My post, “President At A Loss Arguing With Idiot”, has been slapped with a warning: ‘reported as “abusive” by one of Facebook’s “partners” (whatever that means)’ ..per my friend, Chris K. I think that means my aggression was palpable—I can get that way (and the funny thing is I feel quite dispassionate and logical as I write those kind of essays).
I read this one back to myself, partially to verify that this was a Republican tactic, vilifying their opposition’s more-rational public supporters. But I did, in fact, find it very abusive. I was insulting, facetious and just plain mean—So, does that mean the GOP have won? Have they taken a peaceful person like myself and pestered me into crazy-talk? Was it that easy?
It was the same with WWII. Before then, the idea of bombing a city was unthinkable to civilized folk. Before that war ended, America and the Allies had virtually carpet-bombed Germany, Japan, and a few other places—all in defense of liberty and equality. And ever since WWII, dropping a bomb on a city has been considered par for the course when at war—as can be seen today in Syria.
We also learned to use propaganda on ourselves, just to fight off anyone else’s—and now we expect our government to lie to us, and the government should expect lying right back. There’s also the coup de grace, atomic bombs—we use them twice and spend the next half-century (and counting) worrying about using them and having them used on us.
The GOP, as portrayed in the news, has been something of a sensation of late. Their entanglement in gayness, as an espoused evil and as a scandalous truth about many of their elected officials who most viciously attack the gay community, was hard to keep from laughing over. Human nature, so conspicuously on display, is hard not to laugh at.
But, my first thought was of sympathy. I can only imagine the difficulties of a gay person who fights politically to marginalize gay people. You couldn’t pay me to live in that skull.
But in other forums, the Republicans have become masters of the deconstructive. They realize that fear is their friend and there sure are plenty of fears to pass around. They brought up Obama’s having crossed paths with some radical, many years ago, and used it to try labeling him as ‘dangerous’—which is odd since those most endangered by Obama nowadays are the terrorists.
They began by criticizing his long-term church minister of being anti-American—and when that didn’t get any traction; they started whispering that Obama was a Muslim. They spent months after the election trying to convince people that the President wasn’t born in Hawaii. And even though this may sound ridiculous, there are a lot of conservatives who still swear that Barack Obama is a foreigner, a Muslim, and a threat to ‘real’ Americans. While that makes me feel impatient towards such people, it makes me even more upset with a party that could undermine the President so, in time of war.
They realize that losing faith in one’s religion is nearly inescapable for the educated, thoughtful people of our day—and so they champion it. Their detractors are, thusly, either ‘godless’—or they are just as pious as the GOP’s platform, i.e. insincerely. But this is an entirely manufactured schism. Plenty of people choose to belong to a church, to pray to a God, to live by its tenets, and seek fellowship with other church members, including social support programs for the locally disenfranchised. Only a tiny fraction of those people, however, insist on the myths of the Bible being set above scientific inquiry. Only a tiny slice of Americans are actively expecting an End Of Days in the near future. Just a few knuckleheads try to separate the various other ‘Single God’ religions from each other—to make Christians war against Muslims war against Jews, etc. and so forth. Extremism is a synonym for unbalanced. I can’t see much difference between an extremist zealot and an unbalanced mind. They’re both capable of killing themselves and others, they both reject the importance of civil obedience over ‘spiritual mission’ and they both do a terrible job of raising well-educated, emotionally well-balanced children.
With certain mid-eastern nations giving a perfect demonstration of how to ruin everything with dogmatic theocracies, there couldn’t be a worse time for us in the USA to break our long and hallowed tradition of separating church from state. There is a reason why Americans made that ideal a part of our heritage—and it should not be called into question by those who feel picked-on when asked if they read a newspaper now and then.
Our freedom of speech is now being questioned by some because of naysayers whose language is slaughter and burning of US diplomats, consuls, their staffs and buildings. Well, two wrongs and all that—What Would Allah Do? -is perhaps the best approach to this. Besides, America does not modify its rules whenever they annoy other nations—we know how strong our freedoms make us and we know how wrong it is for one person to have complete control over another’s thoughts and words.
But back to me. Have I been turned into a monster merely by witnessing the bile of Todd Akin claiming a difference between victims of ‘legitimate rape’ and, well, ‘illegitimate’ seems redundant when used with the word ‘rape’? The succession of crazies that were the GOP primary racers sensitized me to the fact that stunningly drastic changes in our country’s character were being threatened by the Republican party, many of them having no qualms about the continuing chasm that spreads between the rich and the poor. And it has been pointed out that many of their staunchest supporters, lower-income families, would clearly be hurt, financially and legally, by the GOP agenda.
