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We're Better Than This?!

Marigny Musings


 Not sure whether the title of this week’s diatribe is a question or an unqualified statement.  Despite the characterization laid upon me by this site’s editor (A curmudgeon? Hopefully, at least, a loveable curmudgeon.) I am, at heart, an optimist. Perhaps to the point of naïveté, I truly believe that all folks are basically good natured, and that all we want is to live a semi-good life, with as little grief as possible. In my mind’s eye, I truly want to embrace the concept that even the most passionate disagreements between us are not rooted in the stereotypical forces of good versus evil; instead, they are more akin to the old married couple, driving on an open road vacation, and squabbling over the best route to travel. We know where we want pour destiny to take us, we just disagree on how best to reach the ultimate destination.

     However, the tone and tenor of our recent national discourse has me leaning to the somewhat disappointing conclusion that the question mark is the more appropriate form of punctuation for the title of this week’s opus. Frankly, the bile and xenophobic outpouring from our elected officials, that has apparently found a rapt audience, makes me question whether Mr. Darwin was correct in his long reviled theory.

     Case in point, U.S. Senator Jim DeMint. The Republican Senator from South Carolina, and the erstwhile Tea Part leader in the Senate, in a recent political address, stated that homosexuals and single women who are in committed heterosexual relationships, should both be prohibited from being employed as classroom teachers. And, while it would be easy to dismiss these ill-conceived statements as the ramblings from an otherwise minor politician from a far flung state, none other than the  reputable website have labeled DeMint as a rising star on the national political stage. Perhaps Politico should dedicate its next article on DeMint to tracing the extra-national support that his aforementioned positions are likely to elicit from groups that have likewise sought to ostracize the homosexual community, and single women who engage in sexual relationships – say, like the Taliban.

     Proving that extremism doesn’t stop at the Louisiana border, our state’s favorite lothario, David Vitter, has seen fit to mimic a stalwart member of the intelligentsia in his senatorial race against Charlie Melancon.  Recent television ads run by Vitter contain the same audio and video content as that currently being run by Sharron Angle, the noted Tea Partyist from Nevada. Messengers Vitter and Angle are both running television ads that depict their opponents as being soft on immigration; and have utilized the same video segment depicting three hooded Latino males scurrying underneath a chain linked fence to reinforce their blatant racist tinged message. Setting aside the fact that our area’s post – Katrina rebuilding efforts were greatly enhanced by Latino construction workers, one wonders when was the last time a constituent approached Vitter and out of the multitude of issues that are affecting our state, opined to our standing Republican John that he needed to take action to quell the rising tide of non-green carded immigrants in the bayou state. And since Vitter now appears to be taking cues from Ms. Angle, will it be much longer before he likewise declares that two U.S. cities are being run under Islamic law? Who knows, maybe Delacroix Island, while being overrun by a swimming horde of illegal Latinos, is governed by the heavy hand of Sharia law.  And, before being completely dismissive of these nonsensical ramblings of demagogues, both Vitter and Angle are leading in the polls in their respective races.

     Pushing the bar of hypocrisy even higher is the former CNN spinmeister, Lou Dobbs. Dobbs was one of the original reporters for the national news network, and was allegedly forced to resign his position, due to having devolved his daily news show to a rant against NAFTA and tales of imminent national peril due to his self pronounced implosion in the number of  illegal immigrants in this country. Imagine his shock and dismay when he recently discovered he was not only harboring, but also employing, several “undocumented” workers to maintain his various properties. My guess is that Dobbs will quickly abdicate his former staunchly held position that employers of illegal immigrants should be subjected to felony prosecutions.

      So, much like the better written Seinfeld episodes, we return to the opening scene. Are we better than this? While my heart says yes, unfortunately my brain emphatically says no.

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