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>March Madness…

>I missed a huge opportunity to blog in March and I’m so bummed. So much political activity has taken place over the last month, but what can you do? I’ll try to make up for it now and in the coming days. I’ve recently returned to my hometown of Lake Arthur, New Mexico, so I’ll be honest and say I have a lot of time on my hands. Hopefully for just awhile, but who knows. Time will tell.

One thing that I have gained from moving back temporarily is an ever growing motivation to stay involved politically, even if just through social media outlets. Coming home, while a great opportunity to connect with family and friends, has also lead to an incredible feeling of political isolation. Let’s be clear, I’m surrounded by two types of people. 1) People who just don’t give a f*** about politics and its ever growing polarization and toying with our political system and 2) People who do care about politics, but are mostly if not all ill-informed about the current political climate. Most if not all Republicans in this overwhelmingly, conservative region receive most, if not all their political information from Glen Beck at Fox News and radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh. (I know I’m repeating “mostly if not all”, so I guess I should be just say all, but trying not to generalize” Listen, I am not gonna lie as I too engage and frequent in my own leftist indulgences such as Keith Olberman and of course, the very objective and wonderful Rachel Maddow. However, with my obvious leftist leaning, I do still try to remain as objective as possible, reaching my own conclusions and furthering my personal research on political and policy topics of the day, outside of Keith and Rachel. I mean, you kind of have to be objective…right?

Well, I’ll be frank and say, from what I have seen in 2009 and since relocating to southeastern New Mexico, this has not been the case with group #2 (or the GOP in general for that matter) They have earned the name “the party of No” for a reason and it may get worse. What I will say about group #2 though is unlike the non-doers of group #1, they are involved in some form of the political debate, regardless if I find them crazy or not (and let’s be honest, most of the time they are crazy) Nonetheless they are participating in the civic life of this country and while my concerns are growing with this particular group, I will say that my greatest concern is by far group #1. (I’ll get to #2 in a few)

Group #2 had me extremely worried early on in 2008, election year. I think we all know why and it’s simple, would they go out and vote come November 4? Fortunately, many of those whom I felt belonged under group #1 came out in overwhelming numbers and voted for our current president, Barack Obama. What was even more impressive is in the way in which they represented the vote. We gained so many new and young voters, I was confident that after election night we could finally begin the work necessary to definitely take on the campaign motto of “Yes We Can!”

Well, then came January 20, 2009. President Barack H. Obama was inaugurated as the 44th President of the United States. Despite the fact I was one of thousands holding on to the infamous “purple ticket,” unable to make it out of the tunnel and watch the most historic day in the country’s lifetime, the country did in fact enter into a new era and there was a hint of change in the air. An era I hoped would be incredibly productive and one that many of us would be a part of, bringing change to a country that had been beaten down for eight long years.

The result was instead this:
Group #1 somehow forgot that there was more to do then just elect a new president. In fact, they completely forgot how to maintain their civic duty and remain as involved as possible in the political process, in particular to reform and help make the big political decisions facing this country, then and now. How could a movement so big and involved during the 2008 elections, just disappear? It’s simple. Many just assumed that with a new administration in the White House, all would be fixed come January 21, 2009. It’s obvious to many of us that this would not be the case, not at all, but I don’t think the rest got the memo.

But like I’ve said time and time again, and something that many would definitely back me up on, we are a country that thrive on instant gratification. Already, within the first few months of 2009, we were already looking for an end to two wars, the economy reaching 1990s heights and living happily ever after, the end! What they didn’t realize however was that in fact, the work had just begun!

2009 was a year in which we met our first real challenge and it was to reform our health care system. This was the greatest fight for America, attempting to make a significant stride to get millions of families insured. This was a challenge in which the country had debated for close to 100 years, but never ever succeeded. This was the time to get the job done, we had the President and the majority in Congress to do it. However, what occurred instead was the greatest hijacking in politics I have ever seen in my thirty years of life. (I know it’s not long, but c’mon? I remember the Reagan/Bush years) Now, I’m not going to give the hijackers that much credit as I’m not convinced that they’re that influential, but instead the blame goes to the one and only…group #1. Where the hell were the millions of voters who came out enthusiastically in 2008? Where was their attendance during the lengthy month of August where town halls were held all over the country? THEY WERE NOWHERE!!…instead…the entire healthcare reform debate was hijacked beyond anything I could have ever imagined.

