There IS an Enlightened Middle Majority and Maybe I Should Have Googled It

It is midnight, with a looming government shutdown, and we are at an impasse over needed but flawed Healthcare Reform.

It seems like the appropriate time to address a response to my “Enlightened Middle Majority” post that I was shocked to find the week before I attended BlogHer’13 as a Voices of the Year Honoree in the op-ed category for precisely the post in question.  I deeply wished I’d Googled “Enlightened Middle Majority” long before the night I did so as a lazy way to link to my post.  I had to read Dani’s post of The Cute Conservative twice (maybe thrice), because the first time all I kept thinking was, "She said I'm a gifted writer!"  She called for me to be honest, so this is me, being honest:  Dani describes herself as a “bona-fide journalist,” who likely has a college education, and I'm *just* a mom, so I confess I was deeply honored by her assessment.

In light of recent events, I submit to Dani, however adorable, generous and gifted a writer she may be, that it is precisely the GOP’s denial of the existence of the Enlightened Middle Majority that cost them the last two elections. 

It is the failure to acknowledge that we are a powerful force that may well lose both the Republicans and the Democrats the next one.  If “the sides” continue to devalue and ignore us, and continue the unreasonable, childish, divisive nonsense of President Obama’s reign (and I include him in that assessment—we did not vote him King and high ruler, we voted for him to represent we, the people), future elections could be unwinnable by either side. 

I believe 2016 is the year a woman can not only win, but it might be the year she should run as an independent [thinker].  Too many of us only continue to become more disillusioned with and disappointed in anything the Republicans or the Democrats traditionally represent.  Both sides need a time-out equally, because together they have been completely self-serving and ineffective and they’ve collectively left our country even more disabled than it was post-Bush. 

I am the girl who regularly felt like the only conservative in the room when she lived in California, and who often feels like the only liberal in existence back in her hometown.  I once balked at the idea of an open political debate, but I’m always free to vote my conscience once I close that proverbial curtain.   I remain frustrated and pissed off, and come time to vote again, I will remember, and my keyboard will continue to ring loud and clear.

This good, God-loving girl is deeply grateful to have come out of a public school system that had a fantastic English department, from which I actually managed to learn, despite not doing a lick of homework.  Had I done some of it, had I taken advantage of the one community college opportunity I did have, but walked away from because all I wanted to do was get out of Dodge and away from my stigmatized family, I often wonder what I might have been capable of, or had the confidence to purse, much earlier in life.  I couldn’t get back to Dodge fast enough, and my son will likely be a 4th generation graduate from that same public school.  Due to cuts in education and the stresses to the system I described in my “Enlightened Middle Majority” post, he won't likely receive the same preparation for written communication that I enjoyed despite myself.  I don’t know how colleges will decide whether or not he deserves to attend when this year his school has eliminated grades in favor of rubrics and matrixes and individual ”growth” assessments.  I guess it’ll be determined exclusively by who is lucky enough to afford it, which is looking like an only scarier prospect by then.  We still haven’t been able to help our second grown daughter.

I respect the position the Cute Conservative holds dear that comes from her religious upbringing, and would equally enjoy sharing a happy hour barstool and a couple hours of lively debate with her.  As long as we establish that being more pious doesn’t make her more deserving of God’s love than me, and it doesn’t mean she believes in God *more* than I do…only that she believes in a building and in a book, and in her interpretation of God, or the Universe, or whatever.  What I hoped to express in my post, something on which I think we agree, is that we can both live in this world, love God (or not) and love our country; neither of us any more or any less deserving of representation than the other. 

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