Friday, October 17, 2008

A Blog Reply: Oh man, here we go ...

My good (e-) friend Mottel posted an interesting blog post that sort of devolved, in my opinion, as it went along regarding his beliefs about the current political state and Barack Obama and the election and the Left. I had waited two days to read his words, knowing that he was working intently on it. I was originally going to post my comments in his comments, but I think -- to get more people involved and perhaps liven the discussion -- I would post my comments here, in the form of a Reply to his Blog Post over at Letters of Thought . Please, comment here, comment there, let me know what you think. And, we begin.

Mottel, in response to "Four Reasons Why Liberals Scare the hell Out of Me:" 

Firstly, and perhaps most importantly, I think where you and I differ intensely is on whether the ENDS justify the MEANS. I'm referring to Iraq here and even though Hussein was a bad, bad man, I don't know that our efforts, ditching Afghanistan (which has become more violent), and the wounding of 30,702 U.S. men and women. And your number is off, the U.S. death toll is at 4,185. This doesn't include the tens of thousands of Iraqis that have died, either, not to mention the forces from other countries -- the U.K. and otherwise. And what do we have to show for it? The country is unstable, not to mention that Afghanistan is equally unstable. Democracy is a facade there. I support the troops -- I know several who have served during the senseless violence. I do not, however, support the government that drove them unnecessarily into harms way to serve a selfish, idealistic purpose of democratizing the world. It was necessary to remove Saddam, but this was not, I repeat NOT, the way to do it.

Secondly, Barack Obama has associated with many of these "questionable" individuals becuase they're his neighbors. Barack lives in an affluent area of South Chicago near the University of Chicago near the Farakahn compound. He also lives just down the street from a professor I formerly worked for who I think is a vile individual and they are friends, this professor even supported publicly Obama's education package, but I'm not judging their friendly association. Why? Because about 90 percent of the time we can't help who we "associate" with -- be it on school boards or public councils (cough, Ayers, cough) or otherwise. I'm sure there are individuals in my past -- and your's -- who you'd like to dissociate with, but unfortunately you can't. If the spotlight were put on you, would there be a questionable friendship? A curious encounter? An uncomfortable association?

You also fail to mention that of all members, John McCain has missed the most votes -- 64.1 percent to be precise -- compared to Barack's 46.3 percent. McCain has missed more votes than Sen. Tim Johnson (D-SD), who, might I add, had a brain hemorrhage. What's McCain's excuse, eh?

Your claim that the "Great Schlep" resembles Nazi propoganda makes me horribly uncomfortable. I'm familiar with Nazi propoganda -- in print, reel, and radio forms and I don't see the connection at all. In fact, I think that's prett outlandish. Please elaborate if you will.

As for global warming? Feh. It's a problem, and it'll affect our children's children more than it will affect us, for sure. I'm doing my part and that's really all I can do at this point. I don't really have an opinion on it, but I think the Democratic party has more of a handle and is pushing more of an effort than the Republicans who essentially don't think anything is wrong at all (and anyone who says there isn't *something* going on is naive).

My comments are too lengthy already, but I just have to say that I can't see how someone -- particularly someone religious -- can be okay with the idea of the Evangelical support of Israel. Sure, they're all excited and throw money at Israeli causes and fight for the state, but their MOTIVES are scary, frightening and unnerving. The point, Mottel, is that they want to get all the Jews to Israel, to protect it, so their Messiah will come and the rest of us will go to hell. Now, you can't tell me that that is sane or okay or remotely worth supporting from our end. If your'e taking "the good where you can find it" from that, then I don't know what to say.

And lastly, your comment "the Left is the biggest group of the most foul and disgusting racists in the world" completely contradicts your "I do not dare to stoop down to name calling" comment in the Obama portion of your thoughts. I find offensive because, well, I am in that lump that you've created called "the Left." Unfortunately for you, I'm not a racist and I know few racists outside of my parent's generation, but they were raised (and are Republicans like yourself) to loathe blacks and Asians because of their role in the 20th century. I think that up until your last point you were doing a pretty good job of maintaining your cool, creating valid and interesting points that elaborated your sentiments about the current political situation and election 2008.

But after that?

Well, this comment proves that you are no better than those yelling "terrorist" and "treason" at Palin and McCain rallies. People who maintain a small-minded approach and define themselves by what they are not, rather than by their convictions and beliefs. You'll note that I'm not name calling here, unlike what you did in your post, but I am rather stating my take on your assessment.

And now, a bit about my perspective: 
Listen, I didn't grow up in L.A. and I don't live in New York -- two places I know you are very familiar with. I grew up in Joplin, Missouri, in the Bible belt where I didn't encounter a black classmate until 5th grade. Everyone was white. Everyone. I then moved to Lincoln, Nebraska, where I spent my teen years and college years. Once again, very much a Republican state with traditional Christian, hard-working American values. I understand what Middle America is like, and I understand the values that these people cling to (though, how such right-wing, devoutly Christian states produced a Jew like me, we'll never know). I know that Sarah Palin talking in her "regular people" speak is offensive to me -- even being someone who says things like "crick" and "ruf" and whose father says things like "warsher" and "Warshington." These people are simple, but they're not stupid. The videos of people at Palin and McCain rallies who spout things about Obama as a Muslim and how he smokes and is a terrorist and bad man are ignorant, and those aren't my people. When the campaigning first started, my mom sent me an email forward about Barack Obama being a devout Muslim who wanted to declare Jihad on the U.S. I read the entire email, did some research, and sent my mom an email with the facts. Her response? She was shocked at the fallacies floating around.

The problem? These people don't get the facts because they're constantly thrown generalizations and soundbytes and see these people at these rallies shouting obscene and vile things.

I admire John McCain for his efforts, for his risks and his incredible life serving this country. And I admire Sarah Palin for shooting for the stars and for trying to relate to the regular "Joe Sixpack." But that isn't enough.

Listen, these lower-middle-class people are my people. I grew up with kids who wore Carhart jackets to class and steel-toed boots in the blazing humidity of summer. I watched kids go to work on their parents farms on the weekend and people who spent every Sunday in church. I know how these people think, and I know that they're not stupid. I also know that the American they envision is not the American that we have today, it's not the "Old-White-Guy" America. It's something more beautiful and more alive, something very American and traditional, yes. It's about jobs and family and religion and food and friendships and peace and fighting for this countries core values that I just mentioned.

Anyhow, that's my two cents.