I find it ironic that one of the most religious states in the union has a city considered to be the country’s most dangerous city. Ironic and sad, because many of our problems in this city are curable if we focused on these instead of denying gay rights and turning the clock back with both our education and our medicine. We don’t because, to be blunt, most of the victims of crime in our city are black. We read of a young white student who gets drunk and wraps his car around a tree, and we come out with flowers and create commissions to study teen drinking and cry out about a general loss of moral fiber in America, which has led to such drinking; we read of a young black man who is shot in drive by shooting and we hear….nothing. Silence.

It is said that Missouri acts as a macrocosm for the country as a whole, because how we vote reflects how the country votes. If this is true, then our country, like this state, is headed towards a crises of faith, and by that I don’t mean people not believing; I mean people believing too much.

We get sidetracked on moral issues, while more important problems are shunted aside, such as the Iraqi war, global warming, the growing number of people within poverty levels, the disintegration of our inner cities, an increasing racial disparity, our country’s economic and educational decline, lack of quality health care for 45 million Americans and so on. Even now, with the British report of alarming environmental shifts and increased violence in Iraq, Bush is running around the country talking about the importance of keeping Republicans in office because gays are being allowed to marry in New Jersey. Seriously, is this really the most important issue facing Americans? Regardless of your personal beliefs?

We have the evidence of our eyes as regards to global warming, and the evidence of numbers of dead in Iraq–not to mention there isn’t a person who probably doesn’t know someone who has no health insurance; or who has been laid off; or can only get a part-time job because fulltime jobs are disappearing. More than that, we’ve become a country that condones torture and have given away most of our legal rights within our court systems, as we increase a growing deficit between us and China, weakening our own economic stability.

By focusing on moral issues, by encouraging fear of the unknown and fear of the different, corporations can do what they want in this country because all they have to do is get some politician, and yes the Republicans have shown themselves to be most willing in this regard, to point out the Muslim threat, wave abortion or gay rights, and now stem cell research and we’re off and running while they quietly rape our country of its resources, its labor, its spirit, and its soul.

There are at least two, and I believe more, webloggers who have been expertly trained by so-called ‘conservative’ think tanks in how to direct and misdirect communication in weblogging so that the focus is on immigration or the Muslim threat because if we ever stopped to look around ourselves, we’d realize how many of our basic protections and rights have been eroded. So like the hamster on the wheel, they keep us spinning and spinning. In that, they’re aided by technology, which just adds to the noise.

Do I think the Democrats would do any better? I think they would provide a necessary balance for the next two years, and at that point in time, we can re-negotiate. I’d like to see Democrats take Congress this election, but if they don’t get their act together then we’ll see about kicking them out in two years, and putting in a Democratic president and Republican Congress. If the Green Party could gets its act together, I wouldn’t mind seeing a third party enter the lists.

In other words, start showing that we the people they supposedly serve are not going to be led around anymore–that no party has a lock-in on the people. They have to earn it, and by that I mean work for it; not spend all their time in expensive lunches with lobbyists, while they toss out a gay or abortion flavored bone from time to time for us to gnaw on like the good dogs we are.

There will always be extremes: pockets of people who will vote a single issue or a single party regardless of what happens around them and we can’t do anything about these people; I don’t think most of us fit in the extremes. We’re bombarded by mixed messages, we’re pushed about on all sides, we’re afraid for our jobs and our families and the environment and the safety of our world, and politicians on both sides prey on this fear but we don’t have to be manipulated.

All we have, is each other. Even when we disagree, all we have, is each other. We need to send a message this election, and if that doesn’t work, we need to re-send it two years from now.

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