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Forum Post: Divided America and the 1950's spirit...

Posted 7 years ago on Nov. 7, 2012, 7:16 p.m. EST by elf3 (4074)
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:


Occupy thoughtfulness !!!



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[-] 5 points by Ache4Change (3340) 7 years ago

'Occupy thoughtfulness', very true. Sitting here chopping carrots and coriander to make soup, you made me nostalgic for the best part of my childhood until I remember paranoia against socialists, segregation, common casual racism and what we would now call 'hate speech'. We should all try not to overestimate our past, or underestimate our present because a better tomorrow for all of us, is the real hope and it is very possible with people like you in our country. Thank you for a very good post.

[-] 4 points by GirlFriday (17435) 7 years ago

I think the 1950s spirit was kept under the kitchen sink. Mother's little helpers were kept in the cabinet above the stove.

[-] 4 points by elf3 (4074) 7 years ago

Thanks for the laugh - too funny !!

[-] 2 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 7 years ago

I experience little hostility while voting in San Diego

this spin that the people are divided by this fake demo v republican crap is overblown for distraction

anyone taking bipartisan is feeding into this rivalry spin making excuses for taking no strong actions

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 7 years ago

Hey Elf thanks for the post. It is fun to be somewhere where the doors are not auto-matic and Hold the door open for someone and give em a smile. Often a somber face will break into a smile.

[-] 2 points by elf3 (4074) 7 years ago

it's true even when I'm in a bad mood I feel grateful when someone doesn't let a door slam in my face, then I think to hold it for the next person. We're all caught up, maybe in today's society we have to work harder at it - we know it's in us. We can all go up or down. Humans chose to live together for good reasons. We have to remember to care. It's very easy to believe we're independent but when someone falls it falls on someone else and so on society has to care to survive.

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 7 years ago

I think it is also why we chose to come here. Because we care - and from here maybe we can get something good going. Many good things going.

[-] 1 points by LeoYo (5909) 7 years ago

An overall thoughtful spirit is a matter of community, not of a particular time. Different communities have vastly different experiences of different times.

[-] 1 points by 1sealyon (434) 7 years ago

Your experience reminded me of something that happened to me some years ago. My work takes me to Japan from time to time. I was there in Osaka travelling with my Japanese counter-part and we left the office to catch a cab. It was raining and a cab was slow in coming. After a few minutes of waiting two women walking with umbrellas stopped and held them over our heads. In about five minutes a cab finally stopped. No words were exchanged during the entire incident. When we got into the cab I asked my Japanese friend why did the women stop and do what they did? His answer: because we needed help.

[-] 1 points by NVPHIL (664) 7 years ago

Great post and so true. Last week I was getting of the bus and saw an elderly lady fall down. 3 people in front of me walked right by her and when I stopped to help she seemed suprised anyone would stop. It's shameful how we are so self absored that people won't spend 5 seconds to make sure someone is ok.

[-] 3 points by elf3 (4074) 7 years ago

yeah - we've kind of all gone nuts we run around talking to ourselves in our heads all day and judging everyone else and getting our own needs taken care of first. We're all stuck on this aggressive defense setting. We've got to shut it off and look around. We're creating this hostile world all by ourselves. Some of it I blame on the lack of time people have now and this growing sense of desperation people have. But we shouldn't be attacking each other, we should be attacking Wall Street. If you want to blame someone (and really who doesn't) blame a bankster instead.

New slogan: blame a bankster instead of your neighbor - I like it!!!

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 7 years ago

Greet people you don't know with a nod of your head - they are probably wondering about you as well. I have done this before - and someone I thought ( "thought" ) was looking at me funny came over and asked If I knew something that they were wondering about - this has happened on the street in a supermarket in a gas station in a library - well anyway......

[-] 1 points by NVPHIL (664) 7 years ago

So do I. As for the apathy shown by people I believe it is linked to our materialistic urges. The people I know who don't require as much stuff seem to care more about helping their neighbors.

[-] 0 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 7 years ago

That pretty much sums it up.

There is no political solution to a cultural problem. We are all guilty, myself included, on some level.

[-] 1 points by NVPHIL (664) 7 years ago

It might sound trite but the first step to solve a problem is acknowledging the problem. That is as true for a culture as it is for a person.

[-] -3 points by Brython (-146) 7 years ago

The people who gave were beaten, raped, and robbed; they are no longer with us. The 60s brought us "sexual" in so many openly demented forms and the 70s brought us foreigners with so much disease that everyone is now afraid to shake hands. In short, this is not the same country, let alone the same people.

[-] 2 points by elf3 (4074) 7 years ago

predictable response - I expected that from a racist (but then you might not be - it's pure speculation; see how that works)

Besides the 20 something well dressed ethnic kid was probably too tired from working all day to get one up though it is most certain that was the first thing on his mind.. ...Really? And anyway I'd like an exact statistic on the percentage of society that is running around raping the rest of us - subtracting Wall Street from the equation please?

[+] -4 points by Brython (-146) 7 years ago

A well dressed ethnic kid who doesn't own a car? By all means, ask him where he's going, offer him a ride. But beware, your naivete may very well make you complicit in the crime of his door to door drug sales. I've been there; Ive done these things. No one helps today. Period.