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The election was a while ago. And during the election, I was saddened to see the divisiveness between people who supported Barak Obama and people who supported Mitt Romney, but I tried to understand it. However, I was never able to understand the insulting, venomous words that seemed to spew forth from both sides.

Now, Barak Obama is president. More than half of the people wanted that outcome, and so he won. But the hate keeps coming.

I’m not a constitutional scholar. I don’t follow politics that closely. I don’t stay on top of all the international happenings. I admit it. But I do support my country. I love my country. I love my fellow countrypeople. If I had to categorize myself, I’d say I’m a liberal.

And I’m hurt.

I see people on various social media platforms, people whom I know and love, spreading hate. And I want to speak here to my friends:

Reposting things from sites such as “Things Liberals Hate”, and “Let’s Make Fun of Liberals” – hey, I’m a liberal, and I’m your friend. I don’t agree with what you’re saying (though I defend your right to say it) because it’s mean and hateful and doesn’t help our country or its people get along and act as one. Whey would you share things like that? And what’s more, would you come and say that stuff to my face? I thought you liked me. Why are you painting all “liberals” with the same ugly brush. Why not paint something beautiful on a fresh canvas?

When you post a link to an article that says that Obama basically killed the victims of the Benghazi attack, I read it. Maybe I’ve missed something in the mainstream media coverage. I’m open minded enough to think that could be the case, and I know there are some things that the government sweeps under the rug. But when that article spouts suppositions and calls them facts, and makes its own unsupported claims, I feel discouraged. I tried to understand your point of view, and I am saddened by what I see.

And you are Christians- devoutly so. I believe what I believe. And as you know, I believe in spirituality and the power of the universe. I respect your beliefs. I would never judge you for what you believe. I do think, though, that Jesus was trying to bring people together to live a life of harmony and devotion. I also believe that all religions can co-exist peacefully. Acceptance was a large part of Jesus’ teachings. If you’re going to call me a murderer because I believe in a woman’s right to choose, or tell me my child is going to hell because he or she is gay, how am I to react to that? How am I to react to you personally? I find myself praying for YOU, to release the hate in your heart that somehow grown there in the name of things that are holy.

I can see why most of the wars in history have been fought about religion. What I can’t understand is why, if we all believe in the same God, we cannot respect each other’s right to find our own path to that same God.

And I can see how, if your political beliefs differ from those of our elected president, you may feel disappointed, and want something different. That’s why we have elections every four years. But if you love your country, support its leader. Inspire change by your positive actions, not by spreading hateful words. Open your eyes to see that we are all in this together, and we all want the same thing, and to achieve that, we must band together as a nation. I believe our president wants the same thing as we do: a prosperous economy and a peaceful world. Saying you want those things, however, does not make it so. He operates in a political machine that refuses to compromise – I’m not even sure what the good of all the unwillingness to work together within our government is, but I can certainly see it being reflected in the split among people – among friends – within our country. Within our system, the president cannot just say, “This is how it’s going to be”. So, no, he can’t immediately make things better. But he’s trying.

I want us all to try. I want to feel like my friends are people who appreciate our differences. They can know that I will ALWAYS have their backs, and if they need something, they can ALWAYS turn to me for help. It sounds awfully simple, doesn’t it?

I will (almost) end this mini-rant with a reiteration of a Thomas Jefferson quote I posted last month:
“I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend.”

But please, act like my friend. I love you. And remember another quote, this by John Watson: “Be kind. everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”


In the 1987 film Wall Street, Gordon Gekko (no relation to the Geico Gekko), portrayed by Michael Douglas, intones the following line:

“Greed, for lack of a better word, is good. Greed is right, greed works. Greed clarifies, cuts through, and captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit. Greed, in all of its forms; greed for life, for money, for love, knowledge has marked the upward surge of mankind.”

The line has been summarized as “Greed is good” and has been used by Australian prime ministers, Italian cardinals, and characters in Fallout 2.  While it meshed well with the strong economic times of the 1990s, it now represents the high price that our society has paid for the actions of a covert few over the last ten years.  The irony behind it seems to strike more and more people every day, like a dead fish in the face. 

In the 1990s, I made more than I was making when my job left me at the end of March.  I worked with ad agencies and pharmaceutical companies that had money to burn.  This was back in the days when Tyco executive Dennis Kozlowski was spending $6000 of the company’s money on a shower curtain.  Everyone seemed to be flying high on the proverbial hog.  And then it all fell down – literally.  September 11 changed things.  Our soft underbelly was exposed, our humanity, our faith, all shaken.  For an all-too-brief time, we put aside our differences, our desires, our classist distinctions, and acted like a bunch of good people.  People who put others before our selves and our own needs.  Do you remember? 

Our economy took a dive.  Executives like those at Tyco and Enron were exposed for who and what they were and shamed for the damage they did.  Their victims were never compensated, but at least there was national, if not worldwide shame.  Then came the War on Terror – GWB always made it sound like “the War on Tara”, as if we were attacking the plantation from Gone With the Wind – and like confused children, we were hoping that things would get back to normal, that our world would make sense again.  But alas, that world was also gone with the wind.

(Please note that the opinions expressed here are just that – opinions – and my own.)  Instead, we’ve been sucked into eight years of bloodsucking, fiscally exhausting conflict that has apparently done nothing but fill with impunity the pockets of a few very special cronies of the past administration.  We all know it.  We just can’t do a damn thing about it.  Those of us who aren’t in a position to benefit from someone else’s power plays are resentful.  In fact, we’re sitting here watching what little savings we have left rise and fall according to the temperament of the stock market.  I swear, if I didn’t need my “assets” to be liquid, I’d be invested in real estate.  Maybe that’s not a bad idea.  As liquid as they are now, they’re getting pissed away.

And so, the point of this post….greed.  It magnificently and unjustly benefits a few.  I had lunch today with a  friend who is going through a divorce (join the club.)  Her “wasband” is trying to take her for everything he can, because he’s angry that she wants a divorce.  Her lawyer says he’s never seen anything like it.  And because she made more money than he did, he’ll probably get it.  Is he deserving?  No.  It’s nothing but greed.  Greed.  One of the seven deadly sins.  The question is, deadly to whom?  To the one whose soul is consumed by it?  Who has deluded oneself into thinking that things, money, revenge will soothe any pain that exists in the depths of the heart?  To the one who is now rich is assets but poor in spirit?

I have committed some of the 7 Deadlies myself.  I’ve been able to rationalize my actions – to delude myself, just like people who are guided by nothing but greed, into thinking that what I was doing was okay.  I’ve suffered the consequences, justifiably, and come out the other side.

I now comfort myself with the knowledge that those who are consumed by materialism, covetousness, and selfishness, deserve my pity.  And I know that they’ll get their comeuppance.  Greed may be the new black, but it will go out of style again.  It always does.  The richest people are the ones with their love of life and others intact. 

He who dies with the most stuff doesn’t win – he still dies.  Maybe one day, the people who live their lives driven by greed, will see that.  But I’m not holding my breath.  Then again, thank heavens, I don’t have to.

September 2020


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