It was 4:53 on Tax Day. The South Congress post office had a line 20 people long. I got in it, not sure what was at the end. The line was cut off minutes after I slipped in the door. Apparently, this was the important line. So I stayed…
The man at the desk, after reiterating every thirty seconds to newcomers that the post office was closed, finally slipped and clarified that the post office’s bottom (although I am cautiously paraphrasing here) was closed as well.
Some people muttered. A mother told her kids, for posterity’s sake in case they needed to know, that everyone thought this was the worst day of the year. I was, dear readers, slightly less cheery myself that day– even though I earned little enough that I would get all my income taxes back in a few weeks. The atmosphere of the folks in the room was that of those sentenced to jury duty.
And then I heard it.
“We’re gonna see some chaaange around here real soon,” intoned a small elder Austinite to the people next to me, confidentially like a rebel to his comrades.
Talk of social revolution isn’t uncommon in Austin, a rebellious capital rebelling against the rest of a rebellious state. But with the plethora of tea parties and anti-tax-day demonstrations around the nation, things are getting more bitter than day-old chamomile with spoiled milk. Calling D.C Communist and asking Texas governor Rick Perry to secede, protesters are, in the words of demonstrator Doug Burnett, “mad as hell.” After becoming a hot-spot for Republicans nationwide to plan 2012-presidential runs, demonstrators have also thrown in ulterior motives of their own: signs for marijuana legalization and Texas secession have joined the crowds.
Here it reaches its tipping point. A protester has played the Obama-is-Hitler card.
Bipartisanship, anyone? Is it even possible, with signs like this?
After eight years of a divided party, perhaps it’s best that we don’t further the split where parties on both extremes loathe one another deeply and understand nothing more complex than the turned-around slogans like “Nobama” or “Bulldog with Lipstick.”
I read Fox News today. Though the very sight of its logo once made a measurable churning in my stomach, and made my lungs feel restricted in my chest like my esophagus had become as narrows as their views, I understand that I have to. There is nothing nastier than having a nation split down the middle. From my recollection, one Revolutionary War, one Civil War, and the many social revolutions made people furious with each other. People living on one side fought the other over every point. Gaps in generation, orientation, mental liberation, and now political affiliation split us apart like chess pieces. I’m determined not to let that happen again.
I, whatever the political issue be, am sick of the belief that one political party will have to hack to pieces every opposing politician and interest group in order to make its point clear. Conservatives rally to Washington to oppose wasteful spending. So did liberals before that. See any potential for a consensus between the groups? Not in a million electoral cycles. Not as long as being entirely different than the opposite party, which are the enemies of freedom, is a party value we share.
You have heard this before, I’m sure. Bipartisanship was at a decent high in the presidency before last. Talk of it has been around once more since the 2008 elections began using the term.
So please, if you want to make change, don’tdo it by blaming the other guy.
(Even if he is, on tempting occasions, a rich, white-haired fatty.)
Don’t point it out. You look stupid when you do.