Re: Looking at the Bigger Picture, Which Some People Can’t Actually See

I got an e-mail today from a gentleman named Marcos. At first I dismissed it. More of the same. Republican talking points. Bits of wisdom from the Kool-Aid afflicted. But for some reason I decided to jot off an answer. Somehow that answer turned into a weighty tome. Initially I was going to simply reply to the e-mail, but then I realized that what I’d written was pretty much a general statement. So I decided to post it here.

First, the message I responded to, in its entirety. I haven’t corrected mis-spelled words or added punctuation. It is what it is.

I read part of your blog and I can see you are very passionate about your views, as am I. Now I believe that I am a reasonable person and I like to examine all sides before taking a stand on any issue. I think your views fall right in line with those of a big portion of Americans, but I think your not seeing the bigger picture. Ask yourself, what do you really know about obama? No seriously! He has been given a free pass by the media since the beginning and he really has not credentials whatsoever that would indicate he is the right man to lead this nation. On the subject of the “lipstick on the pig”, lets be frank……..the fact that McCain used it before doesn’t matter, because it was in a different contents, however Obama is no IDIOT, he is very savy, and calculates his every word. The reality is that his campaign was blind sighted by the selection of Palin and they still are recovering. I think Obama has been campaigning longer than anyone else in this election, and he isstarting to show signs of fatigue……now on Bush, I got to tell you I had the privlage to serve as U.S. Marine and I often think that many Americans who have not served or travel around the world don’t see the complete picture of how we are viewed. Obama will have you believe that people hate Americans because we are in Iraq, but my friend I got to tell you that I’ve experieced hate to us and our way of life long before we set foot over there……..Obama himself just recently traveled abroad so what des he know anymore than whatever reports came across his desks. We all have the right to believe what we want, but for me with McCain I don’t have to question about his experiece and what he is about…

And here is my reply;

First off, don’t insult me by claiming that I don’t see the bigger picture when you start off a message by saying “I read part of your blog”. I you’re so aware of the bigger picture, read my entire blog, and then make a comment on it. That’s the biggest problem I have with Conservatives. They don’t even read the details of the things they object to. But then, they wouldn’t have to when so much of their indignation is being downloaded into their brains through Fox News and Conservative talk radio.

My first response to your message was “Oh, please.” I didn’t see anything in what you wrote that sounds any different from what I hear from every other Conservative. Talking points, in other words. “What do you really know about Obama?” “He has no credentials whatsoever.” It’s the same mind-set that recites the mantra “Palin has more executive experience than Obama and Biden combined” while ignoring that fact that she also has more executive experience than McCain (who was never a mayor or a governor). Whenever I hear the official catch-phrases, it tells me right away that the person I’m talking to hasn’t researched the points he or she is arguing, has no real idea what he or she is talking about, and believes shouting down his or her opponents is the same thing as winning an argument. Arguing with a Conservative is like putting a quarter in a machine and getting out the same old tired catch-phrases and talking points. You can make whatever points you want, but all you’re going to get in return are the same old sound bites.

As for the lipstick on a pig remark, it’s typical Republican B.S. to contend that McCain using the exact same phrase is “different”. Of course it’s different. It’s always different when your guy says something, isn’t it? Now the Republicans are so desperate to take Obama’s words out of context that they’ve been reduced practically to saying “watch the video … his pinkie twitches when he says it … of course he was talking about Sarah Palin”. As I said … “Oh, please.” The only people who are believing this propaganda are the people who’ve already drank the Republican Kool-Aid and believe everything they see on Fox News or hear from Bill O’Reilly. I’ve watched the video. What I saw and comprehended was the point that Barack Oabama was trying to make, that you can put a fresh coat of paint on the same old tired Republican ideology, but what you still have is a steaming pile of genuine Republican bull shit. I don’t know. Maybe I’m missing the Right-Wing gene that could take Obama picking his nose as an attack on Sarah Palin.

