Election is a step in the right direction

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To the editor:
Although the right man was chosen for president last week, there is no need to gloat for those of us who voted for him and the ideas that he represents. If not for the turnout of ethnic and racial minorities to overcome voter suppression and for the self-inflicted damage caused by the party of economic royalism and religious hypocrisy (essentially greed, privilege and ignorance wrapped in the flag, Bible and rosary), we may have been well on our way back to the Stone Age – or 1984. 

 

The attributes rolled up in the person of Romney are emblematic of what is wrong with this country. His 47 percent comment was a not a slip of the tongue, but the heartfelt sentiments of a privileged individual without a clue. The candidate, whose entire life and career can be summarized as a silver-spooned white guy who apparently missed a few critical Sunday school lessons and became the corporate equivalent of a dirty house flipper-tax evader, nearly won. He and his party, a few of whom trivialized rape just as they trivialize poverty, illness and bias (racial, ethnic, gender, sexual preference) in the name of the flag and either capricious "faith" or the indifferent free market, should have been taken to the woodshed.

Some residents in the South hung their flags upside down in protest of the election, and Donald Trump wants to spark a revolution. What about the sanctity of the flag when things don’t go your way?

Will self-proclaimed patriots such as Sean Hannity question the patriotism of these folks? No, because for conservatives, every day is Halloween. They put on masks, pretending to be people that they are not (tricks) and project all negative attributes on those they hate (treats). And yet, they still garner nearly 50 percent of the popular vote to this day.

We need to defeat the engines of corporate idolatry where management incompetence, falsification of numbers, psychological abuse of workers, jobs earned through nepotism, and looks, unfair firings, inferior products and cheating exist so universally that to behave ethically raises eyebrows. We need to take back the values of hard work, open-mindedness, spirituality, family and merit from those who co-opted them and who use these ideals as weapons for their own profit and politics. 

We need to deflate the disease of affluenza, in which certain communities form veritable mafias through the collusion of school boards, building departments, developers, real estate moguls and law enforcement by inflating the perceived desirability of a community and where underage drinking parties and date or outright rapes are swept under the rug by arrogant teenagers and their parents who feel that their “earned money” puts them above the law.

The clergy need to remind their communities that true spirituality involves empathy, modesty and open-mindedness as opposed to using faith as a personal-satisfaction or shame-based tool of financial and political leverage. In only this way can we beat back the zero-sum, narcissistic, dog-eat-dog philosophy of the “He who gathers the most toys wins” and “Ain’t no rest for the wicked” paradigm that is eating away at this country like an insidious disease, ruining the quality of life for millions, and defended vociferously by its soulless benefactors – the royalists and the deluded. Hopefully, the recent election results will be a step in the right direction.

Jeff Lehman
Northfield


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