I follow one person on Twitter who is outspokenly conservative. I’ve never met her or really talked to her, but it seemed like we had some other things in common. So many of my friends are young and liberal that I wouldn’t have suspected her of being anything else, but I decided that politics alone weren’t enough reason for me to not try to make her acquaintance/friendship. However, the recent political climate means she’s quite vocal. The interesting thing is that everything she says makes sense out of context, but we agree because we disagree in the grand scheme of things.
Let me give an example. Last night, she talked about how pride builds community but not jobs or money, which is true. It’s part of the same “hope does nothing” rhetoric that the right constantly spouts. It’s been especially loud since Obama’s 2008 campaign, and while his campaign doesn’t center around hope this time around, Obama certainly intends to make America hopeful.
Thus, the peanut gallery chimes in how hope and faith and belief doesn’t buy groceries or fill your car with gas or pay your bills. This is all technically true, I concede. However, it’s not the entire story. The left isn’t the only side asking us to have hope, they’re just asking us to have hope for the sake of hope. They just want us to have faith in the system.
The right, though? The right wants us to have hope that when we work hard everything else will fall into place. Hope that our work ethic is bigger and better than that of the same person gunning for the job, and that potential employers will see this and hire us. Faith that our work ethic will get us a promotion and keep us working when everyone around us in laid off. Belief that working hard will matter more than sudden illnesses, injuries or an economic recessions.
Because that pull-yourself-up-by-the-bootstraps rhetoric is tired, and everyone who lives in the real world knows what it is to work hard. I know plenty of people who work hard, who work harder than I think they should have to, and they’re just getting by. Plenty of people work 40+ hours per week and they’re not getting by. They still need assistance. A plethora of people spend that much time alone trying to find work that isn’t out there, being turned down because they’re “overqualified” or some other silly reason.
The bottom line is: hard work alone sometimes isn’t enough, and policies that ask us to believe, to hope, to have faith that it is are policies I cannot stand behind. They’re not realistic, and I can’t believe anyone who doesn’t see these platforms for what they are. Yes, Obama and the liberals are asking me to have hope, but they’re not asking me to have blind faith. The platform asks me to have hope for a brighter future based on my hard work and the support of my government. To me, that just makes sense. It’s the only realistic path I can take as a voter.
I hope that 47% and then some agree with me when the polls open.