Thursday, August 23, 2007

Un-Civil War

Fellow readers of Pato News, we are living in a time of civil war. Or as a character in the old Rocky and Bullwinkle cartoon stated: ‘it was not the Civil War, it was the War Between the States, and there was nothing civil about it”. And there is nothing civil about this war, not between the states but between ideologies. Left and right, conservative and liberal both used as derogatory labels. It is not a cold war; it is a hot one, fought everyday in the papers, in the streets, in everyday conversation. The USA is suffering for it.

It began when the right wing was shocked by the 2 terms of Bill Clinton. They could not believe he was elected in the first place and then re-elected. Stung, they pulled out all the lies, waste of money and time (Whitewater, the blow job), and dirty tricks they could pull to keep him occupied and not able to press his agenda. They vilified Hillary since she was smart and dared to ask why our health care system is the best in the world, only for the rich who can afford it. Their daughter, who was not a drugged out drunk like some kids we know, was horribly bullied by a bunch of childish pols and media types.

It is clear that keeping the country focused on bullshit and lies allowed Al-Qaeda to do its dirty work. Of course then the right wing blamed everyone but themselves. Unable to win, they destroy reputations, lie, distort and confuse the voters. Anything they do wrong…it is the Democrats’ fault.

Sadly, we can not have a sane and civil discourse on the issues before name calling and slander rear their ugly head. Criticize the President and you are labeled a “turrerist”. Say you oppose the war and occupation of Iraq and you “hate the troops”. Guess what folks, most of the “troops” hate the occupation too and many are committing suicide to get away from an out of control situation. No one is going to win this one. Yet whoever is the first one to finally throw in the towel will certainly be labeled as an advocate of cut and run.

I realize I am contributing to the whole thing. But I feel I have to stand up and defend my admittedly liberal mindset. I am proud to believe that all people should be allowed medical care at low or now cost. I think the courts and laws are too harsh and biased, we are systematically putting the poor, gay/lesbian, powerless, black, Hispanic and mentally ill away in prison to get them out of our sight. I think the occupation of Iraq is wrong.

You are all free to believe the opposite, just do NOT vilify me for believing differently.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

No, I disagree: you are not contributing to the problem; you're seeing recent history with crystal clarity.

This is where I think brain chemistry gets involved, because when I talk to the few conservatives I know, I absolutely cannot understand how the hell they can hold the positions they do. Anti-science; anti-gay; anti-stem cell research; anti-civil rights; anti-choice; anti-healthcare for kids; anti-regulation.... just anti- everything. How EASY it is just to be "against" everything.

Conservatives all tend to be authoritarians. Thus they take comfort in being told what to think and believe, even do. Meanwhile, the "rules" for the rest of society never apply to conservatives. For example, as a conservative, you can be gay and be against the basic human right of gay marriage and all that entails, but still be a republican who supports criminalizing gay lifestyles.

Conservatives can't win an argument by appealing to facts, to rationality, to experience ("Iraq is like Vietnam" in Bush's Kansas City speech), so they go for the ad hominem, the swift-boat attacks, calling Obama 'Osama' and so on.

You're merely calling 'bullshit' on their arguments. Meanwhile, virtually everyone I support and who gets elected suddenly becomes feckless. Can we learn the lesson about administration spin about the Iraq war? At long last? Please?

Conservatives spend an inordinate amount of energy focusing on the "other," fearful they are out to take something that, by all rights, belongs to "us." Immigrants want our jobs, gays want our sacred 'marriages,' minorities want our neighborhoods, Arabs want to destroy our freedoms, etc. Conservatives are smugly convinced only their church, and only their social equals, hold the key to true morality and right thinking.

Religion and the repub party have done a thorough job of dividing this nation using fear and selfish greed. Conservatives love themselves so much that the core of their punditry is the ridicule of people unlike them, so they appear all that much better.

If you're black, hate civil rights. If you're a woman, hate feminism. If you grew up poor, despise the poor. If you're a visible minority, demand more profiling. If you're gay, say you're cured. If you're Jewish, praise anti-Semites. If you're Christian, praise war. Figure out whatever makes you different from a white, male, protestant businessman and hate it with all your might. That's where conservatism has brought us.