Saturday, April 2, 2011

Bleatings From The Leper Colony

Ever since George Washington, we have always had presidents with some overarching vision of where they want to take the nation. They might have gotten bogged down in the minutia of governance, or they might have made mistakes that would eventually require retreat. But the basic vision nevertheless remained and focused on bringing America to a better place.

We, the people, more or less accepted the fact that we were not policy wonks; that we were not necessarily privy to all the things that our presidents were privy to – nor would we want to be. We could more or less assume that our president was doing his best to move us forward while keeping our best interests in mind.

We always accepted a certain amount of change – even downturns in our personal and collective fortunes - as being an integral part of life. We even accepted small, incremental deviations from the principles on which our nation was founded. We accepted the slow creep of socialism to accommodate the needs of the poor, the sick and the otherwise unfortunate.

All this changed with the election of Barack Hussein Obama. As the continuing controversy about his birth certificate suggests, there is now a growing concern as to just who this man actually is. Are we better off now than we were just two years ago? The resounding answer is no.

The tea parties were the first to sound the alarm. They were summarily rebuffed and dismissed. As more and more people dared to raise questions, more and more people were labeled ‘extreme’ and, therefore, illegitimate. Everybody knows at least a part of the threat our nation faces. And yet, every citizen is treated as guilty – at airports, for example – while the obvious culprits are excused from our scrutiny in the interest of maintaining a veneer of tolerance – tolerance for whom? The only ones not tolerated are us! It almost seems like our world has been turned upside down where a declaration of obvious criminal intent somehow provides immediate immunity.

Meanwhile, the rest of us must carefully maintain our resumes, and closely monitor our words and actions lest we stand accused of racism, hate crimes and various sundry sins that might well result in our exclusion. A natural bent towards conservatism in some precincts would practically confine one to the modern equivalent of a leper colony.

Meanwhile, too, we watch our fortunes fading, even as the media celebrates great strides toward some unspecified unknown. Should we venture to connect the dots and project our path to some seemingly alien experience, we are slapped down by harsh voices laced with severe accusation and ridicule. Since when, in America, has anyone not been allowed to speak openly without having to fear intimidation; especially, when what we say, points out gross contradictions in policy objectives; and particularly as these might relate to the fundamental contract we have with our government?

It has not gone unnoticed that this contract is now in serious jeopardy; that our government has gone rogue; that our own leadership is now on the brink of labeling us as illegitimate. We, of course - now that the contract has been broken - can say the same.

We never thought it could come to this – not in America.

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