Tuesday, October 21, 2008

So Ya Say Real America?

There's lots of comments about just what is Real America and just who are Real Americans these days. The political world comes down to semantics again. Sueprize, Sueprize, Sueprize. I actually think it is definable. I know the knee jerks on the left when one says that but I'm about to give it a try. Noting the title of this blog it seems I may be pretty much required to say something about this. I guess first it is necessary to describe what I am talking about and some examples of the problems we face when I say Real America. That way if you wish to be critical you can be critical on valid grounds.

First the things I think necessary for Real America. Second some thoughts behind those points. Third how I see it being portrayed today.

1. At the top I would have to say that it is someone that respects the Constitution and the ability to disagree and advance our country through the Constitutional system within checks and balances.
That it can be changed through and only through those checks and balances.

2. Someone that is in favor of government of by and for the people. Supports a republican form of government - the state derives its power from the people.

3.Believes in rules by the majority with rights of the minority protected.

That's about it for me. Beyond that go for it. You are a Real American in my book. Giving a wide but deliberate course is what it is all about when you are a Real American in my book.

1. When the Constitution is violated, especially by someone specifically charged with protecting and defending it, they should be charged, the evidence seen and adjudication given. From Nixon on(I know this much cuz I was there) nobody, I mean nobody in our government(at least at the executive level) pays for crimes or Constitutional violations. Republican or Democrat. Gee, I wonder why they keep doing it? The world of no accountability is not sustainable. I know the right is already crying about wasting all our time and creating divisions with criminal prosecution of this administration. Three words. Bill Clinton investigation. Wasting time on what? Showing the world that we are not that kind of country. As far as division goes. Only 20 some percent of the people like his work at this point. Large amounts of that 70 some per cent, when shown the evidence, would likely understand the problems we have to deal with right now. Do you support the 4th or 1st amendment as proudly as you support the 2nd ? If not do you find the 4th and 1st amendments less important to our societies survival?

2. Well ,as both sides know well, this is more an ideal than a truth or a fact about how it happens right now. Those that support it should be having discussions on how we fix it. I guess that would include me. Let's just start with one thing. At the start of this nation the free press was vital to our country and it's formation. The equivalent to that today is individual citizens and groups on the internet. All the big media is a for profit enterprise. They will do what makes money. They have few if any egalitarian issues. They, for survival as a entity, may try for an acceptable amount of accuracy but they have no agenda right or left. They will cover and print under whatever plan they have to draw readers or viewers. This is the same principal at work for Bill O Reilly and Keith Olberman. As a 30+ year media veteran let me promise you I am not leading you astray on this. Big Media is basically entertainment. That's where Rush is right. That includes him, and me too should some company pick me up. Talk to each other. Their sits the truth, good or bad.

3. This too me is taken in a more immediate political sense but I think it applies to all areas, from religion, to social to cultural. Certainly polygamy for one, is not allowed but that is something that is overwhelmingly accepted both socially and religiously. While exceptions to this rule are inevitable they should be as few as necessary.

Here's the understanding I get from many on the right as to their view of Real America

“Thats to work and accomplish and achieve and believe in God.”

Well let's see. I work and do my best to accomplish and achieve. I believe in a higher power I call God.-How much you want to bet I'm not what they are talking about when the make that statement. So in my book that makes it false. That's not what they are wanting you to picture when they say real America. Huge numbers of the people they are condemning meet those qualities.

Real America doesn't have socialists or Muslims.

Well, if this is what they are talking about I'm off the bus right now. Stop. I see diversity as a strength and not a weakness. Especially as the world becomes more global. The better we understand the rest of the world the more likely we are to be good leaders(a position we have been charged with at least for a while). Socialists and Muslims and Fascists and mega church Evangelicals are welcome in my Real America. They must follow the Constitution and be no more or less subject to the laws of the land. That's the rule.

Is of the conservative/republican persuasion on political issues like abortion, religion and a nearly universal disdain for government...anytime.

Well, there's a lot to disdain and I might even agree on many issues. Some we won't, and that does not make you anti American any more than it makes you anti American for not agreeing with my more liberal philosophy. The fact that one sees government as something we the people shouldn't or can't control kinda throws a big smelly fish into the entire discussion to me. It really makes the rest of it moot doesn't it. We need to quit thinking of the government as them and start acting like it is us. That's the first small step in a mighty voyage. We will never even get started if one sees their only opportunity as the enemy. It is something to be shared through consensus.

You always agree with what the country does and support it, pledge allegiance...all that patriotic stuff.

