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Monday, September 29, 2008

Why don't Liberals stand up for themselves?

A friend posed this question with the idea that Liberals should fight back against Conservative style defamation of the Liberal character. My answer:

On the one had- if Liberals engage the Conservatives and fight on the terms set by the Conservative agenda it will be a never ending battle of wills because - well as you pointed out- the Conservatives have a way of manipulating the truth to sustain their base and cast aspersions upon the Liberal character. That form of psychological warfare has found a strong foothold in the Conservative Right due to the Christian Conservatives. Christianity has a long long history of conquering by manipulating the facts and just out right taking something and making it something else- and now that something like, say, The Crusades can physically never happen again it is all a psychological game. Now, that's not to say that all Christians are like this nor that all Conservatives are Christians. But the two ideologies have melded into this Godzilla creature that spreads it's intellectual dishonesty and perpetuate fear.
Honestly I'm one of those evil 'middle' folk. I embrace the literal meaning of conservatism as long as it was only applied to political ideology. I have no problem with being moderate and cautious and favoring the established values of our Constitution. Of course I temper this with a healthy dose of liberalism because I think that as times we need to be progressive in some arenas as well.
The only answer I have as to why the Liberals don't stand up for themselves is because , well, they're liberal. By nature they allow for a multifaceted world view and promote thinking for one's self and being free to make up one's own mind.
My question is why do so many in this country eschew intellectual growth and choose a life of fear based following rather than use their brains, view the empirical evidence and wake the hell up? Why are the members of the hardest working nation in the world so damn mentally lazy?

The Fire Next Time

Here is an excerpt of a response I made on a friend's blog regarding the debate:

"As much as we, as a nation, would like to believe that because Obama has made it this far means that latent racism isn't an issue I think it is more of an issue now than ever. Obama has to be completely aware of his demeanor at all times lest he come off as an angry or uppity black man. If there was even a hint of disrespect towards or attack on McCain it would play out- in the minds of many undecided voters- as a racial issue even though you and I know it is not. If you noticed- Obama took every chance he could to point out where he and McCain were in agreement and show respect for McCain's service to the country. I don't recall McCain responding in kind- because he doesn't have to. McCain has merely to show up and be McCain because racially he is validated in this country- Obama has more weight to carry in this arena and I believe he carried it well. Now, this is not to say that Obama was being an Uncle Tom by respecting the political common ground he and McCain share. Far from it. He gave just enough respect and just enough fire to keep himself on a plateau with McCain which is really what he needed to do to show those undecided voters why they need to, perhaps, stay undecided for the time being and tune in for the next debate where I hope Obama will turn up the heat and make some head way.
This is why I give it to Obama."

He then sent me this article from The Root. It was nice to feel like I wasn't totally imagining things. I've been thinking more about this issue since I posted that response and I think that if Obama does show fire and is too 'fiesty' then I imagine that the day after the debate we will be seeing ads that show him next to video of Rev. Wright with the tag line "Do we really want this kind of leadership? (I'm John McCain and I approve this message)" or some such mess.
I honestly think that is one of the reasons Rev. Wright was ever even an issue in this election- they needed some "angry black racist America hater' material in the bank to pull out if Obama makes one false move.

The Republicans are trying to create a false image of Obama based on the racial fears in this country and they are waiting for him to fill in the gaps and prove them right.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

The September 26th Debate

McCain looked like he was put out. I couldn't tell if he was uncomfortable with Obama or just didn't want to be there at all but he looked...irritated at having to do a debate. Like it was a waste of time.

Obama said their differences in economic plans were like the difference between a scalpel and a hatchet- I think that accurately describes the differences between these candidates in general.
I think that it was both necessary and unnecessary to press the point of asking what each candidate would give up out of their platform in light of the current economic climate.

Unnecessary because any thinking person would realize that that question is really impossible to answer until this whole thing shakes out and the new President is in office with the numbers in front of him. That's like asking me "Next January you will be laid off- which bills are you not gonna pay?"- it depends on how much I save, which bills are most current and if any other mitigating factors arise between now and then. Maybe I'll get a new job. There is no way to know.

The question was necessary because I *think* Lehrer wanted one of the candidates to articulate that depth of complexity and that is why he repeated the question 3 times. Obama came very close- but no cigar. They were both deer in headlights - Obama being aware of the car but unable to move and McCain just stunned.

Sarah Palin was conspicuously absent from the commentary afterwards. She declined the invitation and the GOP sent Giuliani instead. So what's gonna happen if she's VP and get's invited to Russia or China for tough talks- are they gonna send Giuliani instead? If she can't even give a brief commentary on her running mates position how the hell is she going to discuss policy in the global arena?


This has been my obsession as of late. Things are moving right along in this election- only 39 days (?) left- and yet it seems to be taking forever. I've been all over the internet reading, commenting, debating- most of all learning. I feel like I have woken up from a long troubled sleep and I have a Bush II hangover. It's time to take some Alka Seltzer and promise myself I will never do that again.

Yes, I guess it is.

On that is.