Where Is This "Real America" the Teabaggers Long For?
(This column is dedicated to the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, murdered 43 years ago today. May his dream come true for all.)
They hold signs proclaiming their rights as "We the People." I am reminded of my late father, rest his soul, who would say, "We? Whaddya mean 'We?' You gotta turd in your pocket?"
They want to "Take America Back." Who do they want to take it BACK from? The people who were lawfully and legally elected in 2008 and 2010? Should we just stop having elections when we're not happy with the results?
They talk about this mythical "Real America," where apple pies cool on every window sill, where scrubbed, white-faced youth stand and salute when the flag goes by on the Veteran's Day Parade. They talk about this land that never existed outside of the realm of the 1950's and 60's sitcom, where all the streets were clean, all the lawns were mowed, all the minorities were working in the garden or the kitchen and the only people of color you ever saw were domestic servants. They were referred to by their last names, aka "Rochester," while their employers were never spoken of without the proper honorific of Mr. or Mrs. or Miss.
Those were the days. And the right wingers seem to believe that if they close their eyes real tight, click their ruby slippers together three times and repeat, "There's No Place Like America" over and over, this imaginary nation will somehow come to be real. The rest of the world will bow to our every will because, by Golly, America Said So! And there will be peace between nations with a benevolent USA calling the shots. Because we know best. That's the whole principal behind "American Exceptionalism."
Would I want to live anywhere else? Well, I can say some nice things about Canada. Taxes are high, but everyone gets health care. They're not spending billions upon billions of their people's money on a military industrial complex that exists only to ensure its own continued existence.
I enjoyed my time in Japan. But I would always be an outsider there. American Exceptionalism ain't got NUTHIN' on Japanese Exceptionalism. They're just not quite so forward in their bragging about it.Continued on the next page