When Will There Be A Time To Love?

When Will There Be A Time To Love?

This primary and other things going on in my personal life right now have me feeling really down. It seems like there’s nothing good going on right now. When I get down I always turn to music, the greats like Earth, Wind, and Fire, Stevie Wonder, Donny Hathaway, Michael Jackson, Marvin Gaye, Blue Magic, etc. Nothing makes me feel better than an appropriate song. So for the past week or so one song in particular has been stuck in my head, and it’s a song that is very appropriate given the current political climate and what’s going on in my personal life. I’m sure there are some other people out there going through some things too, so this is for you and me.

A Time To Love
Stevie Wonder feat. India Arie

We have time for racism
We have time for criticism
Held bondage by our isms
When where there be a time to love?

We make time to debate religion
For passing bills and building prisons
For building fortunes and passing judgment
When will there be a time to love?

At this point in history we have a choice to make
To either walk the path of love, or be crippled by our hate

We have time to cause pollution
We have time to cause confusion
All wrapped up in our own illusions
When will there be a time to love?

We have time to conquer nations
Time for oil excavation
Hatred, violence and terrorism
When will there be a time to love?

At this moment in time we have a choice to make
Father god is watching while we cause mother earth so much pain
It’s such a shame

Not enough money for
The young, the old and the poor
But for war there is always more
When will there be a time to love?

We make time for paying taxes
For paying bills and buying status
But we will pay the consequences
If we don’t make the time to love
Now’s the time to pay attention
Yes, now’s the time to love

I’m not a fan of conflict. I avoid it whenever I can. This is the first time I’m really paying close attention to politics, and I’m not liking what I see. Everyone seems to be about dividing us all into “neat” little groups describing who we should be supporting according to them. Older women and blue class Appalachians for Clinton, Youth, African Americans, and educated persons for Barack Obama. Even with a candidate that really does seem to be all about unity, politics is managing to divide us up into these “neat” little groups.

This is really making me more sad than angry. When I go to Politico and read comments to an article about white women refusing to support Barack Obama because they feel he’s somehow thwarted their only chance of getting a woman into the White House it breaks my heart. I read the accusations: “He flipped her off!” “He dusted off his shoulders!” “He called a female reporter sexist!” and it breaks my heart. I read a comment that described a woman who was being harassed in Macy’s because she was wearing an Obama shirt, the women surrounded her like it was the old days when people were stoned and taunted her calling her a traitor.

I saw an Obama supporter wearing a campaign t-shirt being verbally harassed by three women in Macy's On Tuesday. Taunts of "traitor", and "Obambi" were the most common. I, a REPUBLICAN, finally came to the woman’s defense. Of course by the time I was done verbally berating the "witches three" for their harassment security asked all of us to leave.

What did that woman do to deserve that? Have her own opinion? What is this type of behavior doing to solve our problems? Even Oprah was being harassed by grown women who should really know better and at least be adult enough to respect that someone has an opinion different from his or hers.

I read the “analysis” being force fed to us daily, “how are the Democrats going to unite?” “Can Obama get Clinton supporters?” “We’re all doomed! Doomed I tell ya!” none of this is doing anything to advance the conversation.

As an Obama supporter, I will admit that I have played into the hype before, and even after this blog I will probably play into it again. Every little thing Hillary (or Bill) says will be quickly construed to the worst possible meaning in my head because that’s the point this primary season has brought me to. I’ve come to expect the worst for them, and grab at every opportunity to say “Ha! I told ya!” It’s gotten to the point where I’d wager that a lot of Obama supporters who are paying attention as closely as I am resent Hillary (and Bill) with almost everything that is inside of us. We don’t want to give them any string to make a mistake. Perhaps it’s because we don’t feel they gave our candidate any string. Every little gaffe or misstatement he made they pounced on and distorted. I would watch in anger and disbelief as Obama simply responded with the truth, not even forcefully all the time, and turned the other cheek. I would ask myself when he would run out of cheeks to turn. I convinced myself that if he wasn’t going to fight to my satisfaction then I was going to fight for him. My candidate wouldn’t get in the mud and trade insults back and forth, so I would do it for him. Any little gaffe, misstatement, or outright lie made by the Clinton camp I happily exploited. Every argument she would make for staying in this race after Ohio/Texas I shot down scornfully (and yes, I was perhaps a little bitter as well). I became the antithesis of Obama’s campaign, and I encouraged my fellow supporters to do the same. I wasn’t concerned about finding a time to love; I was all about promoting hate, division, and cynicism—at least when it came to the Clinton campaign. And while I may have gotten the desired effect at the time, it’s also taken a negative toll on me.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not absolving Clinton of her mistakes or the way she’s run her campaign, I’m simply saying my reactions to her weren’t helping.

As I listened to the lyrics of “A Time to Love” repeatedly, and sang along, I realized that every single verse is exactly what’s going on right now.

Because of the historical nature of this campaign, I have seen more racism in a few short months than I’ve probably seen in the rest of my life combined (mind you I’m only 24.7 years old). I have seen a candidate that was all about “hope” and “change” be criticized at embarrassing levels for every little thing he did or didn’t do. I’ve seen a candidate being afflicted with sexism that was ignored (although there wasn’t nearly as much as she claims). We are held bondage by our isms. We want everyone to fit into the box we create for them. Yes, Hillary is a shrewd politician, but she’s also a mother, a daughter, a friend. Yes, Obama can be rather grouchy sometimes, but he’s also a father, a son, a friend.

