Visiting my family for a few days in the suburbs of Chicago. The fall weather is fantastic and a welcome change from home. I never lived in this area because my folks moved here after I started college in the northeast. In any event, the political climate here is hyper liberal, not just among my family members, but among others with whom I've come into contact. They have a cartoonish view of where I come from and characterize my political perspective in hyperbole right out of the Alan Grayson school of bipartisanship.
I may no longer hold the classic liberal approach to improving the shortcomings of society, but I can hardly criticize my close family members for doing so. They actually walk the walk, emulating in many ways the path blazed by my mother whose activities I described briefly in my opening commentary of this blog. My cousins are lifelong educators in the Jewish community, and their commitment to those within and without the community is one I admire without reservation. My sister's family, too, embraces these notions, and she and her husband have passed this belief system to their three wonderful children. But behind it all, I perceive this insidious suggestion that the political approach I have adopted sits in opposition to improving the lives of our fellow citizens, wants to actually withhold improvement from them and reinstitute abhorrent legal (or extra-legal) mechanisms to insure their inequality.
I see this, too, in my observations of the behavior of mass media organs over the last several weeks as a government shutdown, debt ceiling increase and Obamacare have been endlessly analyzed. May I briefly recount my belief that the first two issues are only relevant because two of the three major branches of government (legislative and executive) have failed their constitutional duty of producing a budget and then passing appropriation bills in accordance with that budget. We can argue ad infinity about whether that budget should be balanced, embrace tax code reform, etc. But a budget is mandated constitutionally and it simply does not exist. The "continuing resolution - debt ceiling" games will continue until this is fundamentally addressed.
The media has done a masterful job of painting this merry go round as a devious, Tea Party-initiated strategy to extort concessions from the progressive government of America's first president of color. It is so absurd and offensive on so many levels that I refuse to distract myself by addressing them. My larger point, though, is that this Pravda-like uniformity has gained traction in the liberal community and has been accepted de facto because it is being disseminated by media organs widely seen by that community as "impartial". By opinion writers whose views are generally in sync with theirs.
One person with whom I have spoken here and who knew nothing of my political persuasions, but who saw me in the company of fellow travelers, informed me that it was widely known that the Confederate flag is proudly waved and displayed at Tea Party events. Another, who did know I lived in Texas, passed along a valuable insight that Ted Cruz was the most dangerous man in America
because he is a nihilist and is fighting to eliminate all government. Yet another told me their child was looking at colleges, was interested in the University of Texas, but was dissuaded from pursuing that
option because the student would be exposed to too many Texans. And, best of all, when I confessed to another for having voted for Ted Cruz, I was met by speechless incredulity.
Many leaders of the Democrat party - including the president himself - have been employing incredibly inflammatory language to describe their political opponents over the last few weeks. Perhaps (and hopefully) this has peaked over the last week as Alan Grayson sent out a fund raising letter with the letter "T" in Tea Party as a burning cross and then called MSNBC's Martin Bashir a "collaborator" for having the temerity to confront him; MSNBC's Chris Hayes showing a graphic of Cruz, Lee and Rubio on three "King" cards; and Dick Durban also sent out a fund raising letter claiming a Republican congressman had rudely insulted the President during a meeting (which Durban did not attend) which Jay Carney denied ever happened.
Part of the reason for this explosion of offensive rhetoric is that the media employs the language itself and refuses to condemn those on the left who also engage in it. The unfortunate consequence is that many who philosophically agree with progressivism are either unable or unwilling to sort through what is fact and what is fiction.