And a divide it is... a huge divide.
I was just scanning some messages on a social network account and saw the following comments regarding Somalia's lack of government per a Rachel Maddow interview (which I didn't see ;-):
Hey, sounds like the kind of no-government-society a tea bagger would love! I'm not rich, but I'll give what I can for air fare for my disgruntled fellow citizens to flee to this Eden.
don't worry, none of them will go. they want all of the benefits of big government with none of the responsibility (i.e. paying for it).
A few years back, I saw almost identical comments from conservatives about paying for tickets for libs to leave the country. I imagine there are still many who'd pool their resources to send libs to a country of their choice!
Aside from the obvious misinterpretation or misunderstanding of what conservatives want of and from their government, plus the fact that the majority of the big government they're referring to IS being paid for by conservatives whether we like it or not, the rhetoric sparked some neurons in my brain and got it all stirred up.
We all see the huge and growing divide between conservatives and liberals / progressives. Libs are proud to pop "so liberal you can't reach" or "liberal / progressive" or "as left as you can go" or "far, far left" on their political belief lines on Facebook and other similar sites. Just like conservatives do the same substituting "right" and conservative.
We have our far right radicals, they have their far left radicals. Both sides seem to be louder and shriller these days though.
I don't look at those involved in the tea party as loud and shrill. Tea Party participants are, for the majority, not far left or right. They are also middle class Americans for the most part it seems. They, or should I say "we", are peacefully rallying to share frustrations with the direction the government is going, asking, no begging, our leaders to adhere to the Constitution and the ideals our country was founded upon.
I do think however that the Obama administration and friends are hoping they'll tip over into the same kind of radical nastiness that we see from lib supporting thugs. I fully expect to see the Dems plant some radicals in our midst to throw rocks or break windows so they can make us look bad and / or have a reason to squash any gatherings.
It seems that the middle is getting bigger, too. People are shying away from being labeled as a member of either side, although they're often times ending up in the tea party middle. Democrats and Republicans are waking up, getting more and more irritated and / or angry about what the suits in Washington are doing. They're becoming independents, libertarians, contitutionalists in some form or other, and some unfortunately are just throwing up their hands and walking away from it all.
How much of the divide is being manipulated and created by those in Washington? Is this a big game they're playing to ratchet up the radicalism on both sides? Are they trying to create a semi-controlled crisis? Did the Tea Party movement surprise them, throw a wrench in their plans? Or did they rub their Simon Legree hands together in anticipation of how they could "use" the movement?
I'm just toying in this post, popping thoughts out as they fly through my soon-to-be-caffeine-soaked-brain.
I can speculate all I want but way, way down here in the land of the normal outside D.C. and political insider circles, it's impossible to know what in the heck is going on. Some day we'll look back through the prism of history, assuming it's still being written and we have a free society, and know whether any of my speculations hit the proverbial nail on the head.
I get frustrated when I hear my fellow artist's thoughts at times. I used to try and debate them, but they are locked into their beliefs as they think I am. They blackball artists who don't fit into their way of thinking. Being blacklisted doesn't bother me as there are tons of conservatives and non-political types who love my art (thank you). It does bother me that they can be so intolerant, so willing to walk in lock-step and not see how they are acting just like the people they think we are. Plus, it shows just how nasty they can be... and oh can they be nasty, mean and intolerant! So much for love, and live and let live, huh?
The person I quoted above who said we conservatives and tea party types wanted the benefits of big government without paying for it was soooo, sooo of the mark it rattles me. We don't want big government. We don't mind paying for what we get. We don't want government intruding in our lives, which is something the libs used to believe in.
When did the hippies and yippies and lefties start WANTING big government? It used to be that they espoused freedom, less government, less intrusion. Now they want government to do everything. Don't they understand that the bigger government gets the hungrier it gets? Arts will be the first thing to suffer. If you're not with the government you'll lose your funding and support. There will be rules saying what you can and can't paint, sculpt, create.
Look at history.
It's funny. Because Obama is in power they now want all the things they didn't want when George Bush was in power. However, when the next President is elected, lets assume (and hope) he's conservative. How are they going to react to that president having the power they are wanting to give to Obama? Regardless of how strongly they feel, there are more conservative leaning people in this country than there are progressives. If there's another election, and sometimes I wonder if there will be, chances are we're going to dance over to the right side of the aisle.
What then my liberal friends?