Margaret's Musings: What's on your book shelf? Has your political party been kidnapped?
Over the last year, I have become obsessed with trying to understand the current state of our nation. How on earth did we get to this point?
I have tried to figure out why it is so important to me to unravel the past and come to a deeper understanding of where we are today. I believe it is because I am first and foremost a patriot. I was not raised as a Democrat or a Republican and but as someone who comes from immigrant stock. All four of my grandparents came here for a better life, leaving harder times behind. My paternal grandfather arrived in Ellis Island as a child, catching up with his mother who had come earlier to establish a home.
The books they were required to study about America in order to pass their citizenship test remain on my shelf. My parents were and are proud Americans who served their country as productive citizens. They are like millions of others, whose parents sought a better life, arrived here legally and embraced the liberties guaranteed by our Constitution and Bill of Rights. They were part of the great immigration from Eastern Europe in the late 1800s and early 20th century.
The books I chose to read over the winter months revealed shocking truths about our country and our political parties. Information my grandparents and parents would have a hard time believing.
First of all the blame does not lie solely with President Barack Obama. Our decline has been in the works for decades. Both parties, Republican and Democratic have had significant roles, as have the apathetic, uninvolved citizenry. That would be you and me.
Money is, without question, the corrupting factor.
This year in Wisconsin and nationally, the truth is going to be hard to find. We will need to search for it. It will not be dispensed by the national news media or by the campaigns. Money will be coming from everywhere including foreign sources, which is of course illegal, but the world has a bigger stake in the outcome of our presidential campaign than ever before. By the way, if you think big money is just on the right, think again.
Included here is a partial list of the books, which literally kept me up at night, all the while revealing information I simply could not believe.
Using the old adage, "You can lead a horse to water but you cannot make him drink." You may want try a few sips, regardless of your left or right leanings. You might be surprised at what you will find. You may discover that what you have been "sold" as the truth is, in fact, not.
The first on the list and the most recent is
As a disclaimer, I have read great portions of many of these, some entirely, some more than once, others are awaiting more attention and still others are of interest but not yet on the shelf.
All of these books are heavily annotated and most are indexed except "Speaking Freely" and "Dreams From My Father," which is a memoir. Obama's later book, 'Audacity of Hope' is.
The most hopeful was Andy Andrews book, the most frightening was David Horowitz's.
As we go forward, this is a pivotal year for Wisconsin and America. We need everyone to get involved beyond just casting a ballot. We need to seek the truth. It will be helpful to remind ourselves of all the aspects of our country which still make it a shining beacon for millions around the world. Next time you listen to a media report on television, radio or on the Internet, note how each has adopted a negative view of America.
Our country is at a tipping point and the upcoming elections will determine our future.
"It is the function of mass agitation to exploit all the grievances, hopes, aspirations, prejudices, fears, and ideals of all the special groups that make up our society, social, religious, economic, racial and political. Stir them up. Set one against the other. Divide and conquer. That's the way to soften up a democracy."
Does this sound familiar? Think carefully about this statement. We deserve better than to be pitted against each other by outside forces with an agenda they have not yet truly revealed.