As for Sarah Palin, I agree with you that the Obama campaign was blind-sided by the selection of Sarah Palin. Most Americans, politicians, political analysts and world leaders were blind-sided by the selection. It’s such a bizarre selection that the only thing I could think of that might explain an experienced politician like John McCain picking an neophyte like Sarah Palin is that he really is an American hero, and he’s hoping to stand in the gap and keep the Neo-Conservatives and the Religious Right from getting back into the White House and continuing their war against the American people. Well, the poor people. You know the ones I mean. The ones who weren’t born rich. No, I’m not naive enough to actually believe that of John McCain. But I do personally believe that it would be the only way at this point that he could keep from going to Hell.

The selection of Sarah Palin is the most random decision in modern politics. I’ve looked at her record. I’m sorry. I haven’t drank the Kool-Aid. What I see is the woman’s record for what it is (which is largely non-existent). Her qualifications seem to have more to do with the fact that the Religious Right loves her Right-Wing ideology than that she’s actually prepared for the job of President. And make no mistake. John McCain is a 72 year old man with heart problems. People are actually betting on whether he’d make it through his first term or not. That’s what makes Sarah Palin so dangerous. She’s a Right-Wing nutjob who believes that Creationism should be taught as science, rape victims should be forced to give birth if they get pregnant, that the children of those rape victims are on their own once they’re born, that freedom of speech only applies to those who think the way that she does, and that Global Warming is something those God-less Democrats just made up. These are her qualifications, and they’re the only reason she’s on the ticket. She’s there to energize the Religious Right, who weren’t very thrilled with John McCain getting the nomination. She’s there because John McCain and the Republicans are betting that the women of this country are so stupid that they won’t know the difference between Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin, and will vote for anyone with a vagina.

I salute you for your service to the country as a U.S. Marine. But I have to tell you that I’m more than tired of Righties who served in the military coming back and expecting me to believe that being in the military makes one an expert in foreign policy. Being a soldier doesn’t any more qualify one as an expert in geo-political affairs than being a P.O.W. qualifies one to be President. If being in the military qualifies one as an authority on foreign relations, how does the Right explain those soldiers who are against the Iraq War, who think President Bush should be impeached, who vote Democrat and have run for political office as Democrats? Well, we all how the Right explains those people. They’re traitors, aren’t they? Or they’re not smart enough to know Right from wrong, else they’d be Right-Wing Conservatives. It always amazes me how quickly the Right dismisses the service of those soldiers who disagree with their Right-Wing positions, even as they wrap themselves in the flag and portray themselves as somehow more American than both moderates and those on the left.

You know, I have one thing to say to Conservatives and Republicans. Stop trying to tell me “Obama would have you believe …” because I know what Obama would have me believe. I don’t get my information from Fox News, but instead I actually read what the man has to say. I know what his positions are. I know how much of the misinformation that’s being peddled about him is manufactured. You see, that’s the problem I and a lot of Americans have with this whole thing. Some of us actually research the issues we have an opinion on, and we know how much of the Republican agenda is total fantasy.

As for Obama’s qualifications, if you actually want to find out what he’s done so far in his life, why don’t you check out another post that I wrote. And this time don’t read part of it. Read the entire thing. I mention this post because the Republicans tried so hard to make Americans believe that Sarah Palin is more qualified than Barack Obama that I went and looked up their histories, so that I could compare the two. That post is at; The Watch.

Personally, I think it’s sad that John McCain, a man whom I used to respect, has sold his soul to the Neo-Cons and become nearly unrecognizable when compared to that “maverick” who ran for President in 2000. I know you think you know all about me because you think that you know who I am because you think I’m a Liberal and a Democrat. Sorry, Charlie. I’m registered as “unaffiliated”, and I’ve voted for Republicans as well as Democrats (although I’ve voted for Republicans a lot less since 1990 or so when the Religous Right and the Neo-Cons managed to take over the party). If John McCain had received the Republican nomination in 2000, I would have voted for him for President over Al Gore. Mostly because I thought that Al Gore was the kind of politician who would do or say whatever it took to get into the White House. But instead the Republicans chose to nominate a man whose first political office of any kind was being governor of Texas (Bush never served on a school board, much less a city council or a Senate seat). Sadly, now the politician who will do or say anything to get into office is John McCain. He’s a different man than he was in 2000. I imagine because to even have a chance at getting the Republican nomination he’s had to completely reverse himself and his positions, and line up his ideology with the Neo-Cons and the Religious Right. Any man who can completely change his ideology like that is no maverick, but a political hack.

