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We have lost so much

There is this very nasty business of questioning President Obama’s citizenship that continues to drive a lot of conservatives in this country.

The force behind this disgraceful display of total nonsense is a woman named Orly Taitz, a self professed lawyer and dentist, who doesn’t seem to be actively practicing either of those professions. Her full time job appears to be to somehow convince the American people that Barack Obama does not deserve to be our president now or in the future.

She apparently lives somewhere in California but she is now up in New Hampshire trying to get the President’s name taken off the ballot there for the upcoming primary elections. She still claims he is not an American citizen even though Mr. Obama’s birth certificate has been declared by all manner of officials as valid and trustworthy.

I don’t like the way our country is behaving. We have lost so much of what has made us a place of welcome and inspiration to the world. I don’t think I’m being naive in saying that. Obviously we have a history of lousy conduct over the years: slavery; denying women the right to vote; the savage civil rights clashes; the abortion battles; the assassination and attempted assassination of our presidents; the killing of Martin Luther King, Jr.; the bloody and useless Vietnam War; and so on.

But today things feel different. There are these vast chasms between people that seem impossible to bridge and cross. People honestly seem to hate those who don’t agree with their ideology, their religious beliefs, their lifestyle. Rage consumes far too many of us.

The ability to responsibly communicate with one another; to make reasonable compromises; to respect the other person’s ideas while still disagreeing with them; to sincerely accept and appreciate the diversity of our citizens; to demand an impartial justice system so that all persons, whatever their race or class, are given a fair chance to be proven innocent or guilty; to clearly have the freedom to protest without being beaten by thugs in police uniforms; to champion economic opportunity that is open to everyone and is not controlled by the uber-wealthy and corporate cronyism steeped in ruthlessness and criminality and fixed against the middle class.

These are common needs, noble values, the stuff of our national worthiness, the kind of guiding principles that all Americans should work for. And we should demand them of our highest leaders.

We all need more spacious personalities, more giving spirits, more willingness and courage to live up to the best of our past and to the potential of our future.

The mystics teach that it is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a sick society.

I do not want to be considered normal in this present culture of bigotry, hate, intolerance, cruelty, ignorance, self-righteousness, and arrogance. I honestly struggle to not give in to it. I am not innocent. I have my own failings to own. And I'm not sure I know how to fight against any of this in any way that matters. But I am determined to keep seeking a better path for myself and for my country.

© 2011 Timothy Moody


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