Anne Notations

Sunday, September 14, 2008

This ain't no party


This presidential campaign is making me pretty crazy, and honestly I wish we could just go vote tomorrow and settle the damn thing. Call me fragile, but I don't think I can stand much more calculated ad hominem sneering and smugness disguised as right-thinking patriotism. I probably shouldn't be surprised that the reigning puppetmaster party has turned the election into a flag-waving farce. John McCain, once I thought you were a pretty good guy. Clearly, you have jumped the shark in your quest to win the votes of the lunatic fringe.

A letter appears in today's New York Times magazine that says what I feel about the Republican administration whose eight years of cynical mismanagement and divisive economic "policy" have brought the U.S. to its current predicament.

Before declaring George Bush’s administration a failure, consider that he has packed the Supreme Court with right-wingers; rewarded his fat-cat backers with massive tax cuts and seen their wealth grow like Midas’s; brought about the return of Big Oil to Iraq — a dream of Vice President Dick Cheney’s, if not his own; relaxed untold environmental and pro-worker regulations on behalf of business; and created an unprecedented boon for big business by contracting out everything from the Iraq war to the rebuilding after Katrina. In short, Bush has accomplished absolutely everything his supporters wished.


Then, there is a terrific essay by playwright Eve Ensler on the cartoonish (but scary) Republican phenomenon called Sarah Palin, erstwhile U.S. veep and potential successor to the presidency. An excerpt:

I believe that the McCain/Palin ticket is one of the most dangerous choices of my lifetime, and should this country chose those candidates the fall-out may be so great, the destruction so vast in so many areas that America may never recover. But what is equally disturbing is the impact that duo would have on the rest of the world.


My conservative friends: I value your friendship even as we may disagree.

Fellow liberals: Please vote and get everyone you know to vote in the presidential election this fall.

Fence-sitters: Consider taking a chance on real change, on integrity, on reason, on hope and charity in the face of cynicism and manipulation. Can anything an Obama administration might do, or fail to do, be as catastrophic for the United States as the past eight years have proven to be? I seriously doubt it.

America is a great country. Let us make a great and gutsy decision as we cast our votes.


(Above photograph shamelessly – and gratefully – borrowed from oldbookguy.

6 Comments:

  • Anne - I couldn't agree more -- on ALL the points you made. But the overall effect is killing me. I'm so ready to have this election over. I'm finding myself either extremely angry or extremely depressed.

    By Blogger Bean, at Wed Sep 17, 09:33:00 AM EDT  

  • I have had a similar reaction. I have to vote for Obama even though I trust him about as far as I can throw a 1949 Packard. But I trust McCain and Palin even less.

    It's most saddening to think I cast my first vote in 1965 for Mayor John V. Lindsay, and found myself backstabbed when I worked for the city a few years later. By now ever four years brings me the sad expectation that I will do the right thing and get screwed again.

    By Blogger Ken, at Wed Sep 17, 05:04:00 PM EDT  

  • I'm neither conservative nor liberal, but I'm more often disheartened to hear that someone is liberal these days. Liberalism isn't what it used to be. Obama has said that his first act as president would be to sign the “Freedom of Choice Act”. This act would take away the freedom to be a conscientious objector to abortion. I can just see Catholic hospitals being shut down for refusing to perform them, doctors losing their licenses, and taxpayers being forced to fund even more abortions when all laws restraining the use of abortion--at any stage of pregnancy and birth--are invalidated.

    I see corruption on the right side of the spectrum as well, and I sympathize with those who have serious problems with the Republican party. Also, McCain might be said to have a 100% prolife record, but until he comes down on embryonic stem cell research, he's not being consistent or acceptable.

    The thing is, as a Catholic I am called to stand up for life from its innocent beginnings to its natural end. Sure, abortion is not the only issue; it is one among many. Consider however the fact that four thousand Americans die per *day* due to abortion, making it a real holocaust of sheer proportions that dwarfs other serious concerns of today, no matter how corrupt or debase their roots are. I'm not minimizing the other concerns people have that cause them to be frustrated with this administration and worry for the future. The fact simply is that four thousand human lives per day is even more monstrous.

    Only the prospect of some of the human race being saved from the threat of annihilation of the entire world, would seem to be a morally strong enough reason to vote in good conscience for a candidate with a bent for baby killing.

    Until we take human life seriously again, we're simply not going to take all that much else seriously. Try to make mental leaps from the premise of the Culture of Death--that life isn't sacred (or even inherently good, if you're an atheist) after all, and meditate on what that means for everything else.

    This isn't a faith-based concern at all, although Catholicism is certainly a way of life that will teach a person to make good use of reason. Science and Church are in complete agreement over when life begins. The notion of "personhood" that the left drags out in its defense is merely an attempt to lend credibility to what are actually arbitrarily-formed criteria by which they attempt to get their way, the quality of the arbitrariness of their thinking being something they would NEVER tolerate from the faithful. Science means nothing to them if it isn't on their side, and sentiment means everything to them when it suits them.

