I'm glad I'm not named Joe. Joe is a nice name I think, solid sounding, patriotic, and one of the most popular names for a man. The reason I'm glad I'm not named Joe? Joe's seem to be getting a bad rap lately.
Take "Joe the Plumber", who as far as I can tell was never really a licensed plumber. He was under the microscope for quite a while during the presidential election for his comments, and now we have Joe the Congressman Wilson that yelled out "you lie" during President Obama's congressional address to kick around.
I'm not gonna kick either Joe, but I don't condone their actions either. What I see is something much deeper going on than a guy that made some statements stretching his circumstances to make a point, or an emotional outburst during a presidenal speech. It's obvious that the divide in our country is deep, and it doesn't appear to be getting better with all the name calling, brow beating, and outright distortions of facts by both sides of the arguments.
Where did we make the wrong turn down the divided political highway to come to the point that we must bash our fellow Americans with name calling and insults that likely would seldom be made in a face to face discussion? Are we The Americans, the same country that brought us the "Greatest Generation"? What made that generation so great? Well, one things for sure, after all the debate about the reasons, the final analysys shows that among other things the country came together to defeat a common enemy.
Nowadays, the common enemy seems to be the left or the right depending on which side of the political fence you ride. Seems as though the art of compromise that framed our countries parameters from the beginning are completely lost.
Are so many folks so tired of the debate strategies that they are unwilling to listen to each other anymore? If you read the blogs on the Gazette, it seems pretty obvious what the answer to that question is. I'm guilty of it, I refuse to read some of the political blogs here on the Gazette anymore as the discourse is counterproductive to me. It's too bad as we need some answers to our nations problems that everybody can live with. You know... that Greatest Generation thing about coming together in times of trouble? It's as though we have lost the notion that a democracy is what we live in, and the guy with the most votes leads, like it or not. At least in our democracy, we get to correct leadership mistakes every few years.
After the election, I made the comment in one of my blogs that I felt "divided we fall" as a nation. After thinking about it a bit, I looked up the origin of the "united we stand, divided we fall" statement and to my surprise, it is attributed to Aesop, the fable guy.
That really surprised me, but in the same discussion of the origin of the divided we fall quote was another famous quote from Sun Tsu's Art of War... "Divide and Conquer".
Well, it appears the battle lines have been drawn as both sides are doing their best to do exactly what Sun Tsu recommended. I only hope our Republic isn't the ultimate looser.
Please don't forget to contact your congressional representative to let them know what you think of health care reform. There are some really good ideas out there in my opinion, but maybe my opinion differs from yours, it would be a shame if my ideas trumped yours simply because you didn't let 'em know. FYI- They accept email!
And as one final note for air guitar players here's an oldie... perhaps an appropriate tune to practice on called Mother Freedom... If you don't want to start the video, the lyrics are shown below the video... Peace Out!
Lyrics to "Mother Freedom" - An old "hippie" rock tune by Bread...
Freedom - keep walkin'
Keep on your toes and don't stop talkin' 'bout
Freedom - get goin'
Lots to be learned and lots to be knowin' 'bout
People - gotta reach 'em
Sit 'em right down and then you gotta teach 'em 'bout