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.