Thursday, October 28, 2010

Witches, Goblins and Boogeywomen -- the real ones!

It is not just the season of Halloween which is spooking us all out now.  It appears that the Trick-or-Treaters are the least of our current problems and potential cavities from sugar overload are not our largest fears.

What is frightening are the current groups of women candidates running from the far right and with the Tea Party support.  Add to that mix the spectre of Sarah Palin in her red election suit stomping around the country telling people they need to reclaim their country.

What these women fail to realize with their fear-mongering, class and culture warfare and talk of a constitutional interpretation unrecognizable to most is that the country they want to have has never existed.  They speak of going back to simpler times, is it the times of child labor and worker exploitation they wish to revive?  Or is it the times where the banks failed, poor houses existed for the widowed and the elderly, or when hospitals were places one went to die?  Is it the times when we had no interstate roads or minimum wages or adequate public health or food safety protections?  Just how far back do they wish to go?  Perhaps back to the times before they could even legally vote or run for office?

Women have been candidates for almost a century now, but it is doubtful that there has ever been such a group of strange characters as are currently seen.  How could anyone compare an O'Donnell from Delaware "I am not a witch; the constitution does not mention separation of church and state" or an Angle from Nevada -- "People are illegally pouring across our northern and southern borders; we should cut out Social Security and Medicare programs" with our own Barbara Mikulski?  Think of Barbara shepherding the Lilly Ledbetter pay parity law through the Senate and her fighting to prohibit insurers from making a victim of domestic violence experience further harassment by being denied insurance. (Domestic violence was termed a pre-existing condition!)  Although she is less than five feet tall, our Senator Mikulski stands heads and shoulders above these candidates, because she stands tall for women and children, families, fairness and equality, health care, education for all, job security and homeland safety. 

Where are today's educated women among the ladies of the right, those with significant resumes such as held by Sandra Day O'Connor, Kay Bailey Hutchinson or a Jean Kirkpatrick -- who were moderate to conservative, but whose knowledge and service have been valued with bi-partisan support?  Where are the accomplishments of civic service, achievement in academia or business from either Angle or O'Donnell?  They came from the fringe of politics and are not running to build up our country but instead to detract from it.  They do not announce plans for Senate initiatives they support, but rather indicate what they would attempt to roll back.  These current women candidates are not obviously empathetic to the needs of hearth and home, but are trying to tough out their male opponents by touting their own unyielding stands on public issues untroubled by facts.  Knowledge of complex financial matters does not seem to be a strength; however scape-goating poor Americans, or demagoging the issues of immigration and health care produces money from the committed.  With luck and intelligent voting by Americans, these candidates and others who are going backwards in time will be silenced at the ballot box.  Americans may wish for better times and hope for change but they can realize that one does not make progress walking backwards.  Halloween will be over by Election Day.  It will be time for these hobgoblins to be put aside as well.

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