Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Words

Did you ever have words with a friend or family member of another political orientation? Then you know it can be straining, draining and stressful.

You tell them Bush is a liar, and they tell you Clinton lied. (Never mind the frequency and consequences.)

You say Big Business needs rules to follow, and they tell you regulation is bad.

You point out that the media is corporate power, and they tell you it is liberal.

You might say Obama is a Constitutional scholar, and they tell you McCain is a maverick war hero.

You may say Chris Matthews said of McCain, "We're his base." They will tell you the media supports Obama.

You want to discuss issues and events, and they want to tell you Hollywood is evil and leftists are hateful.

You tell him Rush Limbaugh said this about a woman battling cancer, "But back to Elizabeth and the Breck Girl. I'm sorry, my friends, I just -- I can't. It just seems to me that Edwards might be attracted to a woman whose mouth did something other than talk."

And Rush said, "This is about chaos, this is why it is called Operation Chaos[...]the dream end, if people say what is your exit strategy. The dream end is this keeps up to the convention. And that we have a replay of Chicago 1968, with burning cars, protests, fires, literal riots and all of that. That's the objective here."

You tell him Michael Weiner Savage said, "Oh, you're one of the sodomites. You should only get AIDS and die, you pig. How's that? Why don't you see if you can sue me, you pig. You got nothing better than to put me down, you piece of garbage. You have got nothing to do today, go eat a sausage and choke on it. Get trichinosis."

And Savage said, "I'll tell you what autism is. In 99 percent of the cases, it's a brat who hasn't been told to cut the act out. That's what autism is. What do you mean they scream and they're silent? They don't have a father around to tell them, 'Don't act like a moron. You'll get nowhere in life. Stop acting like a putz. Straighten up. Act like a man. Don't sit there crying and screaming, idiot.'"

And you may tell him Glenn Beck said, "I'm thinking about killing Michael Moore and I'm wondering if I could kill him myself, or if I would need to hire somebody to do it. No, I think I could. I think he could be looking me in the eye, you know, and I could just be choking the life out of him. Is this wrong?"

And you may tell him Neal Boortz said, "It's Ramadan and Muslims in your workplace might be offended if they see you eating at your desk. Why? I guess it's because Muslims don't eat during the day during Ramadan. They fast during the day and eat at night. Sorta like cockroaches."

And recently in Alaska, a local conservative radio personality, Eddie Burke, lambasted anti-Palin demonstration organizers , "Call and tell those Socialist Maggots what you think of them. I'm not telling you to burn down their houses or tar and feather them, but someone should teach them how to love their country and support Sarah." He gave out the phone numbers of the organizers to listeners who made threatening calls.

...And they will say those are isolated comments taken out of context.

And around and around it goes.

That happened to me today, and I had to sit back and think about how to deal with it. We have been friends for decades and have been through a lot of merriment and madness together. I value the friendship and hope he will take a moment to read these words I sent to him.

***
Friend,

I didn’t mean to jump all over you about politics. I Hope you’re not too upset about it. Hearing someone say they “like Sarah” can trigger a reaction.

It’s just that Sarah the likable, but vengeful, Church Lady scares me. It’s not only her church’s Armageddonist indoctrination. Everything I’ve learned about her indicates she is George Bush in a skirt.

McCain scares me too. He is a militaristic authoritarian. (He said there would be a place for Dick Cheney in his administration.) I’ve called McCain, along with Hillary Clinton, a war monger. And they are, by definition.

I also understand why Obama can scare someone. And it’s not because he’s black, although racism will unfortunately be a factor in the election.

I happen to spend an inordinate amount of time watching and reading political stuff. I even read the positions of republicans. George Will’s recent assessment of McCain is an interesting example. Then there’s Pat Buchanan’s warning about McCain’s neocon foreign policy advisor Randy Scheunemann.

There are many of us who rightly view actions by both Bush/Cheney and Pelosi/Reid as threats to our Constitutional democratic republic. I seriously consider Obama’s FISA vote as a betrayal of our Fourth Amendment.

Here is the truth, and I believe you understand this, too. People who call themselves liberal and people who call themselves conservative, have far more in common than the divisive media and politicians would have us think.

I hate the poisonous connotations that have been injected into those words. Both words, liberal and conservative, have become defined by their respective opposition to the point of contradictory meaninglessness. For example, neo-liberalism is neo-conservatism. Same thing, but who’d know it?

Corporate media and corporate bought government both thrive with an ill-informed public. I distrust them both and make it my business to learn the truth. We need independent voices in media. All we hear is partisan crap.

This is all I wanted to say. We can happily avoid the subject of politics. We have much to share and life is too short.

Thanks.

Dave
***

I hope he will read this and respect where I am coming from. If not, I may have lost a friend to the Reich Wing koolade cult.

7 comments:

betmo said...

i have reached the point where life is too short not to draw lines in the sand. it is my own personal belief and my own personal opinion only- i cannot speak for others- that if there isn't any common ground on something as important as civil liberties and environmental issues- there isn't any common ground. i no longer spend any time going around in pointless circles. those folks get the ax.

obviously, your relationship means a great deal to you and i would never suggest you do such a thing- but my own heart says that life is too short not to be political.

Annie said...

your timing is impeccable. i am struggling to relate to anyone who aligns themselves with the curren crop of corrupted clowns.

Mauigirl said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mauigirl said...

Dave, I think we've all been there. I have had these arguments with people whom I otherwise like; and when it really comes down to it, if we don't agree on these types of issues, we can never really be as close friends as we might like to be otherwise.

I even went out with a guy for 3 years who was an avid Republican, back in the Reagan era. We fought about politics constantly. It was so frustrating.

Needless to say, we did not get married, although we do still chat once in awhile. It's not as aggravating to talk with him now as it was when he mattered to me more.

I think it's very difficult to have a truly good friend if you disagree on such important issues, as Betmo said.

It's good you sent the note; I'm sure you will reach some kind of detente and agree to disagree. But it will still always be difficult and there will always be that barrier between you.

Brother Tim said...

It's so sad, Dave, that people can be so delusional. If they were profiting from it, it would be understandable, but most of them aren't.

As an example, I was talking to an employee at the lumber yard; he said he supports Bush and the Republicans. I asked him why. He said he loves their tax policies. WTF? The guy makes less than 20K/yr. I sensed his IQ made him uneducatable, so, end of discussion.

As you point out, rather than give a rational defense of Repug behavior, they attack something a Dem did, or didn't, do. It's a juvenile strategy, and it's hard to have a meaningful debate with a two-year old.

To a degree, Betmo's right; but I cling to the hope that misled people can be led to the truth. I know, I know........ I'm a dreamer.:)

Distributorcap said...

dave

there are people i will not talk to at all because of their politics - extreme bush supporters

like maui said - there are some things to me that are deal breakers - and that is one.

then there are some people i know are republican and maybe even bush supporters -- i just avoid the subject, but often the relationship stays very shallow and limited.

maybe it is me -- but i just cannot relate to someone who actually finds something good in any of these people or their policies

but i never would tell anyone else what to do

best of luck

D.K. Raed said...

unfortunately I have to deal with one of these guys next week -- my own brother, sorry to say. It's very tough. I try to steer clear of politics, but he flings out the most outrageous stuff. For the sake of peace in the family, I usually walk away from him. Last encounter ended with him screaming at me that I represent what's wrong with america.

On the other hand, I do maintain a few repub friendships, not close friends & not during election season.