Wednesday, June 15, 2005

The Libservative Republicrat

Man, we Americans sure love our labels. On a message board I frequent a user posted the following outdated pro-Bush email chastising “Liberals”:

Bush haters READ THIS!!
The following appeared in the Durham, NC local paper as a letter to the editor.

Liberals claim President Bush shouldn't have started this war. They complain about his prosecution of it. One liberal recently claimed Bush was the worst president in U.S. history. Let's clear up one point: We didn't start the war on terror. Try to remember, it was started by terrorists BEFORE 9/11.

Let's look at the "worst" president and mismanagement claims:
FDR led us into World War II. Germany never attacked us: Japan did. From 1941-1945, 450,000 lives were lost, an average of 112,500 per year.

Truman finished that war and started one in Korea, North Korea never attacked us. From 1950-1953, 55,000 lives were lost, an average of 18,333 per year.

John F. Kennedy started the Vietnam conflict in 1962. Vietnam never attacked us. I think history might show Eisenhower committed the troops and Kennedy was honoring that commitment. Johnson turned Vietnam into a quagmire. From 1965-1975, 58,000 lives were lost, an average of 5,800 per year.

Clinton went to war in Bosnia without UN or French consent, Bosnia never attacked us. He was offered Osama bin Laden's head on a platter three times by Sudan and did nothing. Osama has attacked us on multiple occasions.

In the two years since terrorists attacked us, President Bush has liberated two countries, crushed the Taliban, crippled al-Qaida, put nuclear inspectors in Lybia, Iran and North Korea without firing a shot, and captured a terrorist who slaughtered 300,000 of his own people. We lost 600 soldiers, an average of 300 a year. Bush did all this abroad while not allowing another terrorist attack at home.

Worst president in history? Come on!

The Democrats are complaining about how long the war is taking, but... It took less time to take Iraq than it took Janet Reno to take the Branch Davidian compound. That was a 51 day operation. We've been looking for evidence of chemical weapons in Iraq for less time than it took Hillary Clinton to find the Rose Law Firm billing records. It took less time for the 3rd Infantry Division and the Marines to destroy the Medina Republican Guard than it took Teddy Kennedy to call the police after his Oldsmobile sank at Chappaquiddick.

It took less time to take Iraq than it took to count the votes in Florida!!!!

My response is was as follows:
What this letter to the editor blissfully ignores is that it's not about the body count... of course the body count is lower... we've got better weapons, better armor, and are fighting "insurgents", not an army. What I think most liberals take umbrage to is the fact that Bush lies repeatedly. 9/11 was a tragedy... (his administration ignored the warning signs)... but they quickly determined that it was Al Qaeda and Afghani terrorists responsible... so we invade Iraq?? WTF? Ah, but Saddam was a huge threat with his WMDs... which never materialized. And now with the release of the Downing Street Memos, we learn that the intelligence was being "fixed" so he could run with his personal agenda.

The writer of this letter completely ignores the real reasons that Bush is considered by some to be the worst president in history (if nothing else from an environmental and personal freedom standpoint!) and instead spouts Republican propaganda without ever addressing the real issues. Sheesh.

I'm also wondering how old this letter is... he mentions 600 soldiers lost... last I heard (this morning actually) was 1700. He also mentions that we "crushed the Taliban and crippled al-Quaida"... that's not what the US Secretary of Defense said this week.

Man... although I love America, sometimes I hate Americans.

Yes, I know it lacks my usual bitterness, but the original poster is actually a friend of mine, so I took it easy on him. I didn’t point out the inconsistencies of the letter’s spurious and specious arguments. For example, it states "John F. Kennedy started the Vietnam conflict in 1962. Vietnam never attacked us." Hate to break it to you Sparky, but Iraq never attacked us either. The entire argument is juvenile anyway; it's like a teenager being caught coming home after curfew and blurting "Sissy started smoking!" It's a feeble attempt to deflect addressing the actual issues by pointing out somone else's misdeeds. I get this tactic a lot from Bush supporters... "You hate Bush? So I suppose you think Clinton was a great president?!?" Wha huh? I don't know how you got from A to B, but methinks your train of thought made an unscheduled stop. I'd check for engine trouble. This letter to the editor is simply ridiculous, and the fact that my friend felt it was worth posting saddens me.

