Everyone is angry. I get it. Our country is as divided as I can remember it being in my lifetime. Friends are divided. Institutions are divided. Families are divided. People that never seemed to be “political” are suddenly, and surprisingly, strident defenders of a particular belief or position–or equally vocal about being against that position.
Everywhere you go these days it seems as though someone is really, really angry. On the roads. Walking down the street. In restaurants. And bakeries.
But what are you angry about? Because it takes two different beliefs about something to create the tension that often leads to anger. And what you are angry about says a lot about what you believe in, and who you are as a human being.
Broadly speaking, it seems that there are at least two loosely organized groups of people who seem angry in our country these days. Let’s call them, for simplicity’s sake, The Blues and The Reds. And let’s take a look at what these groups think about some of the major issues we are facing as a nation–and what so many are so angry about.
The Blues believe that…
- everyone has the right to affordable, high-quality health care.
- we all have the right to make our own decisions about their bodies.
- every person has the right to love–and to marry–the person whom they love.
- every child has the right to an excellent and free public education in a neighborhood school that’s governed by the people that reside in that community.
- we need reasonable, common-sense gun regulations, and there’s no place for weapons in schools, universities, libraries, or other public spaces.
- we all deserve safe roads, bridges, air, and water, regardless of where we live, or how much money we have.
- Nazis are bad, pedophilia is bad, racism is bad.
- there should be a separation between religion and government, between “church” and “state.”
The Reds believe that…
- health care is a commodity, or a privilege, and not a right–the government should have nothing to do with it (in fact, The Reds have tried over 70 times to repeal the law of the land regarding health care–and have still not given up, even though the law is more popular now than ever).
- women should not have the right to make decisions about their reproductive health–and are committed to stacking the Supreme Court with justices who have promised to overturn Roe vs. Wade.
- marriage is a religious commitment and should only be permitted between a man and a woman.
- children do not have the right to even a “minimally adequate education“…
Do students at poorly performing schools have a constitutional right to a better education?
On Friday, a Federal District Court judge in Michigan decided that they did not when he dismissed a class-action lawsuit filed by students at troubled schools in Detroit.
The lawsuit, which a lawyer for the plaintiffs said was the first of its kind at the federal level, named Michigan officials including Gov. Rick Snyder as defendants because the state had played an outsize role in managing Detroit’s schools while the school district, and the city, struggled with a lack of resources.
The Michigan attorney general’s* office, whose lawyers represented the state and argued successfully to have the lawsuit dismissed, referred questions about the case to Mr. Snyder’s office, which did not respond to requests for comment on Tuesday.
* Note: The “attorney general” mentioned above, Bill Schuette, is also the leading candidate to replace Snyder as the state’s next chief executive.
- teachers should be armed, schools should be “hardened“, and more guns make us safer–even though there’s not a shred of evidence to support this claim.
- the right to owning and using weapons is guaranteed in the Constitution, and any moves to establish regulations of any kind on gun ownership should be strongly resisted.
- the environment is first and foremost a business opportunity, and regulations on food, land, oil, water, and air are “job killing” and should be eliminated; also, no one has a “right” to water, the state government is not responsible for providing clean drinking water to its citizens in Flint, and those who set fires on public land are granted presidential pardons and flown home from prison on private jets.
- there are “good people on both sides,” and it’s just a coincidence that so many Red candidates for elected office have been accused of sexual misconduct, or are white supremacists, anti-Semites, racists, pedophiles, and actual Nazis.
- our current president was chosen by God, and his Education Secretary believes that our nation should be ruled by a very specific set of Christian evangelical beliefs. One Christian university is even making a film about it…
At the end of the day, each individual has the right to choose what we want to be angry about. And each of us needs to decide if we believe it’s more likely that most of the population is made up of lazy, dumb, greedy freeloaders who expect the government to take care of their every need, or if a small percentage of unbelievable wealthy persons is benefitting so grossly from taking advantage of their power and privilege.
Or, to paraphrase the old saying, “Equity and fairness in America is in peril because so many of our friends, neighbors, and relatives see themselves not as exploited worker drones for the ruling class, but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires.”