Divisive Politics

Divisive Politics

I don't know about you - usually meaning "I'm sure you'll agree with me" - but I'm sick of politicians referring to American citizens as members of some sub-group with presumed allegiances primarily to their native heritage, or in some cases, their particular interests or gender orientation interest of the moment. 

  So we have voters referred to as African-American, Latino or hispanic (they haven't figured how to label precisely that group), Jewish, gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, transsexual, labor, government workers (SEIU), business and industry, inner city, suburbanites, soccer moms, women, working women, seniors, college, non-college, evangelical, Catholic, atheist, liberal, conservative, right wing, left wing, abortion, anti-abortion and many more I have probably missed. In fact, it might be financially profitable to form your own sub-group to suck up those campaign dollars and political favoritism either through patronage or special legislation.

  In all, it's pretty disgusting. However, note that there's rarely a mention of the white vote, or male conservative vote, or housewife, or white, non-politically active white women, though there has been some sarcastic reference to those who cling to their guns and bibles. Nothing, either about Germans although that's the largest ethnic group in America. Notably absent from the naming are the Irish who used to be a main stay of Boston politics. Nor do I hear much about my Pittsburgh heritage groups such as the Italians, Slovaks, Poles, Russians, Ukrainians, Lithuanians, Czechs, or Slavs. Nor is there much mention of the Caribbean groups. And, certainly, there's no mention of Anglos, Welsh, or Scots. And what about the real abused: native Americans. They were here first.

  Don't get me wrong, if your so-called "group" isn't being mentioned, that's not bad. Not being mentioned is, in my opinion, a badge of honor. It means being considered as an American first and foremost. Hey, you want to be something else, go live there. In America you have the freedom to do it. Lots of other countries it's hard to get out of. Also, some countries, like Mexico, are hard to get in. America, on the other hand, is extra ordinarily tough on those we should want, but easy on those who slip in (a euphemism for illegals).

  OK. That rant should get me labeled as something (racist, anti-immigrant), particularly when I add something like " if you rate America below your native country, then by all means, go back there. Fish or cut bait as we say here." So, let me set the record straight. Except for the small minority, we're all immigrants. I've also witnessed through travels in the formally communist countries of Eastern Europe where ethnic groups were recognized in name only. Efforts to observe or celebrate old world (or, in their cases, their own country's customs) were prohibited and punished.

  What I'm saying is: celebrate the old country's customs (St. Patrick's Day come to mind) to your hearts' content. Worship as you want with whatever customs you want. Or, don't worship at all. Keep contacts back home. Be concerned about conditions in your old country. Preserve your roots, help people back there wherever "there" is. Be active in your "group" as much as you want.

  However,  I'm also saying quit trying to divide this country into specifically discriminating sub-groups that disdain others who don't share their particular interests. You don't promote non-discrimination by discrimination. You don't promote inclusion by legislation that singles out specific groups or interests for particular privileges, protections, recognition, or rewards. Do what you want personally, be as divided as you want personally, but quit trying to get the government to be your advocate or to finance your interests or to protect them exclusively for you. The government's role is to be equally protective of all citizens.