I mean fer chrissakes, it’s saying that FDR was bad for bringing us into WWII. So… you’re saying that the Nazi’s extermination of the Jews and goal of world domination were a good thing? Yet Bush can do no wrong for lying and destroying our personal freedoms in the name of “protecting” us from terrorists. Lemme guess… white Republican from the South? Hmmm, velly interestink.

I say that last with a wink, as it leads me (finally) into the actual point of this essay. Another poster responded to me saying he was glad that I was actually able to discuss my opinion, rather than just start an argument. He then asked, “So are you a liberal or a conservative?” I responded that I was neither.

I prefer to think for myself rather than toe the party line. Any party. Obviously I lean more toward the left, but I don’t feel the need to quantify myself with a label. I just don’t need to belong that badly. I’m happy being an island unto myself, regardless of what the poets say. I can’t help but think that the political labels we use in this country are just another way to keep us divided and stop us from ever achieving true greatness as individuals or as a society.

Republicans/Conservatives: are all bible-thumping, redneck, racist, homophobic, war-mongering psychotic crackers who screw the poor over in favor of the rich.

Democrats/Liberals: are all limp-wristed, over-sexed, abortion-loving, socialist/Marxist/communist crybaby faggots who hate freedom and want the terrorists to win.

Are those last two paragraphs complete and utter bullshit? Of course they are. Broad generalizations like these should immediately be seen for the partisan drivel that they are. But a lot of people really think that way. Our elected leaders think that way. Or at least act like they do in front of the cameras. I can’t help but feel this is nothing more that a kind of political racism. Instead of instantly hating someone for no other reason than the color of their skin, and perpetuating stereotypes about them, we hate them for the political label they choose to wear. And continue to perpetuate the stereotypes.

In my opinion, the current Republican party seems to have been completely co-opted by the Religious Right, who’s agenda is not based on what’s best for this country, but rather on what they interpret a 2000-year-old fairy tale to mean. The current Democrats seem to have absolutely no balls whatsoever, and are too afraid to offend anyone to actually stand up for what they say they believe in. The Republicans are generally considered the conservative party, and the Democrats the liberal. Why on earth would I want to align myself with either of these clusterfucks? I think Lewis Black said it best:

“The Republicans are the party of bad ideas, the Democrats are the party of no ideas.”

I’m also inclined to agree with Chris Rock (yes I realize how sad it is that a large portion of my political commentary comes from stand-up comedians) when he says that no issue is truly black or white:

“…on some topics I’m conservative, on others I’m liberal. When it comes to crime, I’m conservative. When it comes to prostitution, I’m liberal!”

All joking aside, his point was that each issue, each social problem, each political agenda should be examined in and of itself, and not supported or decried in a knee-jerk nod to party loyalty. Let’s quit calling each other names and actually discuss the issues, and not the person. Am I a Democrat? No. Am I Republican? Hell no. Am I a conservative? At times. Am I a liberal? Fairly often.

The long and the short of it is that I’m an AMERICAN. I am perfectly capable of making up my own mind. One of the most basic intrinsic traits of being an American is the right (if not the duty!) to question my government. Try to keep that in mind before you pigeonhole me into whatever neat little package fits your worldview. Look beyond your waving flags and grownup pep rallies long enough to see the truth for yourself. You might be surprised at what you see when you’re actually willing to open your eyes.


Blogger Matt Ortega said...

In the words of John McEnroe, "you cannot be serious!"

Yes, Japan attacked us, not Germany. But you should crack open a history book because Japan and Germany were allies in the war. Military alliances worked in such that your allies would come to your defense. Britain and France honored their treaty with Poland when Hitler launched the Blitzkreig, officially starting the war in Europe. Japan was at it since the 1930s, raping Nanking and taking much of Asia, threatening American allies in the region and the U.S. itself.

1:19 AM  

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