure what Ms. Palin intends to insinuate with her "real America" comments. Would she say that Thomas Jefferson is not a real American because of his famous, and highly salient, words, "Dissent is the highest form of patriotism"?

Or perhaps she would question Ralph Ellison's commitment to the American ideal based on his view: "Personally, I am too vindictively American, too full of hate for the hateful aspects of this country, and too possessed by the things I love here to be too long away."

Republican pundits and politicians jumped on Michelle Obama when she said that this is the first time she's been really proud of her country. Yet I would be willing to bet that there have been times those same people have questioned the direction the country is headed.

Absolutely there are things about the United States that I hate; and I don't use that word lightly. I hate racism. I hate the inherent economic inequality that exists. I hate that we are occupying a country we have no business being in. I hate that there are people in this country who shrug off the responsiblity of voting.

But what's really important is that I have the opportunity to express my views; and that leads me to say that I love being an American. I love that I have freedom of speech. I love that I can choose my religion, or lack thereof, and whether or not to believe in a god. I love that I can travel about freely and visit large cities, small towns, forest wilderness, and expansive beaches.

But mostly I love the fact that there is the possibility of change.

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