Tuesday, November 2, 2010

La Liberté éclairant le monde

I'm taking a break from late night studio time. Primer is drying and I guess it's inevitable that after being bombarded with politics all day my post won't escape the topic.

I've been writing about freedom a lot this past year - defining it for myself so that I could move toward it with purpose. It became evident that it was far too easy to become entangled in a mess that amounted to nothing more than keeping our heads above water. I had to consider my choices carefully and ask some hard questions.

Interestingly enough, at the same time that the word was echoing in my head, it was also being echoed by the growing, Tea Party movement. They were gaining strength by touting a message of freedom, liberty and choice with a formula the Republican party has mastered - vagueness. Listen to three people who identify with the group and you'll get three different answers as to what it means to them - brilliant! The Tea Party has mixed up an apparently intoxicating cocktail of outrage, rebellion and patriotism shaken frequently with delightful snarking and silly sign making. All this shaking keeps you from examining what life might be like if the aspects of the Tea Party that are actually backed with some $power$ were to come to fruition.

Who wants to be tread on? Not me. Who wants to be free? We all do. How do they not see that they're serving up such tragic irony? The list of how their collective vote undermines their shaky platform is ridiculously long. Is this the movement for people who have been against movements? Are they intoxicated by the new experience? Or, have some people found ways to veil some ugly beliefs and in exchange for support of their prejudice they'll facilitate a halt on progress.

So here it is, the moment in the abusive relationship where they start to believe it will be different this time. I guess we didn't hit rock bottom. Nationalism and scapegoating weren't set aside so that the hard questions could be asked - What is liberty? I've tried to look at from different angles, but no matter how I slant it, I don't believe you'll get there without freedom from fear, health, education and the dignity of a living wage.

I hope that before this wave carries in its next ship of fools, we take the time to really ask what we want from life.

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