Eden Hill Journal

Comments, dreams, stories, and rantings from a middle-aged native of Maine living on a shoestring and a prayer in the woods of Maine. My portion of the family farm is to be known as Eden Hill Farm just because I want to call it that and because that's the closest thing to the truth that I could come up with. If you enjoy what I write, email me or make a comment. If you enjoy Eden Hill, come visit.

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Location: Maine, United States

Saturday, April 12, 2008

April's Fools

Well here we are in the midst of another political sham. It seems that both Hillary Clinton and John McCain - both mega-millionaires - are trying to paint Barak Obama as elitist and out of touch with America's working class. Why? Because Obama brought up the fact that many in America's industrialized Midwest are bitter about how they have suffered from America's industrial downturn while administration after administration in Washington has fed them only empty promises of how things will be getting better. So now these people, instead of embracing Obama's message of hope, embrace reactionary issues like gun rights or religious issues or immigration fears or foreign trade.
Hillary says she hasn't met these people while McCain's campaign accuses Obama of being out of touch.
What are Hillary and McCain saying, that these people don't exist? Are there not Americans in the traditional industrial areas of America who have not lost their jobs, their healthcare, their retirement, their homes, and not been able to find good-paying industrial jobs since Reagan decided to throw open the doors to foreign trade? Are there not Americans who have been unable to compete with the low wages and poor working conditions first in Mexico, now in China and other Asian nations? Do these people who should be embracing the hope of progressive Democratic politics but instead are turning away from progressive change and are embracing reactionary political issues not exist?
Do these people not exist in the minds of mega-millionaire senators?
The thing that I understand the least is why in the minds of these high-minded older senators like Clinton and McCain it is seen as elitist for someone of power and influence to acknowledge the existence of these problems in our country. It's just like with the war. In what way is it unpatriotic to acknowledge the problems with the war? Why do we use patriotism to enforce conformity and political correctness? How is that good for America? How is it bad for America to acknowledge that America's blue-collar workers are suffering under these policies that are destroying blue-collar union labor? What is it about WalMart's price-slashing, union-busting, and outsourcing that makes that the ultimate solution in America?
Why is it wrong for someone like Obama to say that the solution lies not in returning to the past, but rather in embracing the future? America needs energy conservation, alternative energy, sustainable agriculture, healthcare that focuses on health rather than maintenance of illness. Americans need employment, affordable housing, public transportation, and above all, hope for the future. Why is it wrong to advocate for this kind of change? Why is it patriotic to advocate for what we had in our heyday but will never have again unless we become the world's master imperial power? Why is it wrong to advocate embracing the entire world as our equals and advocate for their welfare as well as our own?
One thing is becoming very clear, though, as this campaign moves on. What is at at stake here is that either we embrace our past or we embrace our future. McCain and Clinton clearly are trying to say that we need to focus on what was the best in our past, cloak the past and call that our future. Obama is saying we need to move on from our past failures and embrace a more sensible, more rational, and more intelligent future that can be sustained.
It would appear that the majority of Americans are quite content with the cloaking.