This election, thanks to Rev. Wright and Rev. Hagee, has also been about religion. “Is Obama a Muslim?” is still a question widely circulated that for some reason remains unanswered for so many. “Why did he stay in that church for 20 years?” “What did Hagee say about Jews and Catholics?” We aren’t asking intelligent questions to elevate the dialogue; we are using religion to further divide us all. What’s so wrong with the Nation of Islam? Not all of them are extremists, and every religion does have its own extremists (Christians once used the Bible to keep an entire race enslaved, and still use it today as a reason to “hate” people of other religions). Why is everyone concentrating on 20 second clips of a man who had a career that spanned decades and built a church that has been a pillar of the Chicago community? Yes, Hagee may be controversial, but what is he saying that keeps people going to his church? He’s a huge supporter of Israel, what’s his real message outside of “Hitler was a hunter sent by God”?

Bills and resolutions are passed daily that have huge effects on our lives, but we don’t even know about them. We don’t care enough to pay attention and see what our elected officials are doing.

A prison is more likely to be built than a school.

Generally, Americans are far more focused on making money—by any means necessary—than helping others. And we all pass judgment on people regularly. I bet someone is passing judgment on what I’m writing right now, but what good is passing judgment on others? He or she who lives in a glass house should not throw stones. We, as a nation, judge the world by our standards as if imposing the “American” way of doing things is helping them. Maybe they don’t want our help. Not everyone who doesn’t think like we do is a savage.

At this point in history, we do have a choice to make. We can choose to come together to repair this country that we all love, or we can continue to allow our “isms” and other factors to divide us.

We still pollute, every day I see people leave their trash at the bus stop instead of throwing it away in the trashcan that is all of two feet away.

This election is all about keeping people confused. The spin coming out of certain campaigns has left my mind reeling at times.

We all have our own illusions about what we are and what we aren’t. More often than not, the lie is easier to believe to than the truth.

“We have time to conquer nations”—what do you think Iraq was all about? Especially with the news of Scott McClellan’s new book, we didn’t go to help anyone but ourselves. And why did we go? . . . For oil, and simply because we could as no one would stop or question the government. “Hatred, violence and terrorism” is running rampant right here in our own back yards, we didn’t need to go half-way around the world to find it. This election has shown just how much hate we do have in America for people who are different than us. We don’t have money to fix our schools and help the poor, yet we keep managing to find money to fund this war.

All of this is going on right under our noses, but we are too busy buying into the hype. Those who are different from me don’t matter. If they don’t agree with me, they don’t matter. We can’t even have intelligent conversations between blogs and groups on Facebook because no one wants to be wrong. No one is willing to compromise. It’s always “my way or the highway” and if you don’t agree with me? Well “hit the road Jack (or Jill, don’t want be sexist here)” We can’t even talk about the problems discussed in the song because we are too afraid to find out our view is wrong. We can’t even talk to Clinton supporters because we are too afraid we may start to feel some empathy for them or their candidate. They can’t even talk to us because they are afraid we will ignore their claims of sexism while saying racism was a bigger factor in this campaign. That’s what we’ve been reduced to, arguing whether sexism or racism is a bigger problem. Shouldn’t we all be above that? Both are wrong, and neither should even be an issue in today’s society.

I’m not writing this to necessarily advocate for “unity” (I still think Clinton would be terrible on an Obama ticket and vice versa), I’m writing this because we are losing our focus. We are so busy finding reasons to hate, that we have not found the time to love. I can love you without agreeing with you. I can disagree with you without being disagreeable. We all need to work together to fix the problems and get past the wounds, both racial and gender related, that afflict this country still. This you’re either “with us” or “against” us combative mentality will not get us anywhere.

So I ask you, we find time for the division, when will there be a time to love?

Thanks for reading this if you did (as I type this in MicrosoftWord, I realize it’s 5 pages single spaced).

Here's a pretty good video I found on YouTube that someone made:



Xeratun said...

Wow, this is really really good.

I've never heard that song before, but now I REALLY want to.

I feel like I've gone through similar things, falling into the partisan divide, only to later wake up and realized how foolish that is. And by partisan I don't just mean Democrats vs Republicans, but Obama partisans vs Clinton partisans.
In a way it's kind of comforting to see similar thoughts and feeling occurring to someone else who I have know (well, kind of.. known in the internet sense of the word) for a little while now, and have often found myself generally agreeing with. I think it's a good thing to every once in a while reject politics as it is now, and start looking at it again as an outsider, but at some point you gotta come back in and work within the system. But every time you place yourself outside the system for a bit and look from there, you can hopefully notice a little bit more to try to change when you throw yourself back into the lion's pit that is politics today.

Feel better, and know there are others out there who agree with you.
If only love could transcend the political divide, what a world that would be!

chiara said...

I think you have the wrong major, you should be a writer! Your words made me think of how I act towards Hillary supporters (although I have never really spoken to one yet)I will try to think before I speak ill words. Thank you for this wonderful blog.I am adding it to my favorites hope you dont mind but I think it will help me in the future. Thank you

tabby said...

Powerful, beautiful post. Really good to read your words. Thanks for that.

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