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Arizona's Vitriol Has Kansas Roots

"When you look at unbalanced people, how they respond to the vitriol that comes out of certain mouths about tearing down the government. The anger, the hatred, the bigotry that goes on in this country is getting to be outrageous." - Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik, 01-08-2011

vit·ri·ol: something highly caustic or severe in effect, as criticism

GIRARD, Kan. - In the wake of the shooting rampage in Tucson Saturday, there is as usual, a national introspection, a search for understanding, a search for root causes and contributing factors. This is a common response. This is how we strive to make sense out of the senseless.

The discussion has quickly turned to national figures, who, during the hotly contested midterm elections of 2010, used the language and symbols of guns and violence. Sarah Palin has become the target of her own language with the cross hairs of criticism now focused directly on her. Palin is not alone. The symbolism of violence in political discourse has become commonplace.

Democracy

GIRARD, Kan. - There is not shortage of political cynics in this country. The can not's, will not's, and no way's are abundant. In the board landscape of American political discourse, there are few that will say a good word about the system that has emerged by which we elect our representatives. It isn't pretty.

Yet, there are those that thrive on it, make a living or a fortune on it, that game it and speculate on it. It is a thrill and it is bummer. You can ignore it or participate in it, either way it is not going away. There it is, democracy.

The Republican Party wants you to think they have uncorked the champaign; that they are celebrating. They are proclaiming that they have this election in the bag. They don't. They don't, unless they have convinced you that your vote is futile.

GIRARD, Kan. - My name is Cheryl Hudspeth and I am running for Congress in Kansas' 2nd Congressional District against Rep. Lynn Jenkins. I have plenty to say about Rep. Jenkins' abysmal record of pretending to represent the interests of this district.

In the days since the Republicans released their 'Pledge to America,' I have been sifting through reviews and checking facts. Not that there are many facts in the Pledge, there aren't. No, it's more like reading a comic book. Much is implied or left to your imagination, as your eye is pulled to large iconic images. The words are familiar, patriotic and reassuring, pulling at our desire to for a more solid foothold in an era of rapid change. That is were it begins. But, if the 'Pledge' is enacted, where we end up is quite a different story.

GIRARD, Kan. - "Maria. Maria! The floor. That floor is not clean." It was the most shrill and demeaning voice. Maria stood there, a look of confusion and shame on her face. Peter, fluent in Spanish, calmly directed Conception to sweep the floor. The shrill voice barked at Peter, "She understands what I said, they all understand English-they just pretend like they don't. They're lazy."

It was the same every morning, a recording repeating day after day. No matter how hard Conception worked, she was never granted the respect of being called by her name or thanked for her work.

Money and Love

GIRARD, Kan. - The doorbell rang. Of course I was washing my hair and my husband was out in his man-cave. Forget it, I'm not answering the door. Of course then I was trying to figure out who had been at the door. Ah, its the day before Valentines. Hopefully, the flowers will be on the porch after I dry my hair.

That is not the problem I am really chewing on though. No, instead I am mulling over the consequences of truth. What the hey, I know I am loved. I have nothing to lose, right?

Sometimes the truth is unspeakable. Other times it can be just plain stupid to speak it, because everyone already knows or they plain don't want to know. In this case it is unspeakable, everybody knows it, and....

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About This Page

This is the main archives page for Cheryl Hudspeth. To learn more about this author, you can also read a short biography of Cheryl Hudspeth here.

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