Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Actually for some, I think this question shoots to the heart of one of the problems in our political climate.
Before in history when someone disagreed with the president it was assumed it was because of policy. No one had to wonder if it was because of race. Well most Americans didnt have to worry.
Now we are at the first point in American history where the majority race is confronted with the concept (real or imagined) that the president may not have their personal interests at heart because of race.
Deep down inside we all have parts of us that feel a certain way that is unacceptable to our conscious self. We protect our conscious self from those feeling through various defense mechanism. One of my favorite is projection
a defense mechanism that involves taking our own unacceptable qualities or feelings and ascribing them to other people.
In other words. If you deep down inside feel like you hate your sister, but consciously you know it is unacceptable to hate your sister. You may begin to feel your sister hates you.
We all have prejudices that are born of our life experiences: how we were raised, our past interactions with other, and how we perceive others have been treated. Yet in many instances society tells us that our prejudices are inherently wrong-- evil. When truth of the matter its not the prejudices that are wrong, but how we condition our responses to them.
Yet these prejudices do exist in all of us, but consciously we feel that is wrong. Prejudice is a bad word right? Synonyms with racism and bigotry, right? Therefore I can understand how if that is lurking beneath the surface of our minds whenever those thoughts creep up near the conscious we have to do something before it pops up. And we do. We get rid of it, even better we give it to the thing that is causing us so much discomfort.
I would be guilty of grossly over generalizing if I stated I felt that this was the reason for all of the disagreement regarding the current administration, but I would be equally remiss if I didn't wonder how much it contributed to the intensity of the dissent.
I sat playing with my two year old while CNN was playing in the background during the Senate vote to bring the healthcare reform bill to the floor. Not the nail bitter I think it was made out to be, but interesting enough. As I listened to the punditry dribble what constitutes post-election debate, I heard abortion was once again a line being drawn in the sand as, Tina Fey's 30 Rock character would put it, a "deal breaker".
This is nothing new; the topic is divisive and a hardline issue for many who are single issue voters based on abortion alone (which I think silly, but to each their own). But there I sat listening to the panel discuss the vote along political lines "Conservative" senator this and "Liberal" senator that. I began to wonder something. And maybe its just me; but isnt there a lot of contradiction within these political ideologies?
Ok. the right of the spectrum is against abortion. Yet the same group that professes the inherent preciousness of each life is the same group that is the biggest proponent of the death penalty. Is life only precious at the beginning? This is also the same group usually opposed to welfare which in most cases is designed to help take care of the "not aborted" babies. The right professes to oppose government intervention yet endorses heavy regulations when it comes to drugs,gambling, prostitution, abortion --the areas where the most intimate decisions regarding personal choices are involved.
Now the left side of the spectrum supports abortion. Yet the same group that does not feel life in womb deserves ultimate protection quivers at the thought of people taking the life of those which have committed heinous crimes against others. The left proposes that people should have personal liberty, based on personal responsibility, when it comes to drugs, prostitution, and abortions, but baulks when it comes to guns and again when asked to enforce personal responsibility when it comes to crime and welfare.
As ideologies liberalism and conservatism seem to have predetermined stances for the majority of issues facing this country. I always find it interesting that a person could be wholly one or the other on each of these issues without running head on to some of these inherent contradictions.