Friday, September 12, 2008

More of the Same

Strange, how people, so like minded in other ways, can view the political situation so differently, judge candidates so differently, believe so differently that "the right course of action" can be in opposite directions.

Example: "Victory" in war means the death of thousands of innocents. How can it be rationalized by those whose battle cry has been Pro-Life? Is "Life" restricted to prenatal? I have said it here before: I am Pro-Life. But to me, that means I am Anti-War. I am not such an idealist that I do not understand that there will never be a day when necessary war does not exist. We will forever have to defend ourselves or others. But unprovoked war? - war for profit? (and it is always profitable for someone) - war simply to prove one's might? - to bully? - to attempt to force one's form of government on others who are getting along very well on their own, thank you? - war to "liberate" people who do not feel they need liberation? No. That is simply destruction of innocent "Life". It should not be entered into, and if begun, it should not be continued to "Victory". There is no victory in such a situation. There is only prolonged agony, on all sides.

What I find particularly repugnant is the lies, the propaganda, the false representation of "the enemy". There is a huge segment of the population, easily led by such things, gullible enough to be made to believe that they should hate and distrust all of "Them". Never mind that this family is quiet, law-abiding, and wants nothing more than to live peacefully in harmony with the rest of us. They are of another color or religion, and speak with an accent. They must be terrorists. Never mind that they have lived in our country for generations, and become citizens long ago, they are suspect. We must hate them.

The distrust of "Others" extends beyond wartime. It always seems to exist. I recall a trip I once took to New York to see The Little Red Lighthouse, of children's literature fame. Otherwise known as Jeffrey's Hook Lighthouse, it sits overlooking the Hudson River, under the George Washington Bridge. It is accessed through the neighborhood known as Spanish Harlem, one of my favorite places in the world, always colorful and full of music. I did not want to drive to New York, and decided to go along with a bus tour offered by New Jersey Lighthouse Society. As we drove into Spanish Harlem, the atmosphere inside the bus changed noticably. Conversation ceased. People would glance out of the windows and then at one another, and some of the women actually clutched their purses to them. When the bus stopped, they scurried along after the leader, huddling together until we reached the park itself. "They" were out there. "They" could be dangerous. All the signs above the shops and restaurants were in Spanish! I couldn't resist a chuckle when the Park Ranger appeared, and she was one of "Them". It amused me in a way, but how sad, really. These people had no idea how they cheat themselves of life's experiences.

The difference, of course, is that in wartime the hate and distrust can quickly turn to tragedy.

Fundamentalism scares me, whether Christian, Muslim, or any other religion. Extremists of any ilk are scary. There's no reasoning with them. They KNOW, and will never compromise, and refuse to learn anything new. New is bad. And the rest of us are all damned to hell anyway.

I don't understand why those who believe that God created everything quite literally, as written in the Bible, cannot also understand that He then must have created science and people with sufficient intelligence to figure it all out. Why do the two things have to be on opposite sides of the picture?

And I guess the biggest question I have is: how can they watch a leader of a country proceed to defy every value they, and he, claim to believe in, and still continue to consider him and those in league with him to be the ones they want to follow? I am not trying to be argumentative now. I know I get pretty hot about it at times, but just now I am sincerely asking, what is the logic behind this? By what mental process do they arrive at this conclusion?

And most important of all, how can they and thousands of other Americans stand by and watch our Constitution be trampled underfoot? When it is gone, and we are all looking at one another and asking, "What happened?" - what will be left then? It scares the hell out of me!

I am left with the refrain I seem to be singing a lot lately - I don't understand.


Anonymous said...

Bobbie, I agree with every single word of this. Things are just the same here. I like what you say about being 'Pro-Life'. For me, it begins inside the womb but it doesn't stop there. Not only am I Pro-Life, I'm anti-death. Yes, there will be times when it may be necessary to kill but that has to be a last resort and no true 'victory' can ever be declared if one person has been killed in the process. As a Christian, I believe fundamentalists of all kinds are very dangerous. It's 'fundamentalist' with the emphasis on 'mental'.

Bear Naked said...

