It was not too long ago, when supporting old growth forests meant you were a left wing whacko who liked owls more than people. Of course one has never had owl cut them off in traffic, or believe in the stupidest things imaginable, so maybe one can like owls more. And before that if you supported women’s right to vote, or equal rights for the races you were thought to be a bleeding heart with no common sense, who was out to destroy all that America stood for. Which we all know was only meant for those of European descent. Abraham Lincoln was not on the ballot in southern states, because he didn’t think slavery was a just practice. In New England if you thought it was wrong to have children working twelve hours a day cleaning chimneys or working in unsafe factories you obviously didn’t know what was best for ‘those’ children. The history of mankind is full of instances where you were wrong headed if you cared for those that were different then those that hold the power.
It takes a lot of perseverance, it takes a lot of patience, it takes a lot of extremely well reasoned rhetoric to ever change the path of mass thinking no matter how wrong the mass is. it seems the more wrong the mob mentality the harder it is to change. One has to put up with insults, ridicule, and fight the mass media, which prospers by ridiculing the messengers.
But in the end right thinking does win, if one can stay the course long enough. An intelligent, compassionate message does finally win over the mob, one person at a time. And the detractors one by one are either won over or become extinct, or just fade away into beautiful oblivion.
Such is the tide Barack Obama is facing now. Speaking with sharp intelligence and unguarded honesty he is smashing America in the face, forcing us to look in the mirror. We either have an epiphany or we gather in coffee clatches to honor are baseness with the time tested methods supported by the good old boy network and white trash cynicism. Obama either forces us to stop and think, or ramp up our Rush Limbaugh arguments that find contemptuous humor in our white supremacy and disdain for those that might challenge our locked gate surbabinism. Most of America prefers the coziness of working for the man, shutting out the arts, and snuggling up to Netflicks and network sitcoms. We like our 4 x4’s, local Baptist church, and bowling night. We like our neighbors like us, and tolerate those that are different at work. (In fact you know, he’s isn’t that bad of guy. I would never invite him over for a beer or anything, but he’s an alright guy.)
Humans are not a quick bunch to change. War was required to end slavery. Yet we have an amazingly short memory. How many years did it take America to forget the tragedy of Vietnam? Useless wars are once again accepted. How long before the dawning of the realization that Iraq and George Bush were mistakes? Years.
Obama is being lambasted by the suddenly gun loving Hilary Clinton for his naked honesty about bitter small town whites who take comfort in church and guns. Hell that is one of the most powerful demographics America has. Gun lovers and church going fundamentalists put the fear of organized lobbyists in every American politician, if education had that much support, and I mean real education, not teacher’s unions, we would actually have kids learning something of value in our schools, in fact we might even have a kinder, gentler nation, promised so many years ago, by who? I can’t remember. But whoever it was I am sure raised wonderful thoughtful, compassionate children who are making a profound difference on the evolution of mankind.
Wait a minute that is what Barack Obama is trying to do. And we all know we can’t have that, not in an American President. Just ask the last few that have tried, what’s that you say? We can’t? Because the people with the guns shot them.
Mac McMann writes from the male point of view at [http://www.manslant.com]