If one is working directly for the government a pledge or oath may be advisable. I'd like to know what I am pledging allegiance to first. I would be a poor patriot and human being in my book to support my country when it devalues or ignores my morals and values. To support torture for example.
It concerns me to see overly patriotic people. Some, in my eyes, come close to some kind of deification of the flag or the country. I think that is morally wrong even in the Christian faith. I certainly see it a violation of my principals. Observe the laws yes. Agree with and support everything done in my name as a citizen...no.
Little secret, even beyond our individual morals and values the enormously vast percentage of us as a whole want America to “win”. We want to do smart, valid and noble things. We most all prefer as a country to be looked up to than looked down on. How we get their needs some discussion.
Most of us have all or nearly all our family and friends here. We have all enjoyed a way of life many others don't have and we all well know that. We are virtually all on the side of the US. It is idiotic to address someones patriotism. Especially someone that is native to this country..in the sense of being born and living an entire life or nearly entire life here, which most have.
Oh geez, does one need to go on? We all know what they are talking about and that is why it won't work.

I must say though I do think that some of those Constitutional values at the top are in violation so yes, there are people that are not adhering to my concept of Real America be they intending to or not.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Lifting The Lid On The Right Wing ID

Propaganda is the deliberate, systematic attempt to shape perceptions, manipulate cognitions, and direct behavior to achieve a response that furthers the desired intent of the propagandist.
—Garth S. Jowett and Victoria O'Donnell, Propaganda and Persuasion

I'm really hoping that the right wing keeps showing its colors like they have been lately. These are the radical rightists that those of us following along or living among them see everyday all over America. They fit right into the profile created for them. Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity represents the true picture of the rightists. They are good at attaching names to people or groups and then insisting that that word means something bad and taboo. I'd love to have a debate on Socialism. Anything that strips priviledge is socialism to them. Anything that is not their complaint is an anti american complaint. They love this country like no one else....but oh how they hate the government..my how they hate so many different people and things in it. At least they aren't anti american like that one that trys to ruin all that is good and pure. You know, they are just angry at some things. Other people are angry because they are un american. These are the mainstream among the right today. From Sarah Palin to Michelle Bachmann to the angry always suspicious people in McWars town halls. After hearing them for a while I just want to say..Hey, You talkin to me!? Heres some stuff from a great article by Micheal Tomasky:

It's true that we're hearing racial-code talk here and there. But the main fear tactic being employed now is something else. It's that Obama and his associates - and for that matter his supporters and even the regions of the country that he's destined to carry - are anti-American.'Last Friday, in North Carolina, Sarah Palin told a rally that she was proud to be "with all of you hard-working, very patriotic, um, very, um, pro-America areas of this great nation". She means here of course that there are anti-American areas of America, and they are where the liberals live, and the people there are voting for Mr Anti-America.
This was especially interesting coming from a woman whose husband, Todd Palin, was until just six years ago an enrolled member of a rightwing fringe political party that wanted the state of Alaska to secede from the US. But if you understand rightwing logic, then you'd know that Mr Palin had no choice but to join the Alaska Independence party in 1995, because by that time the America he thought he knew and loved had been brought to ruin by the liberals and socialists and America-haters. See?
(my emphasis)

Do you folks do this sort of thing in Britain? I know there's something about the chap on the Clapham omnibus who's supposed to represent some kind of middling everyman. And I know you've got your xenophobes just like we do. But trust me. You don't have a right wing that's anything like our right wing.
This point was proved most dramatically by a woman named Michele Bachmann, a member of Congress from Minnesota.........
"What I would say - what I would say is that the news media should do a penetrating exposé and take a look. I wish they would. I wish the American media would take a great look at the views of the people in Congress and find out, are they pro-America or anti-America? I think people would love to see an exposé like that."

The call for an investigation into the beliefs of every federal lawmaker, and an exposé of those found wanting in their patriotism, certainly takes us into deeply creepy territory. I would not call Bachmann herself a fascist. ......Bachmann is just an idiot. She wouldn't know Edmund Burke from Billie Burke (she played the good witch in the Wizard of Oz), and she obviously has no idea that, in her rejection of the two bedrock American principles of separation of church and state and freedom of thought, she is the one who is as anti-American as they come.
I'd be happy to hear a conversation on patriotism too. He's some from the other side that I consider great Americans putting the slap down on the radicals.

Their goal is to scare Americans about Obama, but moderate, independent voters might well decide that Obama looks a lot less scary than they do.
Some great Americans in the McWar camp, in the sense that I perceive that phrase, are to the rescue with the slapdown here.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Peaceful, Loving Christians Are Mad At Us

Well, when you put it that way.