Shake Hands for a New America

Discussion in 'Politics' started by MaineCoast, Dec 4, 2008.

  1. MaineCoast
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    MaineCoast Rookie

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    I just read an interesting article about the United State's political climate in the wake of the recent presidential election and the need for all Americans now to build from a point where our beliefs converge. "Shake Hands for a New America" was written by best-selling author Christina Baldwin, and though I read the article on her website (peerspirit.com), I cut-and-pasted it to share with you, below. I'd be interested to hear what others think about this...can we truly become united?
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    SHAKE HANDS FOR A NEW AMERICABy Christina Baldwin
    Citizen in Freeland, WA

    We just made history in America and the success of this moment depends on American citizens. If WE don’t reach across the divides of fear and rancor generated in the relentless blasting of campaign rhetoric, we will not know how to participate in the new American dream. What do we have in common that we can build on together?

    The weekend before the election, I was standing on a street corner with other Obama supporters watching the reactions of people driving by. Many smiles, some frowns, the occasional down-thumb or finger salute. The man next to me, kept calling out, especially to the unhappy drivers, “That’s okay, just remember to vote.”

    Then a big guy on a big motorcycle took the corner slow, all the while shouting obscenities about liberals and the ruination of his America. Why does this biker, who may have children in the local school, whose wife may check out my groceries, feel such entitlement to rage? Why does South Whidbey Island, which prides itself on tourist beauty, espresso stands, and sustainable community, also suffer vandalism to McCain signs, and a lot of “they-ism?”

    Later that evening, a friend commented, “I agree with you about the rage thing, but there are just some people in this country who will never change their minds.”

    “Yes, that’s true,” I responded, “and I’m one of them.” She looked surprised. “Nothing would convince to vote for the other ticket. Changing each other’s minds is not the point: the point is, underneath one level of difference, where do we connect?”

    So the next day, when I saw McCain supporters standing at another street corner, I got out of the car and started shaking hands for a new America. I now walk up to every person with a McCain button or bumper-sticker, and extend my hand. "Hello, I'm your neighbor, Christina. Now that the vote is over, what do you think we have in common?"

    This is the question. In a time of dwindling resources and constant change, all we have at the end of the day is how we have treated each other.

    Let’s start a movement—a friendly gesture that sweeps across the land. Let’s shake hands for a new America. Let’s ask someone we don’t know, “Tell me one story of what you love about this country…” And then let’s tell them one story. And pass these stories on.

    The vote is over: rebuilding begins.

    What do we have in common?

    What do we love?

    This is, of course, not only an American activity. In almost every country in the world, huge and often violent divisions occur along racial, ethnic, religious, and political lines. We can start a global movement—a gesture that sweeps across the globe. We can ask everyone we don’t know to tell us one story of what they love about the place that is home, about the world that is home. Let’s explore what we have in common.

    #######

    Christina Baldwin - Making Sense of Our Lives Through the Power and Practice of Story
     
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  2. Skull Pilot
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    Skull Pilot Platinum Member

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    what was wrong with the old American dream?
     
  3. WillowTree
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    WillowTree Diamond Member

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    Nothing,, this is just another one of those "we won the election now we should all work together" bullshit pieces from the liberals who wouldn't do jack shit about working together for the last 8 years, just smile and nod.
     
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  4. Steerpike
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    Steerpike VIP Member

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    Yeah, the party that wins tends to be all about "now it's time to work together," which should be read as "do it our way." And when they lose in the future suddenly the time to work together has passed.
     
  5. WillowTree
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    WillowTree Diamond Member

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    I can guarantee you that if McCain/Palin had won, this piece would not have be written by this person.. And how do I know this??? By the shitty way McCain was mocked for his age, for his cancer, and Palin was mocked for anything and everything. Nothing has changed, except the liberals are in power now..
     
  6. Mencken
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    Mencken Rookie

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    I agree. Liberals spent 2001-2009 claiming the Bush Presidency was illegitimate, held up the mantra "Bush lied, Thousands died," and as early as 2001, Democrats were set in their way to combat the Republican majority. That liberals should ask us to lay down our arms and to work with them to enact their liberal utopia is amusing.
     
  7. rayboyusmc
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    rayboyusmc Senior Member

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    More willow wallow. Bush pushed his agenda and told the rest of US to go to hell. When democrats tried to work with him, he didn't. Dick Taters are not really ready to be bi-partisan.
     
  8. tigerbob
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    tigerbob Increasingly jaded.

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    I see the responses I perhaps expected. For what it's worth, I love the piece. Unfortunately, it is unlikely ever to be something that is built upon.

    Why is this? I'm going to fumble this a bit, but in my view it's because after a certain type of person feels they have lost something (in this case, the election) their first reaction is to focus on pulling down any edifice that the winner tries to erect. They have a vested interest in the failure of the person they didn't vote for. If the winner is then seen to fail, these people are then able to say "See, I told you so".

    This applies irrespective of party politics. The approach in most cases is not so much on ways to fix a problem, rather on making you afraid of it and telling you who to blame for it (I think I heard that in a movie once and it rung true).

    Unfortunately, while people are so weighed down by the chip they have on their shoulders they will never listen to any overtures by the other side, because they see it as little more than "know I've knocked you flat on your ass let me help you up and let's be friends (but just remember who knocked you on your ass in the first place)".

    Many Obama supporters have spent the last 4 or 8 years waiting for their chance. Now they have it. Some are choosing to be magnanimous (which some Reps find insincere), others are choosing to crow (which is antagonistic). Republicans on the other hand are stung by the rejection of their party, the vitriol / insincerity of their opponents and the fact that they believe the country has been duped by some good oratory and a few vacuous phrases (like "Change we can believe in").

    In order to get past this impasse, a seismic shift is required in the mindset of the vast majority of voters. Unfortunately, some of their prejudices are so dearly held that I don't think you should hold your breath waiting to see it.

    It would be nice if the American Dream really did mean exactly what the OP espouses. Unfortunately, the American Dream for too many people, still means "How do I get my way and who do I have to trample over to get it". In other words, the American Dream is exactly that - a dream (or at best, a noble but utterly unrealistic, Hollywood 'Pay It Forward' sentiment).

    Such is a modern democracy.
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2008
  9. xsited1
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    This reminds me of the song "Shake Hands with Beef" by Primus:

    Theres a time for lies and a time for truth.
    I say, eye for an eye, eye for a tooth.

    When I roamed young, Id scavenge around.
    Every nook and cranny of our little town.
    Its nice, so nice, to be.

    Pull out the cannon boys, steal us some wine.
    Puff tijuana smalls. shake hands with beef!

    Shes so fine, shes so sweet.
    Mom and pop they raised her on huge slabs of meat.

    Shes fine, a man of nine, water derby day.
    Twenty six pumps on a crossman, and its time to play
    Its nice, so nice, to be

    Pull out the cannon boys, steal us some wine
    Puff tijuana smalls. shake hands with beef!
     
  10. Skull Pilot
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    Skull Pilot Platinum Member

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    Government has failed us no matter who is now , or will in the future be POTUS. Personally, I disagree with BHO on a philosophical level not personal. I do not wish him to fail, I just have no faith that his agenda will work.

    What was supposed to be a change really wasn't BHO said whatever he had to to get elected. Now that he has been elected, he is back peddling from his promises as I expected him to do.

    The seismic shift you speak of is needed but not to promote something new. We need to get back to an America where people took responsibility for their actions and were 100% accountable. Where government plays a smaller not larger role in our lives. Where personal liberty is increased and government power is decreased.
     
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