Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Interdependence Day

There was a time when that was a good name for it. "E pluribus unum," and all that, was a staple of the American belief system. For all that we squabbled, fretted, battled and shouted past each other, those were the good old days. We took care of each other. We fought like siblings, not like bitter enemies. This is not a romanticized past seen through an old man's rose-colored glasses: I was there, and that's how it once was.
Now we have the likes of Mitch McConnell, saying why he wants to be Senate Majority Leader, and this is in October 2010:

MCCONNELL: We need to be honest with the public. This election is about them, not us. And we need to treat this election as the first step in retaking the government. We need to say to everyone on Election Day, “Those of you who helped make this a good day, you need to go out and help us finish the job.”

NATIONAL JOURNAL: What’s the job?

MCCONNELL: The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.
For one rare time, my reaction was about the same as Joe Scarborough's:

This morning, MSNBC host Joe Scarborough was floored by McConnell’s open admission that his single most important goal is to defeat Obama. “Mitch McConnell said that?!? … He admitted that on the record?!? That is embarrassing,” he said. “Can I just say for the record – that is pathetic.” ,,,

Pathetic or not, that is today's America: an absolute refusal by Republicans to declare our interdependence, to celebrate it, to admit that anyone other than them has a legitimate claim on power... subsequently tossing a spanner in the works to see to it that their opponent cannot govern, never mind the suffering of the American people while their government is failing. That is not "pathetic," nor is it merely lamentable... it is morally deplorable. One would think the perpetrators of this scorched-earth strategy would lose elections, but after Citizens United, I wouldn't bet on it. Nor would I bet on the nation's survival another two decades, and if it does survive, I wouldn't bet on its survival as a representative democracy.

I shall close with a song that I consider the signature of America in the modern era, Paul Simon's "American Tune." Here is a 1975 recording; gawd, Simon looked young back then...

Happy Fourth. Stella and I plan to have veggie hot dogs in celebration. Y'all be careful around all those open fires, especially the self-propelled ones.


  1. Steve,

    Happy Fourth for you both!

    1915-1916, Alaska celebrates the fourth of july:

  2. I hope it's a good and GOP free day!

  3. Living in America and so far away from home......

  4. Enfant, jams, karmanot - thanks for your kind wishes.

    karmanot, every time I hear the line "... the Statue of Liberty, sailing away to sea..." I have to choke back tears. The Statue of Liberty has already been to sea, a gift from one of the world's rather more successful democracies... not without its problems, but jeebus, look at the US; we've got people starving and committing suicide. Paul Simon, then as a youth and arguably now as an old man like us, is a man with a vision beyond his years. I admire him immensely.



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