Saturday, November 12, 2016

THE DILEMMA OF DIVISION






 My best friend died a number of years ago.   He was like the older brother I never had, and I looked up to him.  We hunted, fished, camped, canoed and got drunk together.   I still miss him.

After his death his son and I became close.  He looked up to me as a connection to his dad.   We hunted, fished, camped, canoed, road motorcycles and got drunk together.   He is like a little brother.

When I retired from the military I went to college and then went to Alaska for a number of years.  I got a graduate degree in Alaska.  I am totally committed to my wife and don’t do the activities I did before – I don’t do anything that she and I can’t enjoy together.

Now I get together with my friend and it is strained.   We have almost nothing in common except memories.  I am the one that has changed. He works in a fiberglass mill, he owns an assault rifle, I am sure he voted for Trump, he still does all the things that we use to do – and I somewhat miss it.     But most of all I miss the friendship and closeness we once had.    I feel certain that my attending college was the first step that separated us.   I can remember as an enlisted man in the military my resentment toward officers who held a position over me simply because of a few years in college.

It bothers me that my little brother somehow looks at me as elitist, possibly feeling that I look down on him.   I don’t think we can ever cross the divide that now separates us – it would require me going back to who I use to be; but I love him and miss him.

I see a correlation between my relationship with my little brother and politics in America. 

The Democratic Party constantly made  snobbish comparisons of college educated to non-college educated people voting for Hillary.

 I am sure that education arrogant statements turned off a lot of people, both Republicans and Democrats, who didn’t have the advantage of attending college – It struck me as elitist.  It gave the impression that Democrats feel that college educated people are smarter than non-college educated people. 

The Democratic Party’s aura is elitism.   If we are to succeed as a party in the future, we have to bring it down and say it is not about us, but about the issues we believe in. 

There is a divide between Democrats and Republicans that may never be bridged; but we can stop turning off possible crossover voters with condescending statements and attitudes. 

Our eyes should be on the election 2018 and on state and local elections. 

Where am I going with this?  Hell I don’t know.
the Ol’Buzzard



11 comments:

  1. What does reading a bunch of books written by other biased people have to do with critical thinking and common sense. While education may provide a broader perspective it doesn't alter the perimeters of reality. If a person has become so educated that they no longer respect the opinions and views of others they have allowed their ego to take over for their brain.Some of the smartest and wisest people I ever met didn't go past the 8th grade.

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  2. Smarts and education don't necessarily have anything to do with each other. However, the apparent failings of our educational system are becoming plain to see. The only thing I learned in college worth knowing was how to learn so that I could know about whatever I wanted to. I think the "dumbing down of America" is a sad and real thing, but don't know how to change it.

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    1. I value education. I was 40 when attending college. Without college I would have never read Russian writers, known much about Political Science, field botany, art history, logic, poetry and so many other fields. I personally grew in college, but it doesn't make me superior to those who have never had the opportunity or desire to attend. I was fortunate. The VA helped pay my way.
      Education apart - we do have a lot of stupid people in this country that are easily led by a con men.
      O'B

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  3. The problem with the Democrats and "elitism" is not that lower income or non-college educated people felt like they were disrespected for not being smart enough but that they recognized the Democrats cared more about corporations and Wall Street money than they did about the public as a whole. Neoliberals like Hillary get called corporatists for a reason.

    That said, I have noticed that many folks, particularly Southern whites, have raging inferiority complexes. I listened to a guy on NPR who was peddling his book (something to do with White Trash; I'm blanking on the name) and the entire subtext was "I am so frigging ashamed of my background as a Kentucky hillbilly." The picture he painted of his upbringing was one huge dysfunctional family tree full of meth heads, alcoholics, and welfare cheats. But he wanted the liberal elite to show them more respect? Why? If someone who thinks he's defending low income working people manages to buy into every stereotype in the book, is it any surprise the rest of the world thinks the typical Southerner is a knuckle-dragger?

    I do feel your pain about realizing someone you were once really close to has chosen to go down a different path than you did. The S.O. has a cousin who was like a brother to him when they were kids; they were super close. Somewhere along the line the cousin slid over to the dark side (we blame 20 years in the military combined with getting religion) and now believes every screwy conspiracy theory Alex Jones and Michael Savage peddle. It's really disheartening to see someone you know was once a sane human being slide into buying ammo by the bucket and turning his house into a bunker.

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  4. Are you really buying into the "college=elitism" propaganda the right-wing has been pushing for decades. Liberal media, liberal college professors, etc...

    Basically it boils down to the Democrats forgot to dance with those that brung them!! It was the workers that made the party great, not Wall Street.

    Another thing, if college makes one liberal, why are so many college educated business majors so woefully stupid about labor relations??

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    1. I agree. Democrats have to focus on policy, not on demographics.
      O'B

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  5. People make their deficiencies into something of which they are proud and denigrate others who do not have that weakness. People who are informed and rational are looked down on by the ignorant who are proud of their ignorance.
    As John Stewart Mill said, not all conservatives are stupid people but all stupid people are conservative.

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  6. Stuff will happen, interesting stuff.

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  7. ahh. you can't fix stupid...says it all.

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COMMENT: Ben Franklin said, "I imagine a man must have a good deal of vanity who believes, and a good deal of boldness who affirms, that all doctrines he holds are true, and all he rejects are false."