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Talking points


By Yvonne Nyenhuis

Mon, Jun 18th, 2012
Posted in All Commentary

“Talking Points” as we whimsically call them, could more aptly be thought of as “alarm buttons”! The rich should pay their “fair share” is a match setting fire to a parched field. Words such as Capitalism, Socialism, Free trade, Amnesty, Job creators and reform (now that’s a scary word) assault our tired brains.

I was sitting in my comfortable chair with my trusty remote, cruising the channels of my magic box, when I came face to face with Sean Hannity. He was railing against someone he saw as “despicable.” His voice rose in indignation. He’s a “liberal” he roared (the most potent insult he could hurl at an adversary).

Untangling his dialogue, I realized his definition of a liberal is “Someone who is not religious, not patriotic, and who is immoral.” In my dictionary the word means, “Someone who is open to new ideas and is tolerant of those who don’t share their beliefs.” Sean must be using a different dictionary!

Before the 2010 election I found myself confronted by John Boehner and Mitch McConnell consecutively. They wore matching expressions, ominous and threatening, and stated emphatically that they were FOR “De-regulation” and FOR “Outsourcing”! I was stunned. “De-regulation” brought us the financial crisis on Wall Street and was complicit in the BP oil spill and the Massey Mine disaster in West Virginia. “Outsourcing” jobs has grown in the last forty years but flourished spectacularly during the Bush-Chenny administration as policies were put into place to support the interests of corporations. While the “job creators” have been building factories in China, unemployment here at home has reached an all time high.

“American Exceptionalism” is another hot button term. As Independence Day draws near, I find myself thinking about what it means to be an American. I celebrate Integration, Women’s Liberation and the fact that a young man of mixed racial origin, raise by a single Mother, could rise to be President of the United States. I feel that he represents what is best about America. He was led by his life experience to seek a life of service to others, as a Community Organizer, as a State Senator, and now as President. He is not driven by ego, wealth or power. When exposed to the message in the New Testament, Barack became a Christian. The teachings including feeding the hungry and healing the sick resonated with him. He believes we should look after each other, we are “our brother’s keeper”!

The Republican party carries water for Corporate America and Wall Street. “We the people” are pawns which they manipulate and move at will on the political chess board. Republican operatives use words like freedom, liberty, choice and family values but underlying their rhetoric is a movement to suppress the vote and dismantle Democracy.

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