Well I don’t usually do this, but I’m just going to whine tonight. I thought I’d warn y’all upfront about that.
I was used to being invisible duriing the Bush years … I mean to the Democratic Party. They were busy holding their powder and doing other secret things I just couldn’t figure out, and so I got used to never feeling connected, in the human sense, to my Democratic representatives. It hurt, of course, but I got used to it. Even after Katrina I got used to it — I was intolerably angry but I no longer expected my party to do much. And they didn’t.
And I’m not talking legislation here, either. I’m speaking of morale. A silly thing, I guess, can’t quantify it, can’t even explain it all that well. Just that feeling that someone gets it, on a visceral emotional level feels the way I do about what’s important.
And heck, I don’t style myself as the be all and end all of how one should feel. It’s just that it got lonely, here I was, part of the Democratic base, and I felt so invisible.
Now, oh good lord, now it’s even worse.
(Gilbert O’Sullivan, Video courtesy of YouTuber Namikaze1028)
I guess with the exception of Sheldon Whitehouse, I haven’t felt a connection with any Democratic reps. Sheldon at least showed some emotion when he talked about torture, he came off as a human being. Yeah, emotion. Silly stuff.
With Obama, I feel almost as though I am an embarrassment. I’m not a community organizer. I approve of some of his decisions, disapprove of others, but feel no emotional connection coming from him to me and folks like me. I can’t recall one time our President addressed the Democratic base. Maybe he did, maybe I missed it. Or maybe he has redefined who the base is and I’m no longer part of that. Heck, maybe I’m just too old and out of touch, who knows.
It’s not about values. It’s not about political philosophy. It’s that human connection, that I feel I and those like me are acknowledged as citizens, that our opinions have worth, that we are being listened to rather than tolerated.
Perhaps I’m being unfair. Perhaps I’m just out of touch with the new ways. But then this is emotion I’m talking about, not political technique or process.
I’m not talking about populism because I’m not a populist.
I know this is a silly essay and I’m not putting this well. But it’s been bothering me for a while, and yesterday it really put me over the top listening to Obama talk about releasing the torture memos. It was a great thing to do, a courageous thing in many ways. And then he had to put in that little dig about retribution, about laying blame. I wanted so badly to hear just anything along the lines of what Sheldon Whitehouse said, some real emotion about the terrible way we have treated other human beings, some true humility in the face of these unforgiveable actions. Anything, any kind of emotion. I needed that. I needed to hear about the victims. I needed to hear we were sorry, and that as a nation we had to face what had been done by our government, the hurt we had inflicted on others.
But I may as well have been invisible. Yeah, it’s silly. Why should Obama care what one citizen feels? Especially one of the Democratic base?
I know there have been calls by some of our representatives now for investigations. I’m glad of that. I want investigations.
But I also want someone to show some feeling on this. I don’t know why I need that, but I do.