Bipartisanship Jambalaya: Can’t We Work Together

If I'm Right that must mean you are Wrong

It’s not the first time; sadly I doubt it will be the last time, but now is not the time for dividedness and this at times ignorant and typical idiotic labeling to progress an “us versus them” environment.  Stereotyping is naïve and often destructive, but I often engage in a stereotyping exercise with freshman level students in survey US history courses.  I’ll ask anyone to name a country and some image they have of the citizens of that country.  Whether their perception is regarded as false or accurate, broad statements generally find a degree of agreement amongst classmates.  Asking the question to describe the characteristics of a “typical” American citizen, however, results in a vast array of descriptors.  It may or may not surprise some that international students tend to offer the lists with the most similar images of the “typical” American.  Think about it, your list will be different than mine, but would we necessarily disagree with either list of characteristics.

My point above and here has nothing to do with defining citizenship or about any positions on immigration.  I’ll contend that the United States is not a true “melting pot” where all of the different characteristics of its citizens are tossed together and emerge as a single entity each like the last.  It’s more complex.  At times I envision the United States as a good gumbo or better yet a jambalaya where all the ingredients are added, some together, others one at a time, and share that large pot for as long as possible.  Once put on the plate, if one desires, it is possible to indentify and often separate many of the ingredients even though their appearance has been altered.  Appearances have been altered because each has shared some of itself with other ingredients and in turn taken in portions of different ingredients.  They are still distinguishable, however.

One of the few times I ask you to just take my word as truth here:

Do not think of jambalaya as anything with that name on it in any store or the majority of restaurants.  There is a Jambalaya festival in Gonzales, but if a local volunteer fire station, sheriff’s department, or local civic organization is selling plate lunches with the proceeds going for some worthy cause, chances are you will have real jambalaya.  Seeing someone stir a cast iron pot that is large enough to hold your vehicle with a boat paddle is a very positive indicator.

Why is there insistence on labeling and “us versus them” right now?

I’ve mentioned the old election season where the opponent was in fact your opposition.  Once that contest concluded, however, everyone in that legislative body became members of the same team and each individual serves as the voice of everyone in their district.  That person does not represent themselves, and they represent their districts not as separate units but as a member of the team which is the United States of America.  There are no stars who can do everything by themselves.  There aren’t really starters and reserves because everyone has a role and if one slacks the team suffers.  If you do not believe that a chain is only as strong as its weakest link, try pulling a truck out of a ditch and experience the results.

I’ll have more on the representatives of the people in another post, but this one is targeted at people no different than me or you.  Toss me any of the current labels being hurled in anger.  Liberal, Conservative, Constitutionalist, Purists, Progressive, and so on, it really doesn’t matter.  If you love one of these labels and are willing to give your definition or characteristics of that label, I can find someone with nearly identical characteristics who believes they wear a different label. I can find someone with mirror opposite characteristics that will identify themselves and proudly wear the same label as you.  It is not just context but interpretation.

I know Mark Levin has a vast following. 

I guess that he makes many times in salary what I make, but this style of commentary makes absolutely no sense to me in terms of the United States and its citizens being in the best position possible.

“We conservatives, we do not accept bipartisanship in the pursuit of tyranny. Period. We will not negotiate the terms of our economic and political servitude. Period.”

“We are the alternative. We will resist. We’re not going to surrender to this….Yeah, things like liberty, and property rights, individual sovereignty, and the Constitution, and capitalism.”

What?

OK, I fail to understand his definition of conservative because it is obviously different from that of the 1960s with Goldwater; that of the 1980s with Reagan and George H.W. Bush.  It doesn’t appear to be classical or economic.  With the statement of bipartisanship, I’m guessing conservative means it’s what I say and nothing else matters.  That’s sounds conceited or spoiled to me and not conservative.

Tyranny?  We have an absolute dictator? 

Why in the heck then is someone all powerful facing opposition?  Economic and political servitude?  It seems that there are huge profits in arguing against and opposing the President or any compromise which might benefit the majority.  That’s tyranny?

Not going to surrender individual sovereignty and capitalism?

It seems that the individual sovereignty exists in the opposition.  Now I might be incorrect on capitalism here because I guess there is a chance that he might not receive any revenue from books, the radio show, or appearances.  He might be a victim of tyranny in that he is forced through threat of punishment and violence to criticize bipartisanship and argue that we are ruled by a tyrant.  Could  anyone even make up something that bizarre?

The least comprehensible is the Constitution assertions.

I remember individuals given the task of revising the Articles of Confederation.  Instead, they drafted a new government.  In that drafting, many compromises were made.  The most famous of which, known today as the Great Compromise, brought an agreement between large and small states regarding representation.  I won’t continue with the process of ratification during the age and interpretations then and in later eras.  I will point out that something unique happened in the year 1801; this country saw its leader, the President, John Adams, leave office peacefully and watched an opposition faction get behind the proverbial driver’s seat with Thomas Jefferson.  Amazingly, no wars and not blood spilled in that transfer of power over 200 years ago.

“We are the alternative.  We will resist.” 

My interpretation of the Constitution of the United States is no better or worse than anyone else’s.  I believe the Constitution allows for freedoms and opportunities.  Like or dislike President Obama, if he were this all powerful tyrant, would we hear any opposition?   They might be silenced as they have been when tyrants have ruled countries.  I doubt, however, that they would be reaping financial rewards many times that of not just those who support the President but also of those very people who believe them and their calls of tyranny and promotions of dividedness.

How ‘Bout This? 

Wouldn’t it be nice to try just a taste of “United We Stand, Divided We Fall?”  Have your own ideas and opinions, but let’s throw them into the jambalaya pot.  It takes time to cook, doesn’t look that pretty in the early stages and at times when stirred, but when completed; we all might be satisfied by what comes out of the pot.  Each ingredient plays its own part, but the masterpiece is when it all comes together.  If you like, please feel welcome to share this post.

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