Remember, Remember the 8th of November.
There was once a time when I was asleep. And as I slept, I dreamed that things were different than how they were. But when I became awake, I realized that all my dreaming hadn’t done anything to effect reality. And that it was worse than even I could have thought up in a nightmare.
In 2008, I did not vote. I was on guard duty in the US military and was young enough to ignorant as to absentee ballots. But if I had, I would have voted for Barack Obama. I was idealistic, wildly naive, and woefully ignorant of this untested senator with a dubious background from Illinois. To be perfectly honest with you, no one cared to truly scrutinize him. For several reasons;
The country was in year 7 or 8 of war. With the IED in play now an mounting US casualties every month combined with our dwindling attention span, America was now ready to be done with the war in the desert. Moreover they were wanting to punish any politician who supported staying in the fight. I too was one of them. And it sounds nice; let’s be done and just come home. What were we doing over there anyway? Giving freedom to people who didn’t want it? Yes. Offering self governance to people who’s lifestyle mirrors that of their ancestors 1000 yrs ago? Yes. Their cultural and education level do not support self-governance; by that I mean that its hard to support people governing for themselves when they can’t read. Its also hard to espouse freedom for all when your religion is based in teachings that women are second class citizens and that the infidel, non-believers in Islam, are the worst wretched human beings on earth who deserve, according to their holy book, to be destroyed.
No, at that age and at that time, I wasn’t well versed in the religion of my enemy. I wasn’t aware of facts of life. I was a wet-behind-the-ears kid who was completely and totally clueless. Armed with a vote. So were millions like me. We were “educated” by liberal progressives who were bought into the propaganda by self-interest. Hard to go against teacher’s unions when you are one. Hard to go against academia, when its the student loan bubble that is paying your rent in the form of tuition to compensation. No, we were programmed to believe that the world was sunshine and roses, if only….IF ONLY a leader would come that had the power and the ability, IF ONLY a guy would come about who could articulate the vision…That we could all get along with others of different viewpoints and morals and beliefs in a utopia of diversity. And we were made to believe that if we opposed or didn’t think it was possible, well, by God it was because of that very opposition or disbelief that it wasn’t so. That THAT was the road block. Hell of a way to demonize and shut up opposing schools of thought. It worked. I didn’t ask questions. I just said yes, its time for a change.
I was tired of being laughed at internationally. Now, I had no idea whether it was true or not, because I hadn’t been out of the country, but that is what was being reported on the news so it had to be true. Naiveté. This guy was black; I wanted so badly to put away my preconceived notions about the black community and black culture built on experience of living in the South near high populations of them and in integrated schools. I wanted to cure my white guilt by giving the black guy a chance. And surely, I thought, if this guy gets elected, that’ll be the end of it. How possibly could a nation that voted a black guy president be racist? What more could those bitching about reparations and “the man” keeping them down say when their group was now in charge? Again. Naiveté.
I was also terrible at math. Always had been. Also, I was uninterested in economics back then. When this random dude with no certain credentials began talking about staying on parents insurance until 26, it sounded great. A govt set up exchange sounded like a buffet somewhere to pick and choose. Of course the grass is always greener right? When this guy talked about things being fair, I, being raised in a blue collar home constantly hearing about working for seemingly “rigged” or “unfair” circumstances, was attuned keenly. Sounded great to me, I hate to hear that someone is getting over on someone else. Yeah! A big govt referee to decide whats fair, thats what we needed. Having parents that were ill a lot, I was enthusiastic when I heard about not turning someone down for pre-existing conditions. Again, bad at math. I had never run my own “lemonade stand before” let alone held a serious job. None of the thousand questions that instantly come to my mind now did back then. Namely, how are you going to pay for it.
I thought this guy would heal the racial divide, level the playing field, increase pay, end wars, build relationships, and be honest. After all, his was going to be the “most transparent administration” in history, right? Right?
I won’t bore you with particulars but suffice it to say that I had a life altering event or series of them not long after that black guy ran for office and won. And in the coming months, it would become painfully obvious that we had made a serious, grave mistake.