I noticed this photo on a guy’s Facebook feed. There were over 6,000 comments and I proceeded to read a bunch. I was flabbergasted. There were a lot of Texans posting about how much they miss and love George Bush. There was also a lot of very nasty stuff about President Obama. And, there was a lot of quotes from the Bible. It really stuck with me: the volume of comments, the anger from white Christians, the many incorrect facts, and how they are not interested in a dialog. IMO: This is the most important conversation in America right now. It’s frightening. And, to be clear, the frightening part is that many conservatives are dedicated to actively stopping progress at all costs. Their cause has become “Make Obama Fail!” America is in an ideological-cultural Civil War! I’m very worried for our country right now and it has nothing to do with our economy, wars, health crisis, or energy crisis. It’s about our country’s soul.
Here’s the very long FB discussion.
So, I could not sleep last night and decided to post a message (practically unedited):
[I am not a Dem or a Rep… I don’t identify with any political party…they both disgust me…]
Americans spend FAR too much time worrying about the personalty of our presidents and not nearly enough time worrying about the solutions to and the details of our shared problems. Obama and liberals are not the enemy. We’re not on “teams.” If we can’t find some solutions to our problems, we will be remembered by our grandchildren as the whiny, fighting generation that ruined our country. We have some very serious problems and the conservatives in our country are not helping right now (and plenty of Dems too).
Bush: Regardless of how you feel about the man, Bush left the country in the worst state of practically any president in American history (he made the top 3 for sure!). And, it wasn’t an accident or outside his control. He started two wars–one was against the wrong country (oops) and one was a losing proposition for seven years–and he increased the US debt to an unfathomable number. Why are conservatives so liberal when it comes to our national debt? How do Christians make sense out of their wars and the tragedies and misery that it creates? Would Jesus agree with this?
Could it be worse? Unfortunately, yes. During his eight years (as well as previous Dem pres’s too), he intentionally loosened corporate oversight in the spirit of “let the markets decide and all will take care of itself.” Unfortunately, these policies have led us to a complete national meltdown. And, somehow conservatives are blaming Obama for this mess. WTF? Obama’s policies are practically identical to Bush’s w.r.t. the Great Recession. You can’t have it both ways! It is now abundantly clear that the grand theory of “capitalism will take care of everything” is false. The large corps (Big Pharma, Big Oil, Big Gas, Big Health, and Big War) control our country. Do you really think that they have our interests in mind?
Obama: The man is a moderate. You can say all kinds of things, but his policies are moderate. All this talk of socialism and radicalism is hyperbole that is intended to disrupt progress and force him to fail. It appears that a lot of conservative Americans would prefer to sink our country into the abyss, rather than see this administration heal our country. After all, Obama is our duly elected president. Where is the famous conservative patriotism and call to duty when we need it? Come on people, you learned in kindergarten what to do. Participate in a constructive way, find middle ground, stop nasty name calling, stop making stupid crap up, stop obstructing, be an adult…. our kids are depending on you to calm down and work.
Added: And please stop suggesting that Obama is responsible for this economic collapse (yes, collapse). And, stop beating him up for the Bail-Out… he’s completing the work started by the previous administration and the alternative was much scarier. He inherited a friggin’ mess and is simply trying his best to stop a true crisis. The hypocrisy of attacking Obama for this mess is startling.
GOD and Christians: Christianity is based on the teachings of Jesus Christ (duh!) which are: repentance, unconditional love, forgiveness, etc. Not war, malice, anger, wild capitalism, and hysteria. The formal Christian churches are missing a HUGE OPPORTUNITY by not standing strong against war, supporting universal health care, and by not trying to calm the hysteria rampant in blue-collar America (that has been obviously instigated by very smart radical conservatives and Big Health). War, hatred, greed, and malice do not factor into Jesus’ teachings. But, just like the radical Muslims–a small minority–religion is being used as a justification for hate and war and misery. Health care seems like a perfect platform for Christian churches to jump on and support. Where is the charity and concern for so many Americans that can’t afford health care? Very sad and very hypocritical.