Then there’s the audiences at these ‘rallies’ of extreme right-wingers such as Sarah Palin—they have the sound of a hungry mob. And the GOP speechifiers do this great little dance wherein they get these folks all lathered up without actually raising their own voices—but they also don’t ‘correct’ the crowd when they go too far—and that is a problem when it might be taped for the cable news channels.
Maybe the mid-westerners think all the folks who live on the coasts on either side are a bunch of spoiled intellectuals who think they know better because they went to college. To a certain degree, they’re right—the average person graduates from college knowing a lot more than they went in with—and college graduates of the mid-west have been known to return home and make great contributions to their state and their community. Besides which, smart is smart and dumb is dumb—only bullies try to minimize the value of education and only snooty brats think their diplomas make them better than someone else.
In short, every time the GOP is presented with a challenge, they go by the low road—to the point where some of their worst tactics (like strangling the legislature for four years) can seem downright unpatriotic, to put it mildly. They never answer a single issue with “we are in agreement with the opposition on this, except for a few details”. They never say, “We recognize the importance of settling this matter, and we’ll be bi-partisan on this bill’s passage because of that urgency”. And if one of them did, the rest would ostracize the traitor—I’m thinking here of the courageous Olympia Snowe—she suffered loud criticism of her attempts to create a middle-ground for the two parties.
These are only a few samples of what we’ve seen paraded across our TV screens for four long years—and every year they are emboldened to blame Obama for our economic troubles. They couldn’t do it on election day 2003, because it was still quite clearly Bush(W)’s spilt milk—but they only waited a few months before they began speaking of the economy as if Obama had made the mess to begin with. And according to several indices, Obama has had surprising success at pulling us up from the nose-dive the GOP left him. And so another claim is made to paper over this hole in their wall, “Obama isn’t fixing the mess quickly enough—Obama doesn’t know enough about business to fix this thing”. Well, employment is up, job losses are down, business is improving (although slowed by the EU crisis and the slowdown of China’s economy) and it is hard to justify kicking out a President who has so masterfully turned our economic frowns upside-down.
So, then the debate. I guess I blew my top on that one. When Mitt accused the President of ‘wasting time’ on health care reform when he should have been fixing the economy(!) –well, I tell ya, if I coulda crawled through that screen and got at’im—I’d be locked up in a sanitarium for the criminally insane by now. The GOP showed us foot-dragging as high art throughout their struggle to block health-care—if they’d really cared about getting Obama focused on fixing the economy, why’d they waste so much of his time, and the time of the hundreds of Democratic legislators?
I just can’t imagine that they’re fooling anyone with this whole ‘create a crisis, draw out a crisis, and blame the crisis on Obama’ strategy. It is very much of a piece with Mitt’s betrayal of every promise he made to the Neo-Cons during his primary race. It also answers the question of why Mitt hasn’t given details on his ‘plans’—he reveals his plans, as needed, during the debates to rebut any accusations against his older positions. I think it’s kinda funny that his supporters are all saying ‘He won the debate—and that’s that’. That’s because they don’t like the sound of ‘Yes, he made a great huff-and-a-puffing—too bad he made up his answers as he went along.’
As far as that goes, I think the President would have performed better if someone had told him he was playing liar’s poker—he thought he was there for a debate.
Now, there I’ve gone again. I simply lose all sense of propriety—I think it comes from a fear that more than 50% of my fellow citizens might disagree with me. I fear that the majority of Americans will say, “Hey, lying’s okay—all politicians do it” or they’ll say “Hey, women don’t really have the right to control their own reproductive choices.” Or they’ll say, “Yeah, we grow faster and go faster with fossil fuels—let’s drop all this ‘hybrid’ nonsense until the gas runs out—then we’ll worry about it.” Or they’ll say, “Climate change? It’s a hoax, the ice caps melt all the time—what are you, a big sissy?”
And I guess my fear that you all might find the GOP acceptable, when they have (to my eyes) conclusively proven their unfitness for office, makes me too excitable—I’ll try to calm down and write something less ‘abusive’ next time.
I like this post.. don’t have enough internet time to comment as I would like to… but will be back in the city this week where things are so much better…
Thanks, Rob. Look forward to it.