Group #2 are a collection of people, both bitter and I’ll be honest and say led by a lot of angry white men. They are a mixture of people who voted against President Obama and/or voted for Obama but became dissatisfied with his politics the minute he set foot into the White House. They are committed to “taking back” America (from whom, I have no idea) Furthermore, this small group of people represent a very small minority, yet have taken over the entire political conversation, healthcare and everything else the President attempts to accomplish. This group has evolved into the infamous “Tea Party Movement.” Their mission: “A community committed to standing together, shoulder to shoulder, to protect our country and the Constitution upon which we were founded!” Hmm. Really? Where were you guys during the Bush years when civil liberties were taken from American’s and decisions were made bypassing Congress? Oh yeah, it didn’t matter then right? It matters now because…

Group #2 is destroying our country. They have retreated to protesting every aspect of the presidents policy platform, questioning his every move and authority and have gone as far as questioning his “American” authenticity. They have done nothing but divide a country and create a movement that has not proven to take a step forward, but has instead retreated back to a time in which this country faced the greatest of challenges. This “tea party” movement, has brought out a bigotry which I thought was long gone, but instead it was just hidden, under a very thin surface, waiting for the appropriate time to uproot itself and show its disgusting face. It appears, according to the Tea Party movement, that that time is now.

Rather than make an educated attempt to understand the logic behind President Obama’s policies and how in fact they do help stimulate our economy and put us back on the right track, with inclusion of debate of course, the decisions by this movement are obvious. They don’t care what the President proposes. Even if he were to negotiate peace on earth, in the eyes of this movement, they would still not be satisfied. The Tea Party has hijacked our political conversation, boldly objecting to our political system and informally implementing a backwards ideology which has thus been embraced by most if not all of the conservative movement, all for political gain and in an effort to “physically” take back this country. They are a group of people that are in fact scared of diversity and are freaked out that this country’s fabric is no longer what they are used to. They are racists, plain and simple. When they chant “Take back America” they are not talking about taking Dems out and replacing the majority with Repubs, they are proclaiming their dissatisfaction with the current makeup of this government.

As a Latina woman, I am scared. I am scared that this group of people have been legitimized by the public, by the media and by the GOP Senators and Congressional representatives who stand behind them. I am utterly disgusted by this show of apparent “tea party” solidarity, which in my opinion is nothing more than a disgusting example of fundamental racism. Anyone who says otherwise is insane to assume that this group should be taken seriously. I have never sided with an anarchist and I will never side with the likes who side with treason.

Despite all this however, after almost a year of debate, back and forth, death panels and all…health care reform was passed and the last of the health care bill was signed into law on March 30, 2010. FINALLY! (take that tea party!)

So now, April 11, 2010…what is next? Well, the week the President signed healthcare reform, he also met with the Russians begin to take steps to put an end to nuclear proliferation, furthermore he made some decisions on offshore drilling and there appears to be a goal to get financial reform done before Memorial Day. Will it happen? Will we be able to accomplish financial reform before then or will it be another year-long fight like healthcare? Will we ever get to immigration reform?

There are so many things that we need to accomplish and I hope that with the momentum we have gained with the healthcare reform victory, we will lead many from group #1 to finally come to the realization that this does take work and that they will finally join us and keep our mission in tact.

In the meantime, I am here…in Lake Arthur, trying to survive a political undertaking of the conservative persuasion, and do my part in helping the Progressive movement…progress.

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Categories: Uncategorized
  1. April 12, 2010 at 6:58 PM

    >Wow, Girl, you know how to make up for lost time! 😉 Great post,a nd really puts the last year in perspective. I am right with you, from the fact that Dems forgot that democracy, and our participation in it, doesn't end at the election. My God, you were one of the purple ticket people! My heart goes out to you – so close and yet so far! That must have been frustrating as all Hell! Keep on keepin' on – gotta be tough…you have a strong voice, great observations and I am happy to find you here – not just on twitter! Will definitely be back – keep the faith!

  2. April 13, 2010 at 3:19 AM

    >Hi Gel!Well said! I'm a fellow Rachel fan. I'm Eric, 56, from mostly California, Iowa and Minnesota – been in Melbourne Australia since 1997.I emailed this to Rachel today: "'Republican' is a choice you make when reality becomes too painful."There's a huge difference between how the Dems and the Repubs view the world. The Dems want to look at the facts, and then go from there.The Repubs prefer to take comforting myths and call them "reality". But virtually everything the modern Republican believes has no basis in actual reality.And this astonishes the Dems! They're going "Why can't you see that you're in La La Land???"And the Repubs are equally outraged! Here they've gone to all the trouble of creating a really nice, comfortable "myth world" – from which the rude Dems are trying to drag them, kicking and screaming!I'm not sure Rachel has yet made the connection that, for a Republican, being "two-faced" is not hypocrisy, as ANYTHING that supports the myth TODAY is the "truth".It's been a long time since I've been in New Mexico! Isn't there a big artist's community in Taos or someplace? Do they make you watch the movie "Red Sky at Morning" before you move there? :-)Keep up the good work, Gel!Eric in Melbourne

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