I’ve been having a reoccurring dream where I’m seated in a large auditorium facing a stage. The room is dark, and the only illumination dawns on a podium with a single microphone. I hear chattering, but cannot see the speaker’s face or make out what they say. All I see is a suit. Quite often there’s cheering and clapping. Then there’s crying. Then audible sounds to indicate that the audience is displeased. When I look around no one is there…only me. I’m an audience of one but do not feel alone. It’s strange.
I realize with the Republican primaries underway the media is saturated with sound bites and speeches. But for those of us who are actually listening and paying attention to what’s being said, the outlook (at least in my estimation) is bleak. What I have noticed is a pattern of behaviors – habits even—that have appeared over the past several weeks. For example:
- Starting an explanation with sweeping generalizations, “What Blacks needs to do…” or “What Hispanics needs to do…” or “What women can’t do…”
- Claiming that the designation of “hard working Americans” only belong to one race of people.
- Sad attempts to use the Jedi Mind Trick — using stall tactics when questions or requests for information from the public are perfectly clear.
- Use fear or people’s insecurities and lack of understanding of immigration, gay/lesbian issues, women’s rights and race to perpetuate old school ideologies; love is contagious but hate breeds like roaches.
- Failing (miserably) to recognize that all people of color are not poor, not uneducated, and are not on some kind of public assistance.
- Can’t seem to remember that we live in the United States of America – operative word being “united” – there are those of us outside the mainstream that eat apple pie, served our country willingly and would gladly die defending the flag too.
- Believes that Christianity is the only religion with conservative values (I’m Christian but I respect other people’s belief systems).
There are more habits — I’m sure– but frequently these seem to be the greatest offenders. If this is the tenor for which the primaries are based, we are in for a long ride through the 1960s. I understand the need to galvanize people on one’s behalf, but seem to me that it would be easier to rally folks around the good and not the ill-conceived agendas from back in the day. I’d vote for new habits and it wouldn’t matter the candidate’s political affiliation.
Sound off – tell me what you think.