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COMMENTARY: If we bully our way to the top, do we win?

Have we as a people become so jaded with our government that we have lost what little compassion we once had for the people who actually live in this country? I only ask because I wonder if we have lost sight of who we are – fundamentally – as a people. I’m asking” Who are we?

Are we the people who need automatic weapons with clips that hold hundreds of bullets to protect our homes and our families and are arming ourselves to fight this mythic fight that is to happen as we storm Washington, D.C. and take our country back? And if we are those people, who plans on running the government after we shoot everyone who now holds office and stand triumphant on the steps of the Capitol? Will our leader be the person with the biggest gun and the most ammunition?

Are we the people who don’t care who gets bullied and bought and sold just so we can get the laws that we believe are best for everyone? And who are we to know what is best? Who decides what is best for everyone? Can we really let the people vote on civil-rights issues? On equality issues? On abortion issues? We know from experience that this never works, letting the people decide civil-rights issues. We know that religious groups with huge amounts of money will step in and buy the vote of the uneducated and the “low-information voters” with fear and tales of their fast-track to hell if they vote against what the church wants.

Are we the people who have become so jaded that we believe it’s perfectly OK when a well-known anti-gay preacher’s son commits suicide that we believe it’s OK to call this suicide karma? Have we no compassion? To make such ignorant remarks puts you on the same level as the mean-spirited preachers who spew their anti-gay rhetoric from their evangelical pulpits.

Are we the people who know what the law of the land is, but we find a way around it to get what we want? Yes, I’m talking abortion. The government says it’s legal, some Christians say it’s wrong and have found a way around the Constitution to make it “unavailable” to most women. Either it’s the law of the land, or it’s not.

Those on the left like to say that those on the right like to use the bully pulpit to get what they want. They like to say it’s the Rush Limbaughs, the Sarah Palins and Fox News who are making us angry and wanting to carry our guns filled with ammo to protect ourselves from the “infidels” who are trying to take over and ruin their vision of America.

OK, but aren’t those on the left who believe it’s OK to bully and push and shove and humiliate just as guilty inciting people to push and shove to get what they believe they deserve?

We all want what we want and what we believe we deserve as human beings. The thing is – it’s how we go about getting those things that make us compassionate and caring and, well, human.

If we fight for equality with anger and self-righteous rhetoric will people really believe we deserve it? Do you care if people think you deserve the right to marry, the right to an abortion, the right to healthcare, the right to citizenship, the right to an education?

Do you want people to care about your character and your happiness and your quality of life - or do you simply want to win? And if you win because you have bullied your way to victory, do you really win?

Barb Hamp Weicksel was born in 1952 in Pennsylvania and moved to California in the early 1980s, where she met her partner Susan. They've been together some 30 years and share the love of Susan's four children, nine grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. Her blog, Barb's Gift of Gab, can be found HERE.