Posted 6 months ago on Nov. 7, 2012, 7:16 p.m. EST by elf3
This content is user submitted and not an official statement
I went to vote last night - and as I stood in line, in my divided community, there was not a sense of community and citizens together expressing their hopes and freedom, but rather a level of open hostility from the right wing criticizing the people there, speculating on their vote, and belittling them. There were women and men from all races the white Republican groups kept pronouncing their voting choice and muttering comments. This made the other people mad and they began muttering comments as well. Then they speculated on me because I am a young woman and I instantly felt annoyed and wished I’d had someone there to mutter back with. I have voted many times before and never heard such animosity expressed or such hatred being thrown. No one there even thanked any of the volunteers they were rude to them and couldn't even be bothered to say hello, mostly because they were distracted by their hate...then the volunteers got annoyed and a bit rude and snippy.
I drove home tonight from work it was icing out, I have a liberal bumper sticker on my car and these big Ford trucks kept tailgating me and blinding me with their high beams when I switched lanes they would follow me. I felt threatened and then felt hostile back, I felt like I could hurt them I cursed and made not so nice gestures. The anger reverberated from person to person as each event occurred. As I passed through an office park a shortcut to my house there was a young nicely dressed ethnic man standing in the sleeting rain waiting for the city bus after a day at work. My first reaction was something annoyed like he probably deserves it, projecting my hostility onto him. But then something made me stop...(Only the really broke people don't have cars in this area of the suburbs because it's tough to get around that way.) I felt bad thinking of this hardworking young person stuck in this awful ride situation like he has to plan every outing to a store and has to figure out how long it may take depending on the schedules, stand in the cold and rain waiting to go home how long that would take by stopping the whole time; How his life revolves around finding transportation. I thought what if I were to give him a ride. But then I thought- no that's not too smart. A long while down the road it occurred to me I had an old umbrella in the car. I didn't turn back, but what if I had stopped and just handed him the umbrella? What would that have meant to him? What would that have meant to the next person he met? It is as simple as an umbrella, as simple as thoughtfulness. We are all lacking it now.
Then I thought about the election and the 1950's and how this thoughtfulness was something that was second nature back in the 1950's people didn't have to even try to be thoughtful, they just were. As I think back between the differences of the people in line, I think of their opinions of each other. Maybe a lot of this hostility comes from our own behavior, and perception and from propaganda, and in the fact that we no longer try to reach out to other people. To hold a door, or step back with your carriage at the grocery store while the person with a few items goes first. To check on the elderly neighbor down the street in the heat or cold. Today we see these acts as honorable when it should just be normal behavior. If it is this type of community Republicans want back, then they need to reach across the divide.
It is easy to get annoyed at welfare when you work hard, it is easy to lump people into a category, it's east to believe it's them and not the system that is not working for you. If people had access to education, decent paying jobs, hope, a chance to join society instead of being always viewed as less than or them, if housing prices would come down, if banks would lend, if monopolies weren't allowed to fix the price of food and fuel, and medicine, maybe there would be a chance at having a society where the divides were not so strong. People are living so extravagantly now, so above their needs, while others take the bus and plug away at broke meaningless go nowhere jobs, and get depressed, and make bad decisions, and have regret. Mostly when I think about the right and religious people, I think they are about second chances (hell even chances.) I'm not saying there don't need to be checks on the system, but first we have to give them a system that isn't fixed against people of lesser means. To give poor people, a place to call home.
This country the way that it is doesn't feel like home; it feels hostile and cold. And it hardens people, closes them off, shuts them down, and casts them out. Where is the spirit of the 50's, where being helpful was as common as a handshake, where being thoughtful wasn't a thing of a bygone era, where teaching your children to teach and give over destroying the enemy was the norm?
Yes let's bring back that thoughtful spirit of the 1950's!!
We can all start:
GET WHAT YOU GIVE!!
Occupy thoughtfulness !!!