Sunday, September 26, 2004

What we're all fighting about

Last night we observed Yom Kippur - a time to think about our sins and reflect on them - as well as think about how we can avoid those sins again. Pride, intolerance, among others were on that list. One theme that most of the sins discussed in temple had in common was the failure to consider the people that you effect.

Later at my parents place we gathered together to 'break fast'. I entered into a recurring debate that I've had with a family friend about politics. He is one of those people who believes that foreign policy trumps all the travesties that Bush is committing here, and he believes that Bush is in the right on his foreign policies. While I strongly disagree with him, he is among the most effective debaters I have ever met, and I always enjoy discussing current affairs with him. The point for me is that we both share a common interest in the fate of our country and we both are interested in testing out and arguing our beliefs - to see if they stand up. At the end of the day, the fate of our country is where we both derive our passion from, we just differ on the best means to strengthen this country. This was civil.

Later, I went out to the San Gennaro Feast and stopped at a bar. While the mood was very friendly, all of a sudden this loudmouth starts screaming about how Bush is right, Bush is the greatest, let's kill all Muslims, etc. Very ignorant, very loud and very offensive - just as he intended. And he was 'talking' to his friends. It just blows my mind to see people fighting with other Americans over politics. I hate to quote Jarvis, but this is really how we will lose the war.

Now, mind you, this is not a Republican phenomenon. Later in the evening, we went to another bar and my friend was speaking to a girl. She asked him if he was voting for Kerry. He said no, and she told him he was living in the wrong city - the conversation ended there. This is beyond me. I find it very hard to understand Bush's popularity - but that makes me want to understand how people can support him. However, most Democrats seem to not give a damn about the 49% of Americans who will be voting for Bush. It's sad.

And the truth is, this is what the parties want from us. They don't want nuance, understanding or analysis of the candidates. They want to lock up their 'base' by painting the opposition as illogical or worse. If you convince someone that they can't support a candidate because of ___________(Abortion rights, gay marriage, their obstinance, or their inconsistency), you never need to discuss how both candidates are compromised by corporate donors.

Of course, Bush still sucks and has put us firmly on a course towards World War III and I'll do everything I can to keep him from getting re-elected - I just wish more people were willing to discuss why they have different opinions, we're all in the same boat here we just have different solutions.


Anonymous Anonymous said...


thank you for encouraging me to do what is most difficult. talking to a fellow human about issues that you feel the world depends on and who believes the way to suport it is your direct opposite method.
thank you for encouraging me to do what is also most strategic. only through the understanding of the "other" can you find a more effective way to reach, debate and convince an opposing opinion. don't get me wrong, i live for a world that is able to constructively offer various opinions and then rationally democratically choose for the one solution (yup, i believe it whould be every citizen to vote for every major issues in the country after healthy debating). but maybe there come certain issues for which the difference of a few degrees means life or death. for the planet. should a decision still lie with one very small group of people?
while i will try my hardest this weekend to greet and converse with a guest of the opposing life view, i also do believe that some approaches to organizing life are against life itself. in so many examples but iraq being the most obvious, mr.bush has chosen the way of death. of quick death for the iraqis and slow, mental death of his own americans who through his lies and distractions from the true issues that afflict them have fallen confused and desperate for any leader.

6:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It amuses me when i hear the cries of "bush, its all bush" for the terrorism that is occurring now. It didnt magically appear out of the forehead of bush. There is plenty of evidence that the 9/11 bombings were being planned in the late 90's, and, for that matter, clinton knew about them and didnt do a blessed thing. See col. pattersons book for that. clinton was also kind enough to destabilize the world with the way he responded to North Korea and China, not to mention how the Intelligence and Political communities were well aware of how clinton and the United States were laughed at by other countries for his response to the terrorist situations that ocurred during his "shift".

As for terrorism being "all our fault", or "bush's fault", I think you need to read up on globalization and its ramifications to fundamentalist extremist societies, wich will do everything in their power to either a) destroy it, or b) close off their cultures from the inherent dangers that globalization poses to them (i.e. equality of sexes and nationalities, individual empowerment/less reliance upon goverment/"religious leaders" because of larger knowledge base and per capita income, and influence of other cultures.

The United States has many problems that need to be addressed. For one thing, our military, especially the Department of Defense, is geared to responding to theatre-wide hostilities from super-power type opponents. The only problem is that we are the only super-power left. Our military needs to change, strategies need to change. Another problem that should addressed is this whole Home Defense organization. The last thing we should be doing is retreating from the global community, or pushing them away. The only way for the United States to not only survive, but to thrive, is through trade, economics, and partnerships with countries around the world, and not just the old core "friends" like Great Britain, Japan, etc, but with new countries that are "coming of age" because of their wisdom in globalizing.

Terrorism isnt punishing U.S. for being "decadent" or "imperialist", its a symptom of Globalization and fear of the changes being wrought by it to the world, namely to their fundamentalist cultures. The global countries need to stand by each other when the "kids" who dont want to grow up do terrorist acts, and eventually they will be fewer and fewer as more countries globalize to save themselves from complete dissolution.

4:12 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home