Tuesday, November 24, 2015

US Thanksgiving Values, Them and Us

I wrote an off-the-cuff commentary yesterday on Facebook, attached to an article asking why so many Americans vote Republican, apparently against their own economic interests. Got me thinking even more, just a few days away from Thanksgiving.

I'm not sure how it happened. But, in a nutshell, at the moment, US voters are faced with this choice. And it ain't always as simple as my pocket, my race, my gender.

Democrats have become a party of fringe issues and what is perceived as failure. Admit you are an outcast, somehow different to the mainstream, an economic failure, demand you need help, join us, and we'll help you, make you a client voter for life.

Well blimey. We're the land of the American Dream. Martin Luther King's Dream. Two days away from the celebration that reminds us (native Americans aside, just for one moment) that we carved ourselves a new existence in this land of plenty, with nothing but our bare hands. Who wants to get on by having to admit that we need a handout to do it?

So, what do the Republicans offer? Crap designed as candy. Hey, you don't have to admit to failure to be one of us. You're the chosen. You're special. You want better? We'll lift you up.

Well, so far, so ... hmm ... ok. But then comes the wicked punch. Bit by bit, the element of hard work, responsibility, sharing, team work, and so on, bit by bit that is subsumed by envy and misplaced acquisitiveness.

It's not that you want better. You are better. It's not that you want to be lifted up. We'll get you there by lifting over. Lifting around. Bypassing those who do not deserve. For we, you are chosen above all else.

Think about it. Middle America is essentially offered a choice between parties both of which offer envy as a platform and greed as the solution.

Don't like your lot? Well, you shouldn't. That's because the rich have it all. Vote for us, and we'll bleed 'em (Democrats).

Don't like your lot? Well, you shouldn't. That's because the slacker across the road, the gays, the immigrants and foreigners have it all. Vote for us, and we'll get it back for ya (Republicans).

So. Why do folks then end up ever so slightly going for the party that isn't thinking of bleeding the rich? Because, deep down, too many of us secretly yearn to be rich too. That's why we watch reality shows. Why we affect the costumes of the rich. Why we watch The Apprentice. And why too many of us think that The Trump should be President.

And so. This Thanksgiving. God help us all ...