Lamar Giles
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The morning after

I usually try to veer away from politics, particularly here. It’s a no-win argument. However, now that the mid-term elections have passed, I’ve heard–more like read on Facebook–several friends make statements like, “This is crazy…I’m moving to Canada” because they didn’t like the outcome.(Apparently, one of the parties is more powerful than the other…imagine that.) What strikes me most odd is that 2 years ago, after the presidential election, about an equal number of friends made similar statements about leaving the country.

News flash: nobody’s left yet.

These morning-after tantrums are similar to Post-Superbowl/NBA Finals/World series bitch fests about unfair referees, blown leads, and steriod use. The party system has become more about what team you root for, how much the other team sucks, and personal investments in being right (not politically right, but It-pains-me-to-ever-be-wrong right).

And, it’s all just noise.

Here’s a game, folks: Name the changes and constants of the last decade (or two, three, four decades). You must do it without tossing blame over the wall. In other words, make your observations without naming a single politician or pointing a finger at an opposing party. If this is hard for you to do, well, you have to ask yourself if you’re concerned with the problems, or just rooting for your team?

I watched a movie on television this weekend, and was jarred by some of the quotes:

The steel mills were laying people off left and right. They finally went under. We gave the steel companies a break when they needed it. You know what they gave themselves? Raises.

I worked there for ten years and things just seemed to dry up. They lost fourteen banks in one week.

The poor and the underclass are growing. Racial justice and human rights are non-existent. They have created a repressive society and we are their unwitting accomplices.

I deliver a hard day’s work for my money. I just want the chance. It’ll come. I believe in America. I follow the rules. Everybody’s got their own hard times these days.

[A subliminal message on a dollar bill]THIS is your God.”

The film was John Carpenter’s THEY LIVE.  Yes, I realize this is a science-fiction film, but it was meant to paint a broad picture of the socio-economic climate of the day. The film was released in 1988. Twenty-two years ago. Draw your own conclusions.

I did vote yesterday. Not that I have any particular faith in the system, but because people fought and died for me to do so (long after some other people fought and died for a more privileged group to have the same right…another story for another time). In an effort to not dishonor the sacrifices of my ancestors, I picked the team colors I could tolerate, grabbed a pom-pom, and screamed for my preferred team captain already knowing the outcome would be more significant in record books than in my everyday life.

You know the old saying, “Meet the new boss, same as the old boss”. It’s an old saying for a reason.

Speak up:

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