Wednesday, August 18, 2010
The Mosque and the One Term President
In the true spirit of my "American-ness", I'm doing a John Kerryesque flip-flop and writing about politics. I've said previously that I don't want to get overtly political, but in this case, I'm not breaking any campaign promises, and this is my blog. Within the confines of this URL, this blog is not a democracy.
There's been a lot of jabbering about the proposed "Ground Zero" mosque, its offensiveness to the people of New York City, and the memory of those who perished on September 11, 2001. I haven't been following the story that closely; as I've recently lamented, I've deliberately been avoiding the North American media because I've finally grown sick and tired of all the bad news, not to mention the inept delivery of said news. I've been sticking mostly to just looking out the window and partaking of snippets at my favourite online outlets; some of which you can check out here, if you mouse right and scroll down.
I'm weary beyond comprehension when it comes to the blaming of Barack Obama for everything that happens in the US. OK, he's not turning out to be the agent of change Americans who voted for him (including myself) were hoping he'd be, but the mountains of crap the man has to contend with are literally insurmountable. Let's make another list, shall we:
A deficit in the trillions of dollars
Two wars that don't stand a chance of being won
An irretrievably broken health care system
A financial sector that thinks it has the God-given right to steal
An education system that is even more irretrievably broken than the health care system
Millions of ignorant Americans who think every word out of the mouths of the individuals listed above is gospel.
The balance of the nation that doesn't listen to the above group, but is still deeply, ideologically divided.
If I had to deal with just the first two items on that list, I'd phone up Dick Cheney to see if he could squeeze in a hunting trip. And now, we have the issue of a Muslim group wanting to erect an Islamic centre near where the World Trade Center towers once stood. In true evasive American democratic style, President Obama commented on this issue by saying Americans have every right to practice their respective religions. He's right on that count, but does a Muslim group have the right to rub salt on the September 11 wound that is far from healed, by wanting to build a mosque so close to where the towers stood? To quote my favourite political satire program, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, would we be as outraged if a Catholic church were to be built next to a playground?
Part of me is very sad that Barack Obama hasn't done right by America. Another part of me wonders if any politician could at this particular moment in time. What would Hillary Clinton have done differently? What would John McCain have done had he and that half-wit Sarah Palin gotten elected? The truth of the matter is, America's trajectory was cockeyed long before Obama took office, and even long before George W. Bush took office. What we have to realize is that blaming the guy currently sitting in the big chair for generations of misdeeds doesn't solve anything. The system is broken, and unfortunately, it will probably take a tragedy far worse than September 11 to get us to realize that.
As the 9th anniversary of that tragic day approaches, one of my most enduring memories is of Congressional members standing on the steps of the Capitol building singing "God Bless America". One of them made a comment, something to the effect of, "There is no longer any such thing as Republicans or Democrats; only Americans." If only that were true.