When I was a college freshman at the University of New Orleans back in the early 90’s, I was a member of the African American Student Union. It was a student organization that promoted civic involvement in the community. I liked it, I was very idealistic and believed in order to create change you simply had to argue ideas to the populace. I though that the foundation of politics was based on coming up with solutions and giving reasoned arguments why a solution, policy or law should be adopted. I believed that through my late teens, and 20s, but that changed when Barack Obama was elected president.
I self identify as a liberal democrat. I generally believe that government should have a more active role in promoting social and economic justice. I’m also a believer of certain conservative ideas like self accountability and a strong military. I’m aware enough to know that I have certain biases based on my life experiences and that others may have different and equally valid views of the world. So if a Republican ran for office and I liked the ideas they were promoting then I had no problem crossing party lines. I naively thought that most people felt that way. When Barack Obama was elected I started to see that a lot a people cared more about their tribe than they do about what is objectively and verifiably true. I saw the former President tout some of the same ideas held by republicans but because it came from him they couldn’t support it. It occurred to me then that people are actually tribal by default and not by exception. A white middle aged country redneck and a ghetto urban black teen could come together for about 4 hours on a Sunday and support the same football team. They could be as close as brothers during the game and go right back to hating each other afterwards.
I witnessed the republicans lie, stonewall and employ some of the most underhanded and disrespectful tactics I have ever seen during the Obama presidency. They lied about his birth, his wife and said no to everything he supported. At the same time the president tried to remain above the fray and act with integrity. Even though I believe that ultimately the President had a two successful terms, the republicans were rewarded for their despicable behavior. They prevented a Supreme Court nominee of Obama’s and got a narcissistic mental midget elected president. They now sit with power and are changing the very fabric of American life.
I believe that people should never compromise their ideals but at the same time you can’t influence and change anything without power. Power comes with money and winning. Generally speaking democrats play nice and republicans play mean and dirty. I think it’s time we got down in the gutter and fight the way they do. We’ve got to call them on their bullshit and be wiling to say what we actually believe in instead of what we think is palatable. Let’s dig up dirt on these guys and smear their names. Make innuendo’s about them just like they do to us. It is as if we are fighting a traditional trench war while those guys are fighting guerrilla style. We can’t win that way and if we keep losing election after election then the institutions we hold dear are going to crumble. I personally am sick and tired of stupid, heartless people running this country. We have to get back in power and make this a descent nation again. Unfortunately, making America descent again may require some underhanded and dirty tricks. And you know what? I’m okay with that.