OK, one more to go. I’ve been a little distracted, but at least I feel that comics are a part of my life once again.
I can’t make any promises. I don’t want this too be rushed, but I sort of have an epic road trip that might get in the way.
I think I am going to get political here once again. I have gone on record criticizing the state of the American Republican party, and how it is spreading rhetoric that is so detrimental to the nation and the world. Let’s also discuss why people support the rhetoric. First off, lets be honest. Some people are full of hate. It’s human nature, and they fully embrace it. They finally have an outlet that not only legitimizes their hate, but declares non-hateful people as weak and counterproductive to our nation. I really don’t know what to do about these people.
I would like to talk about another type of people, the people who buy into the rhetoric because they actually lived through part of it. Let me use the example of my home town, Rockford Illinois. In that town, violent crime is on the rise. The economy is in shambles after decades of bad (and often malicious) city management. Unemployment is rampant, as the once plentiful jobs have gone elsewhere (overseas, or to a place with tax breaks). Bad schools and property values have driven away anyone who wants to have a good life. Those who have back-filled the town are generally people moving there because they would rather stretch their government checks by moving to a crap-hole than actually trying to get legitimate work, and yes a lot of the poverty an violence is along racial lines. Furthermore, the city machine of Chicago dominates the state placing undue restrictions on business and turning unions into nothing more than voting machines.
This is the problem with the republican message. You can’t tell people that these kinds of things don’t happen in America. I have watched it for decades. If you tell them otherwise, you are basically calling their who life’s experience a lie. The current republican platform taps into the pain and frustration they have watching the community around them crumble. These are people feeling helpless and abused. They figure the country is already lost. So, they might as well try a desperate hope that promises change. This sounds nuts, but this thinking is firmly rooted from an experience in America. However, it is only a part of America, and not all of America. It’s nowhere near the majority of America. The challenge of talking with these people that feel lost, is that you have to understand that their feelings and fears are legitimate. They don’t just feel this way because they are hate mongers (they could, but let us assume these are rational people.) You also have to let them know that you are not believing what you believe out of denial of problems. Your view are rooted in your own experience of America where everything isn’t completely doom and gloom. In fact, America has a lot of reasons to look forward to many good things.
I don’t think we are going to be living in a socialist utopia any time soon, but I don’t think we are in a complete death spiral either. The real truth lies somewhere in the middle if you are willing to have an open mind about what other people have experienced, and remind them, your life is different as well.