I have never understood why some are so distrusful and fearful of other people and their cultures.
Perhaps it is because I am naturally curious; I want to learn about different people and their customs and religions, how they live, what language they speak and their hopes and dreams for themselves and their families.

Just because someone elses' beliefs and customs are different from mine does not make them an enemy or a threat.

Re--your question regarding public or anonymous "followers."
I have some people on my list that are public and if they have the widget on their blog then my picture would be displayed there. If they don't have the widget, their blog is still listed on MY follower list. Your choice can be both anonymous and public on your list of followers.
Hopefully my answer is not too confusing. I am by no means an expert about Blogger.

Bear((( )))

Anonymous said...

Very well said, Bobbie. I feel the same frustrations, but have not been able to articulate them as well as you have done in this post.

Ramblings of a Villas Girl said...

More than likely I am off the mark and will probably get people pissed at me if they read this comment. I am Pro-Choice. I feel a woman should be able to do with her body what she wants to do. If a woman is raped or a daughter molested, they should have the 'Choice'.

I am also Anti-War. But it is human nature, when attacked to attack back. When hated, hate back.

As far as 'the enemy', I will have to refer to September 11, 2001, the people who hijacked those planes came into this country, went to airports asking about flying planes, but not wanting to know how to take off or land. They even came to our little airport with these questions. Why was something not done then? Wasn't it odd that they didn't want to know how to take off? How to land? These would have been questions I would have asked. Thousands died that day. Even more lives changed forever. People who didn't have to suffer if the "why" would have been asked. If something would have been done then, but what's done is done. Because of that day, a lot of people became hard, became scared of 'them'. An attack was made on US soil. If it happened once, it could happen again. Fear and human nature kicked in and still lives on. Can things go back to the way they were? No. Fear is a powerful emotion and not overcome easily.

I am not defending Bush, but I think that a harsh decision was made. Human nature took over. People wanted revenge and to war we went. Do I think that we should be there? Absolutely not. I want our troops home. I want a lot of things for this country we live in, but I feel I am in the minority.

bobbie said...

Hi Lisa. I won't argue with you on most points. The only thing I'd like to question seriously is - Do you really think we went to war because of 9-11? I don't.

Ramblings of a Villas Girl said...

I really don't want to argue either, but 9/11 happened. I don't know if this is the reason we are at war or not. There were people who had said that the government knew something was going to happen, and let it happen anyway just so we could go to war. I would hope that this was not true. What I feel is 9/11 has caused a great deal of fear and prejudice. Something that will not soon be overcome.

buke said...

Well said Bobbie. I agree wit your views 100%. The gullibility of some voters really shocks and dismays me. The sheer optics of the 'hockey mom' for instance has bumped up McCain in the polls. It has nothing to do with experience or policy. It's really frightening. We are having an election here in Canada also which is proving the same sort of observations about how easily some are swayed by hollow campaign promises.

Alida Thorpe said...

Thank you for speaking your mind.
This election scares me. I think people are swayed very easily and believe everything they read on the internet, or from gossip and "tabloid" type papers.

Palin is so against what many women believe and yet she pretends to be on their side. Do you want your children going to war? Do you want to save the environment?

My advice is to pick up a reputable newspaper and read, (the "NY Times") or watch legitimate news broadcasts. Think about what the candidates are saying before you vote.

I know I don't want to vote for someone who has a bear-skin rug on their sofa and lies about things they've done.

I don't know all the numbers but I do know that Alaska gets lots of federal money and they have a population half the size of the county I live in!

Anonymous said...

Another solid essay, Bobbie, and a voice of compassion and reason!

Cliff said...

You've been listening to either Olberman or Micheal Moore and actually believing what they say.
To argue would mean I'd have to accept the premise of one of your arguments.'
I don't.
People don't believe what you think they believe. You need to get at least two hundred miles away from any of our coastlines to hear and see what the rest of us see.
I do agree with you that our country can't survive another twenty years if this election goes the wrong way.

bobbie said...

Actually, Cliff, I have not been listening to either Olberman nor Moore. I've held my beliefs for a long, long time, just as you have held yours no doubt. And I do respect your beliefs - they just puzzle me. I've said once before, you and I just have to agree to disagree, because I don't think either of us are going to budge an inch.