Mercifully, President Obama’s and some congressional Democrats’ Age of Delusion regarding compromise with Republicans seems finally to be going gently into that good night. I remain haunted nevertheless by the invocation, inevitably uttered in plaintive voice by an exasperated Democrat whether grappling with the necessity to forge a budget agreement, or to avoid default or to create jobs, that yes, one side remains conspicuous sons of bitches intransigent to the death, but still, “we are all Americans”.
Well, not so fast. Even before political designations are made it is a big country…300 million people give or take a million, and there is no shortage among them of roving psycho killers, pedophiles and unclassifiable freaks. We’re all Americans? What’s your point?
According to Brent Bozell, Rush Limbaugh and other dignitaries of the right among my alleged fellow Americans, people such as I wish for nothing so much as to undermine the candidacy of hapless Herman Cain out of incapacitating fear of him and for other darkly insidious reasons. In fact I would cut off nine of my toes to run against a man who claims that China may be “trying to develop nuclear capability” fifty-seven years after the fact.
Whatever coincidental mutual citizenship we share, I have more in common with Papua New Guineans than I do with Brent Bozell. And I have more in common with Martians, should there be any, than I do with Rush Limbaugh or with anyone lending him their ear for that matter.
It is unlikely I am the only one who has noticed that conservatives never seem to actually say, “We are all Americans,” which I think one may infer is not a simple oversight. And I am doubtful I possess a unique perspicacity enabling me to singularly discern that Republicans take every available opportunity to imply the opposite, which is that the Americanism of persons not Republican is at best questionable. The Republican propensity to define their kind as “real Americans” and to describe those areas of the country densely populated with Republican voters as the “real America” probably isn’t a mere coincidence either.
And I would go so far as to suggest that even citizens whose beverage of choice is Codeine would have noticed by now that many of those being called to perform in the service of overriding American exigencies have gone out of their way to assert that the President making the calls is himself not American at all. Admittedly these observations temper my faith in the effectiveness of calls to Republicans’ sense of unified purpose and togetherness.
Yes, we all attend the same churches and root for the same sports teams. To me that means about as much as saying the English and French were all Europeans during the Hundred Year War because people in both of those countries liked cake. We’re all Europeans. Big deal.
While we all inhabit the same nation, most Republicans no longer can bring themselves to acknowledge even our similar evolutionary human origins. They declare themselves the exclusive creation of a supernatural entity while I started out underwater festering on a rock. That we all ended up in the same country means only that design isn’t very intelligent after all. The right retains its own media and its unique facts, so for all I know their laws of physics are entirely different too. If we operate in separate universes, then the coincidence of American citizenship isn’t very compelling after all.
If you wake up in the morning, look out at the world around you and conclude, “Gee, the beleaguered affluent never can catch a break around here,” I’ll admit, your nationality is incidental to me. If you look around you and determine that power is proof of character, and the disenfranchised therefore are lacking any, I’d replace you with a citizen of Luxemburg if I got the chance. If you contend human-caused climate change is a hoax you’re still an American citizen. You’re also still an ignoramus, and the latter transcends the former as far as I’m concerned.
In fact, conservatives are fairly explicit in saying they prefer liberals disappear from the country; and ironically this preference that the opposition no longer inhabit the country is one thing of consequence I actually have in common with them. Yes, we are all Americans. And please don’t remind me of it.