Labor Day & A Metaphor

It’s Labor Day weekend in the States: the last hurrah of summer, the beginning of fall, and–given that it’s an election year–the beginning of revved-up campaigning from both the right and the left.

The Repubs just finished their hot-air balloon of a convention (with apologies to hot-air balloons everywhere), leaving the world with a legacy of Lyin’ Ryan, The Empty Chair, and Ann Romney loving that her son spoke “great” Spanish (she knew it was great even though she says she “doesn’t know a word” of Spanish). Happily unleashed from facts–because, as a Romney pollster said, their campaign won’t be dictated to by fact-checkers–the Romney/Ryan campaign bus, full of animatronic Mitts,  trundles onward towards November.

Now, granted, Obama’s campaign has had its share of playing fast-and-loose with truthiness, but in a recent column, Charles M. Blow cites Mediaite as saying that Romney’s campaign is ahead in the “liar liar pants on fire” race, with a score of 46% to the Obama campaign’s 29%. Nearly 1 in 10 statements coming from the Romney camp is likely to be false, as opposed to 1 in 50 from Obama.

No matter how you slice it, that’s a grim statistic. I suppose politicians and world leaders have been lying to their flocks since forever, so maybe now it’s just that we have ways of discovering the lies (except no one can crack the mystery of Mitt’s taxes. Where o where have you hidden them, Mittens? Are they Romney’d to the roof of one of your many cars, perhaps the jeep you use in the Caymans?)  But if I have to choose a liar, I’m going to choose the person who lies the least.

Some of you, perhaps, want to throw your hands up in disgust and say “screw ’em all,” and stay home watching reruns of “Burn Notice” on the telly. Two words for you, people: Supreme Court. Be as disenchanted with the process all you want, but the person who is sitting in the White House for the next four years will choose two, maybe three Supremes. And anyone who wants even a remote shot at health care, transparent political systems, reasonable immigration policies, clean air/water/land, or relatively stable individual freedoms, should care deeply about who will be picking the next members of that abaya-clad group.

No, Obama hasn’t been perfect. Probably no one other than Clark Kent or god could’ve lived up to the national expectations that greeted Obama’s 2008 victory, and if you’re feeling disappointed, a recitation of his accomplishments probably won’t convince you – so I’m not going to say anything about child tax credits, or killing bin Laden, or Ledbetter, or Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell, and I won’t send you to this list for a fuller account of what this “do-nothing” President has done.

I’m going to ask, instead, if you have any t-shirts that you wear and love, even if the t-shirt is a little rumpled, a little faded, a little bit stretched out?  I bet you do.  Maybe it’s the fave because it fits just so, or maybe because of the memories it connotes, or maybe you love the slogan blazoned across the front or stitched on the sleeve.

I have a t-shirt like that:

Yeah, it’s a little faded, a little wrinkled, a little stretched out, and the letters look a little worse for wear. But I love what it says. After all, hope was the only thing left in Pandora’s box after she released all the evils into the world; hope is “the thing with feathers/that perches in the soul,” says Emily Dickinson. What do we have without hope? We’ve got truth strapped to the roof of a campaign bus, like just another Romney pet, that’s what we’ve got.  And that, my friends, is simply not enough.

here’s what might be enough: come see what’s happening at yeah write this week (this month, too): the mommy bloggers will be blogging without help from our cute tykes and irascible partners. yeah write: one of the forces for good on the interwebs

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4 Responses to Labor Day & A Metaphor

  1. Kim at Mama Mzungu September 5, 2012 at 12:08 pm #

    Yeah, I really hate how the right has commandeered and twisted the “hopey changey” thing. It was a great slogan given the hangover of the Bush presidency/mess, but of course created ridiculous expectations – though some of the apparent lack of “change” falls squarely at the Repub strategy of “no” to anything. Anyway, you summed this all up beautifully.
    Kim at Mama Mzungu recently posted..Village Stay: How to get your kid to wash dishesMy Profile

    • Deborah Quinn September 7, 2012 at 8:53 am #

      thanks. do the people in your section of kenya have barackophilia? during our short visit there, i saw a lot of barack photos hanging around, and our guides talked about him a lot, too. sort of like Kennedy, in Ireland.

      • Kim at Mama Mzungu September 7, 2012 at 11:37 am #

        Oh yes! Especially around here in Western Kenya where his ancestors are. There are schools and hospitals etc… named after him which all sprang up actually after a visit he took as a state senator. However, people are a bit disappointed he has “neglected” Kenya and not visited since. Mainly people are proud of him, but so very focused on the next Kenyan election and wary that the kind of violence that happened in 2007 doesn’t happen again.

  2. brand December 26, 2012 at 5:21 pm #

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