    The Culture of Death has many symptoms, all beginning with the common denominator of a failed attempt to divorce sexuality from reproduction. For intelligent reading on contemporary issues from a Catholic, try Mark Shea's blog at http://markshea.blogspot.com, Jimmy Akin's blog here: http://jimmyakin.org, and Curt Jester who has a knack for wit, here: http://splendoroftruth.com/curtjester . For another symptom of the Culture of Death that seems to be a real idee fixee for liberals, see here: http://www.catholic.com/library/gay_marriage.asp although I haven't finished that article and can't vouch for it completely. I know what I would add to it would be, the story of how separation of sexuality from reproduction has led to the acceptance of all sorts of deadly deviances, with abortion being the guarantor that society can continue the ruse of divorcing the reality of sexuality from reproduction.

    I don't know if any of this will sink in immediately, but I'll pray that it does. Research done on liberals vs. conservatives is discouraging to me, and it seems to corroborate what I as a former liberal have suspected for a long time, but which liberals do not like to acknowledge:

    "Haidt has conducted research in which liberals and conservatives were asked to project themselves into the minds of their opponents and answer questions about their moral reasoning. Conservatives, he said, prove quite adept at thinking like liberals, but liberals are consistently incapable of understanding the conservative point of view. “Liberals feel contempt for the conservative moral view, and that is very, very angering. Republicans are good at exploiting that anger,” he told me in a phone interview.
    Perhaps that’s why the conservatives can so successfully get under liberals’ skin. And why liberals need to start working harder at breaking through the empathy barrier."

    I simply identify myself as Catholic, and I get annoyed when people try to lump me in with conservatives. But I would be dishonest if I didn't admit modern liberalism is much, much more of a threat today. My problem is, I'm not convinced that either the R or D part has offered acceptable candidates when it comes to my values. I might go with the camp who is espousing voting for a third candidate, in the hopes that a salvageable GOP might learn a lesson for the future. In my eyes, the Democratic party has rendered itself insalvageable. It has become indifferentist to values, and has fallen prey to the fallacy of relativism. A great example is Kerry and Joe Biden with their stance on abortion. "I am personally against it, but..." just means that they're conscientious objectors to their own consciences. But only in the case of abortion; in other areas they have no problem imposing their values upon the country. To people who aren't PC, we have other words for such Catholics: "Dissenters". "Cafeteria 'Catholics'". At one time it was okay to go ahead and call them "heretics" as well, when they preached in the name of Catholicism as Nancy Pelosi attempted to do, though that word seems discouraged today for its reputation for halting all rational discussion on the part of those who incur it.

    When you really get to the bottom of issues, you find that the liberal thought of today has only hijacked the word "progressive". It is actually quite anti-woman, anti-life, irrational, and willfully ignorant and deceitful in its painting of the opposition as anti-progress, anti-poor, or anti-science. Issues such as "murder" get called "too private to discuss" in an effort to squelch open opining. It's insidious to the core to a degree that modern American conservatism just isn't, at least in its pure ideological form. (The only apt comparison you can make is between pure forms).

    I haven't heard any good reason to be a modern liberal these days, and I certainly would rather have my throat slit than do anything to help the likes of Obama. I realize that sounds harsh, but I take serious things seriously.

    I value the friendships of what liberal friends I can manage to keep, though they might not like that I consider them to be victims of a very corrupt ideology and a deceitful world along with a tall glass of peer pressure. If they can swallow that, while they don't bother me by calling my son and my previous child whom I lost, a fetus with no human rights, then there's a lot more hope than there would be otherwise. Right now I am too unskilled to deal with people who would be just as happy if I murdered my son for any reason. (I'm not saying you're pro-abortion; I don't get the impression that you are).

    By Blogger Karen, at Thu Sep 18, 11:26:00 AM EDT  

  • Anne, you don't know how happy I am to know there's a faction of hockey moms for Obama. :)

    I wasn't going to comment because you already know I'm voting for him, but something made me just want to thank you for the Times link and to say again that you, as a hockey mom for Obama, give me hope that this country can be pulled back from the brink.

    (No, really, under Bush we lived through a bankruptcy, I had one job get shipped off to India, every month our oil bill takes any money left over, and I couldn't afford to give a good life to a child if I wanted one right now. For years I've been quiet online and in public because I didn't want to hurt the feelings of people I know who assure me nothing is wrong, but I'm regaining my voice in part because of you and yes, I'm so ready to get Bush and his gang of dangerous zealots far behind us that I'll risk pissing off even extended family. I'm planning a post of my own on all this soon, so I'll hush up now. ;) )

    By Blogger BrideOfPorkins, at Thu Sep 18, 10:25:00 PM EDT  

  • Long time no post. I wonder if the politics have gotten your goat.

    By Blogger rabbi neil fleischmann, at Fri Oct 03, 06:01:00 AM EDT  

  • This election season feels like it's been going on for years. The only thing that makes it tolerable is Tina Fey. There's a rumor that SNL might be bringing her back for a 4th appearance (and maybe more). I don't understand support for McCan't and Pain-in. What resonates, and has from the beginning, is the goodness and genuiness of Obama. Less than 30 days to go...

    By Blogger just linda, at Mon Oct 06, 05:01:00 PM EDT  

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