Sadly, I respect what John McCain once stood for. I’m just not foolish enough to believe that he’s still the same man. It breaks my heart that he’s been so marginalized by the selection of Sarah Palin, because now the Presidential race seems to be between Barack Obama and Sarah Palin, not Obama and McCain. John McCain is being marginalized by his own party. Which is understandable, I guess. Most Americans can’t relate to an old man who’s spent most of his life as a professional politician in Washington, D.C., and who expects us to believe that he’ll bring change to the government when he himself has said that he’s agreed with President Bush over 90% of the time. Someone should probably tell John McCain that a Republican has been in the White House since 2000 and that the Republicans controlled Congress since 2000 for all but the last couple of years. So what political elite is he intending to deal with, exactly?

I imagine your closing statement says a lot. “With McCain I don’t have to question about his experience and what he is about.” That sounds naive to me. I believe we should question everyone’s experience. I’ve certainly questioned Obama’s. The difference between us is that I’ve researched the man myself, and I feel like I have a pretty good idea about what he’s all about. I’ve also researched John McCain. McCain lost my support when he completely up-ended his beliefs and everything he stood for just to have another chance at running for President. I can’t respect a man who will abandon his principles when they are no longer politically advantageous.

As for Sarah Palin … well, there’s not a lot to research there. She’s a former beauty queen who attended six colleges in six years, whose highest political office prior to becoming governor of Alaska was being mayor of a city of less than 6,000 people which is run by a city council form of government (which means the city council runs the city, not the mayor). So really, the only solid qualification Sarah Palin has is that she’s been governor of Alaska for about a year and a half. Even that’s a problem because she’s currently under investigation for ethics violations. And I’m supposed to be comfortable that the only thing that stands between this woman and the Presidency of the United States is John McCain’s tired old ticker? I’m sorry. I don’t believe the most powerful country in the world should be run by a self-proclaimed “hockey mom” who has traded on her looks her entire life. That might be an acceptable scenario for an original movie on the Christian Broadcasting Network, but most Americans live in the real world and we kind of expect our leaders to live in the real world with us.

Stop drinking the Kool-Aid. Do some research. If you want to hate Barack Obama, go read his own words and find out what his actual positions are. Then if you find him so objectionable, it’s your right to think whatever you want of him. But don’t try to tell me that I don’t know anything about him, because I do. John McCain abandoned his principles. Sarah Palin is a Right-Wing Kool-Aid drinker who thinks that dinosaurs roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. Barack Obama has over a decade of political experience and actually inspires people to believe that we could make this country something more than a Christian theocracy to be run by the likes of James Dobson and Pat Robertson. He’s someone who not only believes in, but who represents the best of, what makes America great; the promise that our Founding Fathers saw when they chose to put the reigns of this country into the hands of the citizens, creating for perhaps the first time in human history a government that was literally accountable to its people.

Is Barack Obama perfect? No. Far from it. I disagree with him on some fundamental issues. But I disagree with John McCain on nearly everything. And I believe that a man with Sarah Palin’s ideology and political qualificatons would have been laughed out of the building, so you can imagine what I think of her. Once again I feel like I’m voting for the lesser evil. Mostly because I don’t fully trust anyone who seeks political office. I believe that those who would be best in positions of political power are most often the least likely to seek political office. However, when compared to John McCain and Sarah Palin, Barack Obama is bright, shining light. I suppose when it really comes down to it, if I have any distrust of Barack Obama, it’s because he’s a human being like the rest of us, and is likely to make mistakes. But I would much rather have a fallible human being as my President than a man like John McCain, who talks of honor but has abandoned his principles, or a woman like Sarah Palin, who is little more than a Neo-Conservative fantasy pin-up girl.

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