We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
...it REALLY REALLY REALLY grates to hear, again, especially on such an occasion, the following rhetorical trope:
"In an age of selfishness, they embody responsibility. In an era of division, they call upon us to come together. In a time of cynicism, they remind us of who we are as Americans."
What era does Obama live in? The America I know, that we all know, in 2009, is not an America that is suffering from an age of selfishness, an era of division, a time of cynicism. Mr. Obama can speak for himself. This is not a land nor an epoch of selfishness and cynicism, and the divisiveness is not extraordinary or even terribly bad -- and it often comes from Obama himself. But somebody should look the president in the eye and say "WHo are you calling selfish and cynical, Kemosabe?" I look around me and see idealism, love of country, generosity. I see the incredible outpouring of church groups and other citizens in aiding the victims of Katrina. I see people volunteering hither and yon for all sorts of good causes. And yes, I even see TEA partiers who are out there of their own free will, at their own expense, trying to defend the freedoms they love for the sake of their children, for the sake of posterity.
Thank you for this post. I have thought this since this campaign mania began. My small town in flyover country is incredibly generous. Everyone gives, the rich give more and the poorer give as much as they can. Children collect donations instead of birthday presents. Our food pantry is feeding over 10 percent of our population right now, all on private donations (from a county with high unemployment). Our small businesses support all of the charities as well as all organizations at the schools. We send truckloads of people to natural disasters and abroad. There are always Habitat houses going up. Most churches have funds where families can stop in if they need a helping hand. The students here volunteer for more than just resume building. Golf tournaments raise thousands for medical expenses. Road races occur almost once a month for someone or something. I could go on and on....
I know this is not unique and/or unusual to my town. Are there selfish people? Sure. But their attitudes are buried under the attitude of generosity inherent in many small towns in our great land. But no one pats him/herself on the back here, they just keep giving, bad economy or not.
a midsize little city in the deep south....I'm yankee born and raised and went to college in the south and never left. We take care of our own and we see the needs firsthand. This economic crisis has had a whole lot of people who have never needed help suddenly needing help. A lot of those people were the generous folks when they had money. That is what "community" means here. I know we are not alone, though. Lots of communities are like this, quietly doing their business.
I do wonder if folks realize how much of that might go away if we tax the givers so punitively, that they can no longer give. The government "benefactors" will not be so generous, they simply can't be.
I see plenty of greed & selfishness...among Obama's core supporters, many of whom expect to do quite well out of this administration, in direct financial terms as well as in status terms.
If you are a lobbyist, or a lawyer with a regulatory practice, or a tort lawyer, or a university president, or a K-12 school administrator, or an executive with a politically-connected "nonprofit", you have good reason to expect the Obama administration will put real money in your pocket.
Much of the elitist left is selfish. Look no further than charitable giving. While there are are no absolutes on the matter, many on the left believe it is the role of government to take care of one's neighbor. I disagree.
Obama is only projecting his own attitudes onto America as a whole. He is again confused because he cannot fathom that most people do not think like him or share his values (or lack thereof).