Wednesday, January 13, 2021

It Was There - We Didn't See It

In the early 2000's Big Cuter walked down the Capitol steps, fuming.  He phoned home from those steps, bemoaning the fact that his interview in the office of  Republican Representative Darryl Issa had devolved into a How could you have worked for this radical leftist last summer (San Francisco Supervisor Mark Leno) rather than an exploration of what he could offer this man's constituents. 

He went in for a job interview and found himself skewered on the spit of partisan politics.  It was surprising, odd, out of the ordinary, not at all what he (or his parents or the mutual friend who arranged the meeting) thought would happen.  

"He didn't listen, Mom.  He just kept shoving more and more paper in front of me, trying to prove his point."

We didn't recognize it then, but in retrospect it seems like a very early and very clear sign of the American divide.  I'm right, you're wrong, and there's nothing we can gain by sharing a space.  

It's frightening.  

I have a dear friend on the other side of the political spectrum.  We disagree about everything except kindness and respect.  As she often says, "I'm a Republican.  I'm not crazy."  

I yearn for the days when that statement was not met with skepticism, when it was acceptable for people of good will and kind hearts to be members of the GOP.   I wonder when those days were.  They obviously weren't there when my kid wanted to do constituent service for all the voters, not just the ones whose views aligned with Issa's.  

This is America.  Maybe it's always been 74 million Americans looking for a cult leader to show them the way to the Promised Land.  It certainly was this American at the dawn of the century in an office in the Capitol.  My son was there.

7 comments:

  1. There is no agree to disagree anymore it seems. It's if we don't agree on the surface of things then why bother to try to dig a bit deeper into what values and dreams we have in common. In the meantime, the wounds fester and infection spreads.

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    Replies
    1. Yup, it seems that intelligent dialogue is a thing of the past. I remember political arguments in the backyard when I was a girl - we shouted, but we had facts, and we didn't argue about The Truth. The

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  2. Thomas Edsall has a good piece on NYT today. His thesis is that the basis of all of this is white supremacy. The non-college white men are losing their status and they don't like it. They think January 6 is the way to reorient the country to their liking. I think we're fairly doomed, I don't know how you bring 76 million people back to reality.

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  3. Thank G_d Big Cuter did not get that job!! Whew.

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