Diane Vogel Ferri is a teacher, poet and writer. Her essays have been published in Scene Magazine, Cleveland Christmas Memories, Raven’s Perch, and by Cleveland State University among others. Her poems can be found in numerous journals. Her chapbook, Liquid Rubies, was published by Pudding House. The Volume of Our Incongruity was published by Finishing Line Press. Diane’s essay, “I Will Sing for You” was featured at the Cleveland Humanities Fest in 2018. Her novel, The Desire Path can be found on Amazon. She is a graduate of Kent State University and holds an M.Ed from Cleveland State University.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

My Two Cents - The 2012 Election

I have spent more time reading and reflecting upon the politics of the United States during this long and tedious campaign season than I ever have in my lifetime. I am a progressive and believe in the social policies of the Democratic party. However, I made a true effort to understand the conservative Republican way of thinking. Many years ago I identified myself with the Republican party, so it was not as difficult as you might think.

But, as I have written in the preceding posts, my life experiences opened my eyes to the reality of the country I live in.  It is not the country I grew up in - or at least the one I perceived in the 50's and 60's.  After the election one commentator said: "The Republican party is a "Mad Men" party in a "Modern Family" world.  ( In reference to a TV program set in the 1960's versus one set in 2012 with a diverse extended family.)

The fact is that we do not live in a country made of middle-class white families with two children and a dog. Maybe we never did. Maybe that was our own personal experience.

We do live in a country of Hispanics, Blacks, immigrants, gay people, Muslims, Jews, Christians, atheists and many struggling people - sometimes through no fault of their own. People who did not have the opportunities, encouragement or support from their middle-class families as many of us did.

I get the fact that there are those who would take advantage of the welfare system. I get the fact that many people resent paying their hard-earned money to care for those people. The problem is that we all pay for the consequences of poverty anyway. Think about it.

I think everyone agrees that government should not constantly interfere in our lives. It's just that we look at that two different ways.  I think preventing people in committed relationships from marrying is government interfering in their lives. I think the government telling a woman what she can do with her own body is interfering in her life.

I see posts on social media by people I know to be very patriotic in their thinking. But those posts today reflect a negativity and unwillingness to respect our re-elected president. To me this is the opposite of patriotism. It is saying  - my way or no way.  It is what we have identified as being wrong with Washington - the inability to work together for the good of the country.  There were Republicans who admitted that their main goal was to make Obama fail. It was heard by many pundits and news anchors as well. If that is one's stance then they can call themselves a party member, but cannot call themselves an American. Because we are all America.

Obama received 332 electoral votes to Mitt Romney's 203 and it was clear that the minorities, women, and immigrants in this country favored Obama. As soon as we all face the reality of what our country is, not what we wish it was,  and we begin working together - only then will be truly to call ourselves the UNITED States of America.