Vol. 5    No. 21
October 21, 2010

The Capital City Hues
(608) 241-2000

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The Capital City Hues
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Madison, WI 53725
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(608) 241-2000
Advertising: Claire G. Mendoza


Jonathan Gramling
Publisher & Editor

Clarita G. Mendoza
Sales Manager

Contributing Writers
Rita Adair, Ike Anyanike, Paul
Barrows, Alfonso Zepeda
Capistran, Theola Carter, Fabu,
Andrew Gramling, Lang Kenneth
Haynes, Eileen Cecille Hocker,
Heidi Pascual, Jessica Pharm,
Laura Salinger, Jessica Strong, &
Martinez White

Heidi @
      It seems as if this current election cycle has been going on since January 21, 2009, the day after
President Barack Obama was sworn into office. It seemed that almost immediately the Tear Party sprang up
out of nowhere and the Republican Party gave President Obama maybe a one day honeymoon period where
they actually went through the motions of trying to cooperate in the enactment of legislation.
      I think I can count on two hands the number of Republicans who have voted for any piece of major
legislation sponsored by President Obama and passed by the Democratic Party. And they have been refusing
to cooperate in the consideration of President Barack Obama’s nominees for federal courts, leaving some of
them to languish in the U.S. Senate process for well over one year. I guess the Republicans feel they now
own the federal judiciary and are just holding up the nominations until the next Republican president to come
along at which time they will shout shrilly that the Democrats are unnecessarily holding up the judicial
      Yeah, I guess the Tea Partiers and their supporters feel they own America. They keep talking about
“Taking back Our America.” What does that really mean? I find this to be a subtle — or maybe not so subtle —
anti-immigrant message. “They” are taking over and we have to get it back.
      And I do think that it is an anti-civil rights message as well. Apparently they don’t like the way that
America is evolving and so they want to turn back the hands of time and take America back, back to a time
when there weren’t any civil rights laws, back when there wasn’t a minimum wage, back to when there wasn’
t Social Security, back before there were efforts to insure 47 million of their fellow Americans who don’t have
health insurance.
      Just think about it. Here is their neighbor who cannot afford health insurance and may experience a lower
quality of life. Here is their neighbor in need who has pre-existing conditions and yet they want to deny them
coverage. It is an attitude of ‘As long as I have it, I don’t care if anyone else has it?’ I wonder how Jesus
would feel about these Tea Partiers passing the sick and infirm by because they have health insurance and
are too busy traveling the road to the temple of absolute individualism?
      And I have to wonder when these Tea Partiers talk about taking back their First Amendment rights to say
what they please. This vivid image comes to my mind where these folks are just chomping at the bit to be
able to say the ‘n-word’ in public without any recriminations. Whenever they criticize “political correctness” —
whatever that is — it usually means to me that they want to be able to say anything they want, use harmful and
wicked terminology to oppress and step over “other” people has they reclaim their America.
      I don’t know about you, but this is scary stuff to me. And in this country, we are creating the sense of the
“other,” that person whom I oppose who becomes less than human and therefore I am just in whatever I do to
that person. The political chasm in this country is getting deeper and deeper between factions in this country
and we are demonizing each other more and more. I worry when we make the opposition less than human.
Didn’t that climate exist in Germany during the 1920s when the Allies had stripped Germany of its military
power and it was experiencing severe economic problems? Didn’t they start to scapegoat segments of their
population and become nostalgic for the way things were before when they were the chosen ones, the master
race? We had better watch out so that America doesn’t start to drift that way during these uncertain times.
Another thing that concerns me is the whole tendency during this anti-incumbent environment to consider
experience as a negative quality and naiveté and ignorance to be the best qualities for running this country.
What is up with that? When people in office don’t know how to operate the apparatus of government, only
disaster can result. Does anyone remember the federal government’s response to the aftermath of Hurricane
Katrina during the Bush Administration? Experience does count. People sitting on their hands and doing
nothing does not count. We need experienced people to operate the government and tell it what to do or we
will all be hurt by the aftermath.
      Get out there and vote November 2 like your life depends on it because it does. Take one person to the
polls to vote with you and make your choices known lest somebody’s idea of change becomes your personal
Reflections/Jonathan Gramling   
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The academic and spiritual
side of UW’s Aaron Henry