Dear MP Network,
Back in February of 2005, I sent you a post, already published on Common Dreams, called ‘The One Big Family Frame.‘ It began this way: ‘As the Bush Administration finishes setting forth its alarming vision for America, we must lay out our own ‘big vision’ story. But a vital piece of that vision is the way we get to the future we want from where we are now. Given the dangerous state of our republic and the need for strong bipartisan resistance to the Bush agenda, our vision must be framed to be inclusive. That means it must be able to draw support from the increasingly unhappy, moderate conservatives in Congress and in our local communities, without compromising our own basic goals. So let’s look more closely at how this could work.’
True then, even more true now. Although the ‘One Big Family’ frame has been invoked lately most often by Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton’s recent New Hampshire victory speech also spoke of having a president who ‘stands up for all of you.’ Expect to see new versions of this inclusive frame appearing everywhere in all Democratic campaigning from now on, right along with the ‘change’ mantra.
But is today’s ‘one big family’ frame just election moonshine, as some political commentators are beginning to say? Just a way to cover up the very real, bitter differences in views between the reds and blues, lulling voters into unrealistic dreams? One thing is sure–it’s a vital piece of the historic American Dream, our best American story, and it has a big place in the hearts of the American people. The last time we saw a clear sign of this was right after 9/11, when those little American flag pins started appearing on every kind of lapel, dress, or sweater. For a brief moment then, until Bush told us to go shopping, we were all Americans together, and people loved it. It had healing power, in the face of huge, unprecedented public trauma. Today, it is not much of a stretch to see our nation as staggering under the burden of repeated abuse by our supposed ‘protectors,’ the Bush-Cheney team. We do need to feel we ‘can do it’ more than ever, but to really believe that slogan again, we need first to feel that we can pull together and be that ‘one big family’ once more. . .that is why the ‘one big family’ frame is the foundation on which everything else must be built now, whoever is doing the building.