I can’t remember the exact quote, but I remember attending a sociology seminar once where it was said that there is less genetic variability between all humans on earth than there is between types of snails found in the Andes. I think of this often, since it seems like we focus a lot of time and attention on identifying the things that make us different from one another. I appreciate the importance of recognizing the unique characteristics we all have, but I think we have gotten too far away from coming together on the things we have in common.
Nowhere is this more apparent than the divide we see when politics comes into play. I just can’t fathom that we are all as far apart on issues as the media would like us to believe. Let’s try this simple test:
Raise your hand if you believe that the government should pay everyone’s bills, and if the government can’t, they should steal money from rich people to do it.
OK, now raise your hand if you believe that, faced with the grave illness of a close family member, you will stand by their bedside when their insurance lifetime cap has been reached and say “Tough break, should have worked a little smarter and harder to get better insurance. Viva la capitalism, sucker!”
Anyone? Right. I like seeing those political maps that go a little further than just red state and blue state designations. When you go county by county, then zoom way out, you can see we’re a pretty purple country overall. I’m not sure what is to be gained by making everything seem so overly simplistic – black and white, red and blue, plumber and intellectual elite, truck and Prius. I cringe at the nonsensical rantings of the Teabaggers (I mean seriously – did anyone Google that?) and at the ridiculous ravings of the people who are disappointed that there is still crime and poverty and poor education one year into the Obama presidency. Where has reason gone? What are people hoping to accomplish by painting everyone who is “other” with such a broad brush?
That’s why it tickled me to read today that there is a family link between President Barack Obama and newly-elected Republican Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown. 10th cousins, I know – not like they’re long-lost brothers, but it does bring you back around to thinking that there are a lot of threads connecting us if we’re looking for them. I wish we’d do that more as a country, and write angry things on signs less.
So, Fabulous Thing #29: Realizing that Scott Brown’s win was clearly political cronyism, and potentially nepotism. (Kidding!)