Security, Oil, and & Global Warming: There are a lot of hoax theories about Global Warming that are probably created by Big Oil and Big Gas to change the conversation. Ask yourself this question: Which one of these two theories seems more plausible?
a. The Liberal Agenda, with Al Gore as their mouthpiece, concocted the Global Warming crisis.
b. Big Oil, Big Gas, and hard-core conservatives have concocted anti-global warming hoaxes to slow down and disrupt progress in eliminating our dependency on foreign oil.
The problem with “a” is that I can’t imagine what their motive is! Ok, maybe Al Gore made a bunch of money. But, it seems to me that you can accuse the Global Warming folks of incompetence or over-reaction, but to suggest that they made it up for some evil purpose, seems ridiculous. The problem with “b” is that its sooooo damn evil. But, darn it, Big Oil and Big Gas are acting just like Big Tobacco did… expect the same amount of lies, deceit, and trickery for the next 20 years as they protect their business.
But, regardless of whether our carbon emissions are heating up the atmosphere, the single most important thing that America needs to do is: break our dependency on foreign oil and non-renewable energy. Unfortunately, conservatives have been duped by Big Oil and Big Gas into thinking this is an ideological debate. It’s not. It’s about security. If we can develop renewable energies, improve our power grid, and not depend on our enemies for our life blood (energy), most of our security problems will evaporate and our enemies will run out of money. I’m amazed how Cap & Trade–a Republican idea if there ever was one!–has been called “more taxes.” I find it shocking how the conservatives allow themselves to be duped so easily by the large corp memes. Very sad to watch.
Capitalism: I am a charitable Libertarian/Capitalist at heart. I love the theory of free markets and capitalism. But, I also care about people (any color, smell, shape, or size…. people). And, whether most people know it our not, our country is ruled by very large corporate interests: Big Oil, Big Gas, Big Health, Big Pharam, and Big War. The lobbyists and PACs have learned how to *game our democracy*. The theory of “trickle down” simply failed. We are one of the richest countries in the world and we don’t take care of (or choose to ignore) our bottom 20%. Maybe its an issue of charity and malice, not political-economic ideology. But, it’s clear that we are in trouble. I believe that we need to re-think our government and get the interests back into the hands of the majority of people, not large corps.
Brown people: There is a sublte, but growing message from white, Christian America: “We don’t like or care for brown people.” Its rampant in the fear-mongering anti-immigration (Mexico) talk. It’s clear in the anti-all-Muslims talk. It’s clear in our prisons. It really seems to me that white, Christian America does not care for people who don’t look and act like them. Well, that’s neither Christian nor American. We are an immigrant nation. Our constitution and values are based on treating everyone equal. Why is the disconnect not obvious to conservative white Christians?
Last comment: If you think that our country is lacking in compassion and charity, check this out:
UPDATE: This post has generated a lot of replies from friends. Here’s a reply that I wrote to one that was suggesting that maybe I’m seeing too much:
“I do recognize that the world’s opinions are diverse and often “interesting”. And in normal circumstances, I try to enjoy it. However, a large percentage of America’s conservative Christians are expressing a surprisingly consistent, angry, and acrimonious message. It’s not one-more-random-quirky-opinion… there is a clear and scary pattern forming. Lots of smart people are trying to figure it out:
My instincts are that this incredible difference in opinion on what-this-country-stands-for is irreparable and goes back to the Civil War and it’s been here lurking for many years. I mean this quite seriously.
There are two distinct viewpoints on The American Way of Life. One is a white, Christian, conservative view that is more about HOW we do things and less about WHAT we do. It’s a cultural or tribal loyalty. It’s far more about allegiance to the clan than about the ideas and details. It makes them feel good, secure, and stable. It’s about personal identity.
The other viewpoint (liberal, progressive) is more about ideas, plurality, and social conscience. Big, theoretical ideas. These two systems of belief are not compatible and I believe it’s coming to a head.”