It's become a mantra for Sarah Palin, the most prominent Know-Nothing in a party filled with them, it seems: that the Republican party represents "real Americans," and her followers have taken up the call. Well, I feel like a real American. Let's see how I stack up by the standards they set.
"It means being normal, having a mom and pop making it in a business, paying their fair share of taxes," said Joyce Lipari, a real estate agent.I have a mom and pop, and at various times in my teen years, they tried to make it in a business. They failed, but they tried, and they were scrupulous about paying their taxes.
"A real American is the average person who works 9 to 5 for an average paycheck, and John McCain understands that," said Jan Gardner, a nurse from Dolores, Colo.I don't quite work a 9 to 5 because my schedule isn't that regular, but I do put in upwards of 40 hours a week once you factor in prep and grading, and I certainly make an average (or slightly lower) paycheck. That's two.
"I had to work for everything I got. That's what I was taught, and Sarah Palin understands that," he said.That's what I was taught too, but I'm not stupid enough to think that I made it on my own. We're all interdependent--that's the very definition of a society. One more:
Rep. Robin Hayes, R-N.C., maintained last week that, "Liberals hate real Americans that work, and accomplish and achieve."So does this mean I'm filled with self-loathing? Not to brag on myself, but I certainly work, and I have accomplished and achieved a fair amount, but there's no question that I'm liberal.
I know it's largely political posturing, and that in the long run it's meaningless, but I still get aggravated by this kind of crap. The irony is that the US was founded by people from many different nations (even if we're more than a little Britain-centric in the way we teach our history), but the Republicans seem to be doing all they can to reduce the number of groups in their circle in the name of reaching some bogus sense of reality. If we want to look at the two parties in terms of how they represent the US population, the Democrats are a lot closer to the way America actually looks than the Republicans are. Whites? Yep. People of color? Lots. Both men and women in positions of power? Not as good as we ought to be, but getting there. LGBT people out of the closet? Check. All religions and creeds, as well as nonbelievers? All ages and levels of education and income? Members of the military? Got 'em. You name it--if there's a demographic group out there, they've got some sort of representation in the Democratic party.
That's real America. And you know something? It wasn't so long ago that the Republican party was a bit closer in makeup to what we see with the Democrats, and it could be again if the Know-Nothings who currently inhabit the leadership positions in the party decide that there are more important things than being scared of brown people or gay people or atheists. But if it's more important to hold onto some ridiculous and inaccurate sense of purity for you and yours, then go ahead. Real America will be busy governing.