Executive Summary: Whatever your thoughts may be concerning the ground zero “mosque,” what should be of greater concern is that the Republicans have, once again, found an issue that foments this new family value of “being angry at each other.”
Please do not allow your thinking to be swayed by emotion. Last time it was “the terrorists are coming.” This time it’s “the terrorists are coming to Ground Zero…again!!” This country faces enormous problems that will take decades to repair. We should not allow ourselves to be manipulated by cynical politicians who see this as a way to garner votes and split the electorate. If we want to strangle someone, it should not be each other. It should be every politician, every lobbyist, every hate-radio (and hate-television) host.
George Bush’s presidency was so divisive (“I’m a uniter…not a divider”) [note 1] that it caused many arguments among friends and relatives. One friend of mine – a Republican – was vehemently attacked (verbally) by the members of his wife’s family. By the second term of Bush’s presidency, I had stopped speaking to him because our discussions always degenerated into an argument. I also had arguments with other friends and relatives who I thought were being manipulated by fear-mongering. (“The terrorists are coming for you!!!” “The Democrats can’t protect you!!“) Eventually I made peace with my friends and relatives but, like chinks in armor, each little dent weakens the metal.
I am thankful that the Republicans have found a new issue – the “mosque” at Ground Zero – that can be used to create divisiveness when there should not be any divisiveness. They have created, once again, a Hatfields vs McCoys mentality, fomenting anger (that must be a new family value) within families and among friends. While the country is in utter economic collapse, being propped up by massive infusions of borrowed money, both taxpayer money and overseas monies; while the country awaits an economic recovery that will never come (unless, of course, Wall Street comes up with a new scam-du-jour); while we watch the 30-year assault on the middle class (wiped out 401K’s; wiped out home equity values; wiped out incomes) come to its logical conclusion (“let’s invest Social Security money in the stock market and raise the retirement age to 70 years old!), the Republicans have found some new bullsh*t issue to distract us from the serious work to be done.
So while we argue amongst ourselves about whether a “mosque” or “cultural center” should be built near Ground Zero (we will, of course, ignore the mosque that ALREADY exists near Ground Zero and we’ll assume that the strip clubs near Ground Zero somehow elevates and exalts the memories of those who perished on that day), please let me be the first to announce what no one wants to announce: the American dream is over. The American dream is dead and buried. It is buried under trillions of dollars of debt created under Republican presidencies. So let’s argue over how many illegal aliens are (or are not) streaming across our borders. Let’s argue over the building of a cultural center near Ground Zero. Let’s argue over the “liberal bias” of the media, even though the media is dominated by Fox News and right-wing hate radio. Let’s argue over every other issue EXCEPT those that are most important to us and our children: our economy that has been almost completely exported to China; our political system that has been completed captured by multinational corporations; our environment and consumer protection laws that have been decimated through Republican-led deregulation (“Do you think God sent all the e. coli?”)
So I say, god bless the Republican’s for distracting us from the important work that needs to be done in this country. God bless the Republican’s for turning this country into the largest debtor nation of the world. God bless the Republican’s for caring more about a minority (you know which minority…the one percent at the top of the income pyramid) than the majority of the people. God bless the Republican’s (and they did get some help from the Democrats) for turning us into a country of moronic yahoos who have embraced their own demise by supporting “the new service economy,” a euphemism for “let’s export your high-paying middle class jobs to China…or India…or………”
Waiting for Godot(?): The Non-Existent Economic Recovery
America’s Lost Decade
The Mosque at Ground Zero