Saturday, January 12, 2008

A rising or setting sun?

From: Michael Busick
Subject: RE: A rising or setting sun?
Date: Sun, 13 Jan 2008 23:01:24 -0800

How have the Dems played the post-9/11 fear card like the GOP has? Each side has long said that this country would be safer with their version of government as opposed to the other one, but since 9/11, the Dems haven't put together a Patriot Act or curbed civil rights or invaded the privacy of national and local protest groups.

And you're right about the Founding Fathers with regard to their hypocrisy about slave-owning. :)

However, it seems like most of America (and a lot of innocent people around the world) are finding themselves caught between the evangelical and neo-con fanatics and the Islamic fanatics. Too bad there isn't some desolate island where these fanatics can be sent to fight it out until they're all gone.

Subject: Re: A rising or setting sun?
Date: Sun, 13 Jan 2008 18:21:28 -0500

All that may be well and good to profess, just as folks on the other side profess their arguments against their "dangerous" opponents (since BOTH sides play their own versions of the fear card so successfully and well without hesitation), but the bottom line remains that while one pseudo-army of Americans shares lefty views and is willing to do battle in the political equivalent of MAD against the righties, there is also a pseudo-army of Americans who have opposing righty views and are willing to do battle in the political equivalent of MAD against the lefties. At some point we've either got to be sincere in moving past the anger and stubborn resolve to find a way to work together constructively, or we have to try to figure out how to eliminate each other while remaining standing ourselves. If 12 million illegal aliens would be difficult to identify, locate, and send out of the country (and, indeed, it would!), just imagine how difficult it would be for the left side of the political spectrum to get rid of the right side or vice versa! Given Brian A's comments about the world's view of America, it appears no place would be willing to take either side. That rather minimizes options; and, since I'm not a fan of genocide, my preference is to figure out how to live together, however imperfect the relationship. Going back again to our founding era - and Franklin, in particular, who played a key levelheaded role in negotiating compromise, there was a keen awareness during the Second Continental Congress of the fundamental differences between slaveholding South and nonslave North. Jefferson's draft of the Declaration of Independence (hypocrisy factor aside) was gutted of anti-slavery language by Edward Rutledge and his southern block, and John Adams - no weakwilled pushover in anyone's estimation - gritted his teeth and accepted imperfect progress together with his opponents over self-destruction from mutual inflexibility. This is not at all to belittle the deeply felt positions we all hold. I can run through my litany of media baggage, Clinton baggage, resentment in response to election result resentments, etc. But at the end of the day, merely spouting our respective deeply held beliefs won't get us anywhere productive; it only reinforces why "we" think "they" are horrid urchins that need to be crushed and consumed by a great Cosmic Otter. (Sorry, the seascape my daughter showed me earlier - complete with an urchin on the sea floor for an otter to eat - is still on my brain.) If we can't be tolerant enough of each other's views to stave off the presumption that internal opponents are no better - and perhaps worse - than external enemies, then Adamson is right about the setting sun but for reasons far different that what he states. "United we stand // Divided we fall // And if our backs should ever be against the wall // We'll be together, together you and I" - I think it was 1970.

----- Original Message -----
From: Michael Busick
Sent: Sunday, January 13, 2008 1:44 AM

In the late 60s -- or early 70s -- a musical group called "Brotherhood Of Man" had a hit with a song called "United We Stand". The chorus started with (predictably) "United We Stand/Divided We Fall...".

As long as one side plays the fear card -- and is successful with it -- this country will never reach the potential that our Founding Fathers hoped we would reach.

We shouldn't have to give up all of our basic, civil, American rights in order to be sufficiently safe. When this country becomes a safe police state, the terrorists win.

"He who sacrifices freedom for security deserves neither." Benjamin Franklin said that -- and he was never president.

When we spend more time pointing out each other's differences than each other's similarities, the terrorists win.

When we start deciding which parts of the Constitution, Bill Of Rights and Declaration Of Independence work and which ones don't, the terrorists win.

It's common knowledge that the bad guys don't like our freedom. Why, then, are we continuing to let it be taken away from us to try to fight those bad guys?

Each of us is part red and part blue. The right candidate to properly lead this country in 2008 -- and beyond -- will remind us of that and that candidate should win.

Subject: A rising or setting sun?
Date: Sat, 12 Jan 2008 22:09:15 -0500

Now that we've all been able to take some Mucinex and clear the phlem out of our political systems, how 'bout we mosey back to more objective analysis and constructive dialogue? After all, if we're going to live together in this great land of ours, we've got to be able to appreciate the mix of perspectives and work together to solve the really serious immediate and long-term problems we face. Our party leaders and candidates do a good enough job of seeing the specks in their opponents' eyes despite the logs in their own, so they don't need our help with that. I think - the existence of all the campaign and party rhetoric on both sides notwithstanding - where they really can use some bottom-up assistance is in putting party aside to figure out where the common ground exists and how we can work together to find solutions we can live with (as opposed to those we'd like to dictate to the other side). Is this possible, or are we condemned to fight it out in a bloodlust battle to dominate and destroy? It seems that the context of Benjamin Franklin's quote about the colonies moving into revolution has changed drastically, but the bottom line is still the same: We must hang together or we will assuredly hang separately. Thoughts?

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