Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: What! You too? I thought I was the only one.

-C.S. Lewis

Thursday, March 23, 2006


I’m tired. So tired. Last Tuesday I was in Philadelphia. I stood where brave and treasonous patriots drafted the Declaration of Independence. I stood in the room where these same men debated the Constitution. When I got home to Chicago, I joked with friends that now that I’ve been to the Philly, where they created our sacred documents, I should make sure to plan a trip to Washington, D.C., where our leaders are currently destroying them. Bookends of a sort, eh? But kidding aside, as our volunteer tour guide spoke about the replica furniture, I thought to myself that such discussion of how to govern a nation, the fierce counterpoint that forged our nation’s structure and ideals, is now extinct. Maybe we will drag it up from the deep one day, like a coelacanth hooked on an unsuspecting line, but I begin to despair. The Republican position on nearly every issue takes but one consideration into account: how will this make us and our big contributers richer. The health of the nation is of absolutely no concern to them. The sole measure of control that they seek to achieve is the destination of the vast sums of money that they alone have the power to route. What use would such people have for the conversations that shaped the USA into the greatest, most powerful nation in the world? Of what interest is the breathtaking potential of its people and its resources? It simply doesn’t matter. And so many people, so many, just don’t care. They just don’t. And I’m tired of hearing them. I am tired of talking to them. Tired of giving them examples. Tired of asking them to consider this or this or this or this. Tired of talking about the fundamental disconnect between trying to fight terror and prop up the US oil industry at the exact same time. Tired of pointing out that being against the war in Iraq doesn’t make you a terror sympathizer, that it doesn’t even mean you’re not a hawk! I’m tired of being asked to, metaphorically speaking, “prove gravity.” I don’t mean to say that the liberal position and, by extension, liberals are always, or even often, right, correct, moral, etc. But just that we have one side arguing for the liberal position and the other side arguing…what? They argue nothing. Just nothing. Savvy taxpayers are encouraged to purchase gas guzzling SUVs. Wiretaps now are authorized without judicial oversight. Medicare is so expensive not because of any incredible drug benefit to seniors, but the jaw-dropping giveaways to pharmaceutical companies. And why? Thinking in terms of nation building, that is, building OUR NATION, the terms within which the architects of our nation considered the effect of each proposal, thinking in those terms, what actual positive effect could these policies have? The care that went into the intricate system of checks and balances, the framers no doubt waking in the middle of the night having thought of yet another contingency to plan for, another roadblock to throw across the path to corruption, where is this care in the modern Republican party? What gets them up in the dead of night? A foolproof way to funnel war profits to campaign contributors? Another ploy to solidify the pulling of the R lever into an article of faith for millions of ignorant and deluded fundamentalists? Or maybe it’s just me losing sleep. Sometimes I just can't force myself to see the gusts for the typhoon. Why point out the odd whipping palm and uprooted street sign when you’re STANDING IN THE MIDST OF A HURRICANE? Can’t you see it? Can’t you see it? It wasn’t always like this. It’s doesn’t have to be this way. It could be so much better. But I get so tired of saying it. Tired of trying to scream my voice above the driving wind and rain. So tired.

Also when I was in Philly, I stopped by the local chapter of Drinking Liberally (a vibrant group of dedicated individuals) and got to meet Upyernoz, a tremendous blogger, and my first and best “blog-friend.” We had a great time talking about blogging, politics and life with the rest of the gang. Everyone made me feel very welcome. A fantastic time.

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