(AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
Grok means to understand so thoroughly that the observer becomes a part of the observed—to merge, blend, intermarry, lose identity in group experience. It means almost everything that we mean by religion, philosophy, and science—and it means as little to us (because of our Earthly assumptions) as color means to a blind man. Robert Heinlein, Stranger in a Strange Land
You don’t get it. If have used the term Obamaniacs, Anointed One or Obamania in a negative fashion, then you simple miss out on the appeal of this particular person. This maybe for deeply held personal convictions or base, shallow opinions on race. Regardless, you simple do not get it, let alone grok it. Yet without understanding, or even attempting to understand, why my candidates platform, message and personality is so inspiring, you have the audacity to claim that I (and by extension other members of the so called Fringe Left) are in panic mode.
As a self-appointed spokesperson of the Liberal Agenda, I will tell you exactly what is going on.
We are not worried about the quality of our candidate. If you want real change–and not a pair of Mavericks in Name Only–the choice is simple. If you want to end partisan bickering–and not a pit bull who co-opts feminist language when it suits her needs–the choice is obvious. Our candidate’s message is clear. The methods behind the change has been proclaimed on the stump and in front of 38 Million People. We are not quaking because of message.
We are worried about an opponent who, on one hand, claims will unify the country, and in the other he releases the leash on his pit bul so she can attack community organizers. We are worried about willful ignorance. We are worried that the American people will let themselves be fooled into a false sense of change because their lives are so complicated by the reality of home (living pay check to paycheck, the threat of bank collapse, personal bankruptcy and foreclosure) that they do not have the time nor the energy to research the truth.
We are worried that Bitter Cynicism has taken over the American Dream. That individuals who foster a false division in the American people,saying that there is only enough to go around for some of us, have destroyed the ideal that we are a country of infinite compassion and resource.
We are worried about these things and more, but we are not in panic mode. We will panic if, on November 5 we wake up and find another four years of failed policies, partisanship and Faux Mavericks. Even if such a thing occurs, the Left is not going away; however, our tactics will need to change.
What some of my friends and family on the right do not understand is that this campaign is not just a referendum on W, McCain or Obama. It is a referendum on what the American people want in government. Do we want to be lied to, made to feel unimportant and that we cannot change our fractured system, or will we be allowed to take responsiblity for ourselves and our government.
Before someone shouts, “But the Republicans are the party of Self Government!,” remember that the Republican Party, as led by Bush and Cheney, has made access to our government more difficult. They have built a society of “ownership” that creates an idea that America is finite in intellect, compassion and resources. That we cannot help our friends and neighbors because in doing so, we harm our own future.
McCain/Palin–or as some have put it, Palin/McCain–needs that cynical and simple thought process to work. They believe the world is a simple and dangerous place: That poverty can be solved by boot strapping, that terrorism can be stopped with torture and the annihilation of those who do not subscribe to our world view, that there are fundamental and permanent differences between the Fringe Left and their “Righteous Right.”
The world is not simple, nor is it as dangerous as we are made to believe it is. This is not to say that there are not people who want to kill, maim and murder others just because they are “other” (or, specifically in our case, American). Those people do exist and those people need to be handled effectively and completely–but that does not necessarily mean by bombs and bullets. Obama understand the nuances and he has a plan. McCain is out of touch with the nuances and his running mate is willfully ignorant to the reality facing us at home and abroad.
Many of these same willfully ignorant people, the same who tout their religion as a core reason to vote for the Palin/McCain ticket, use cynical pseudo-religious rhetoric when describing Obama. The Obamessiah being the most ridiculous I have seen to date. It is insulting to believers, agnostics and atheists who believe in the platform and message as stated by Obama. For believers, it is an accusation of false idolatry. For agnostics and atheists, it is a slap in the face of reason.
And that is their point: to insult reason, compromise and understanding and bolster cynicism. That is the Republican’s ticket biggest weapon. It is not a series competing ideas. To date, the only ideas they have shared go against the very bills proposed by Senator McCain. All they have are a series of base, foolish (but “Funny”) ad-hominem attacks. To further foster their attacks, when retorts are made by the Obama campaign, the claim instant victimhood.
A wounded Pit Bull. A Maligned War Hero. This is part of their cynical strategy. They ignore their own attacks, empty promises and vitriol, and play on the side of the wounded party. That is cynicism to its very core. And they will keep these divisive comments, half-truths, lies and partisan attacks through the media, then lambast the media for not showing “due deference” when they are called out for their distorted record.
Because it is so simple, the American people, who have battered by war, economic hard ship, and the incompetence of the most partisan administration in modern history, may chose this false sense of security proffered by Palin/McCain. This is troubling, but it is not panic inducing.
Panic is a Supreme Court with a majority of UltraConservatives who believe that the Anti-Hero Jack Bauer is real.
Panic is the rise of back alley abortions caused by the appeal of Roe vs. Wade.
Panic is watching bridges collapse over Minnesota because our infrastructure is left to corporations who cut corners to boost profits.
Panic is watching our country bomb another country because of our unwillingness to engage in diplomacy.
Panic is watching our allies fall to a Bear because our own military is making the Middle East safe for Big Oil.
That, readers, is panic. A dip in the polls is a kick in the ass to get the message out. Please stop confusing the two.
(I reserve the right to make edits and proof this at a later date. In fact, another blogger has already submitted a proof. A revision is incoming.)
(Update #1: Tweaked some language, corrected a few typos. Thanks Shoe-Thief!)
(Update #2: At Seth’s request, I am locking comments. There will be an Open Thread to discuss whatever is going on in the comments.)