Monday, October 20, 2008

Again with the Character Assassination

If I hear one more Republican say that liberals are anti-American or that some parts of the country are the “pro-America” or "real America" parts, I'm going to...to...to...

I don’t know what. Explode into an ineffectual ball of fury? Scream at my computer screen? Make snarky comments to my conservatives friends? That’ll show ‘em.

For eight years now liberals have had to endure being called traitorous, cowardly, anti-American surrender monkeys. All for upholding the Constitution, rebuking idiotic war fever, and demanding that we not torture people.

I’ve had enough. Patriotism is not support for the far right-wing, militaristic Republican ideology that we’ve had to endure over the last eight years. It is not supporting your country “right or wrong.” Patriotism is demanding that your country live up to its highest ideals.

It’s obvious Republicans can’t win on the issues in these last two weeks. So, they’ve resorted to what they know best – character assassination. They realize that the people do not fear Obama's policies, so they have to make them fear the man. McCain himself doesn't even believe we should fear the man, so what does it say about his integrity that this is his campaign strategy?

And all of this is fine, as long as Obama wins. Let them crawl back to their caves and shout about evil liberals to the clouds in the sky, as long as they are no longer in power. But if the character assassination works in the end and Obama loses because of it, my head will indeed explode.

There. I feel better. Thanks for listening.

15 comments:

Amy said...

I second that.

I would also like to take this time to note that Muslim does not equal terrorist, and that pacifism does not equal unpatriotic.

Now I feel better too.

Tim said...

Dan,

Calm down. You can't say you've endured this for "eight years" and then act all shocked about this sudden "character assassination" in the "last two weeks."

You're acting like a football fan whose team is up 21 points in the final 3 minutes and you get all over the refs for one minor blown call. Have some confidence in the total collapse of our economy. McCain is toast.

As a liberal, I do have to concede "patriotism" to the conservatives. It is a word and a sentiment more valued on the right than on the left. There are lots of other qualities that I value more than love of one's country, such as compassion, intelligence, honesty, integrity. I don't always put America's interests first.

You don't rail against the Iraq war and the Patriot Act and Gitmo because you're a huge patriot. You rail against them because they go against your personal values of pacifism, freedom, and compassion. All great values, but they're not necessarily patriotic.

Dan S said...

Um. I'm not shocked, just very frustrated that it continues to happen, and that it might make a difference in the last two weeks. The polls are tightening.

And you know how I watch football, especially against the Patriots. I did not really believe the Giants had won until the clock was completely out of time. And my own analogy would be that I'm reacting to a blown call that has allowed McCain to score and now be with a touchdown with 3 min left.

Lastly, I think you are letting conservatives determine what patriotism is. Why shouldn't loving your country mean demanding freedom, compassion, justice? Why is love of country reduced to waving flags and guns and worshipping the god of the free market? Yes, conservatives love their conception of what they think our country should be. So do I. We just have different conceptions.

Fingtree said...

I am patriotic because I am a Patriots fan! I draw the line there, you are either with us or against us.
Friends no more~

lls said...

There's only two weeks until the election? Alhamdulillah!(I think knowing that word makes me both elitist and unpatriotic.) Anyway, FiveThirtyEight.com has an interesting post on "real" America.

Robert Sievers said...

amy said "I would also like to take this time to note that Muslim does not equal terrorist". I would also like to take this time to note that while she is right, while Muslim does not equal terrorist, Islam is a religion of terror.

Dan S said...

Thanks Bob. A commentfest is not complete until you call Islam a religion of terror, so I guess we are finished here :)

Fingtree said...

Religion + money, divided by weak minds, minus compassion + hatred, times greed = TERROR

PG said...

I think Robert is a closet Muslim. It's obvious, now that I think about it. He's a self-loathing Muslim in denial.

I'm glad I'm leaving the country before the election. It is possible I will watch the returns from the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City, but even that is too much for me. I'll probably drink in a cantina where no one cares about the outcome.

As for patriotism, we've just watched the new documentary about Pete Seeger, an inspiring movie about someone who is probably the most patriotic person I can think of. And he was a communist.

brownie said...

If Islam is a religion of terror, so is Christianity. This is an easy point to make if we look at history: the Crusades, the wars caused by "Christian" countries all down through the centuries, and the millions upon millons of innocent women, children and helpless folks slaughtered in Christ's name (puke).

But this is just rhetoric.

I've never actually heard of a religion of terror. Even Satanism's main tenent "Do as thou wilt" isn't really a terrorists "religion".

I think terrorism is just another consequence of the sinful nature of man, so elequoently and mathematically presented by Fingtree (A+).

Robert Sievers said...

brownie,

A little closer look at the crusades shows the reality of what happened. While the global politics, societies, and events of the time were complex, there is a critical moment to note. This watershed moment was when Pope Urban II gave his speech in Clermont in 1095, asking Europeans to defend the Holy Land. Here is an excerpt from his speech.

“All who die by the way, whether by land or by sea, or in battle against the pagans, shall have immediate remission of sins. This I grant them through the power of God with which I am invested.”

What Pope Urban II did in this speech is introduce the concept of jihad into Christianity. This decree by the Pope came nowhere from Scripture and was a result of human error. Nowhere did our Lord Jesus Christ teach remission of sin for dying in battle. Rather, this teaching comes from Islam. It is unclear whether the Pope took this teaching directly from Islam, but the reality is that it is an Islamic teaching nonetheless. Those who disagree should ask themselves what other religion preaches jihad? Obviously Christians are disgusted at the concept of jihad within Christianity. It is embarrassing and distasteful when considering the mandate of Pope Urban II. He deviated from the teachings of Christ and instead adopted jihad, an element of Islamic thought.

The Christians who started the crusades did so because they tried to shoehorn Islamic tenets into Christianity.

PG said...

Fascinating.

I am a Mennonite whose Anabaptist roots go back at least a couple of centuries. My ancestors in the faith were burned at the stake, drawn and quartered, and otherwise tortured and killed by the Catholic Church for their heresy of practicing adult baptism. I don't think it had anything to do with jihad.

brownie said...

Excellent points all, Robert.

And as with most things, there is no clearly black and white answers where humans are involved, because we all have both light and dark available to us in our actions.

However, I discern that Christianity cannot be excused from adopting evil practices from anywhere, no matter the source. Once they are adopted, the religion is at fault and bears openly the blood of all those innocents on their hands, for all the world (and God) to see. That they got it from Islam is no excuse. Is Islam equally to blame for such a terrible belief? I say yes, but again it doesn't excuse Christianity's blood-letting.

The same goes for the so-called "Just War" theories of Thomas Aquinas in later years. Leaders and despots have always searched for ways to get people to fight and spill blood for their corrupt causes. And if using religion to justify their war works, then that's all that really matters to them.

God help us.

Fingtree said...

Hippy Jihad!!!

Dan S said...

He deviated from the teachings of Christ...

Christians lost their way when they allowed Constantine to make it the official state religion. From that point forward, Christianity has served the state more than it has served God. Islam had nothing to do with that.

That's not to say Christians haven't followed Jesus' teachings anyway throughout the centuries for social good. It happens, but often it happens in spite of official Chrisianity, rather than because of it.