Friday, December 25, 2015
I went on Facebook this morning, Christmas morning, hoping to see inspiring pictures of happy families, Christmas trees, messages of love, manger scenes, snow and Santa. And, to be truthful, there was a lot of that. But the first meme in my feed was a cartoonist's rendition of Hillary Clinton as a pig.
Farther along I found Sarah Palin's complaint that President Obama's official Christmas card was "strange". It featured a cozy fire in the fireplace, the family dog, a gorgeous Poinsettia on an end table and the requisite greetings - but no Christmas tree (although there are about 100 trees in the White House). Sarah obviously thinks Obama is trying to send a seditious subliminal message with this Christmas tree-less card.
I kept reading and saw that Fox News questioned whether Chelsea Clinton deliberately timed her pregnancy to coincide with the presidential campaign in an effort to help her mother.
From there I read that Michigan had slipped in (yet another) anti-democracy bill into last-minute legislation which would prevent anyone from speaking about or explaining any referendum on the ballot 60 days before an election. I'm also followed the continuing story of the poisoning of the Flint, Michigan water supply by lead and how the governor knew about it and covered it up. Lead poisoning especially affects children and is irreversible. We can look to Michigan to see what America would be like without democracy.
I read where Texas, not to be outdone by Michigan, had added end-the-year legislation to cease funding for Planned Parenthood for HIV, Hepatitis and other critical tests. That'll show those sluts!
I could go on because the ugliness is endless.
I love my country and always will but I have been ashamed of and embarrassed by my fellow citizens of the conservative persuasion since September 11, 2001. Conservative used to stand for personal responsibility and fiscal commonsense and respect for the individual.
All that has been replaced by cowardice and whiny victimization and bigotry and well, just plain meanness. Conservatives are afraid of Muslims and Mexicans and African Americans and gays and independent women and poor people and scientists and other religions, even other Christians if they don't espouse the same beliefs as the fundamentalists. The Pope who agreed with them was a good guy but this liberal Pope is a bad guy. No room for variance of interpretation here. The evangelicals have the right answers and the rest of us are going to hell. As Andrew Wilkow says on the Patriot Channel - "we're right, they're wrong; that's the end of the story."
Conservatives prefer problems to solutions. They bitch about Obama and immigration but they've been in power for a year now and they haven't even debated an immigration bill. They cry about Obama "leading from behind" in the Middle East but they haven't even debated, much less voted on, a new War Authorization to give the president a sense of what they would prefer him to do. Neither have they confirmed the (former Republican) Obama nominated who is an expert in tracking and stopping the ISIS money supply. Why not?
They'd rather spend a million dollars a year per prisoner on Guantanamo than $30,000 each to keep detainees in a secure federal facility because we can't allow them to be on the same soil we live on. They're too powerful and scary. We can't afford American principles anymore, not in an era of Torturers'R"Us. Donald Trump says we might accidentally torture some innocents but what the hell, they probably deserve it.
Conservatives see terrorists under every bush although they are much more likely to be killed by a countryman with a gun. Mass shootings by Americans rouse in them not even a shred of sympathy or certainly not any idea that perhaps there are some things we might try to lessen the carnage. Nope, six year old kids are simply collateral damage we have to tolerate for the sake of our cherished guns.
They complain constantly that their freedoms are being taken away by Obama but what freedoms are those? I haven't lost any freedoms that I'm aware of. I still have my guns. And certainly our first amendment rights are still in effect. Facebook proves that every day when you see things that would get you executed if Obama was Putin, that hero of the right. Because he's such a strong man, don't you know? Strong Man used to be a term of negativity for dictators but no more in Right-Wing Land. They love their tough guys.
Which brings us to Donald Trump - the rude and the crude and the lewd. I can honestly say I am stunned that so many of my fellow Americans can listen to his hateful braggadocio and see him as a potential president.
He's known as a man who eschews political correctness which, in his mind, includes politeness and graciousness and diplomacy. Sometimes, he's up-front as when he calls Mexicans rapists and killers or demands that all Muslims be banned from the U.S. or he tells us how ugly Carly Fiorina is or how stupid a disabled reporter looks flapping his arms due to a disease or how nasty it is that Marco Rubio sweats or informs us that John McCain is a bogus hero because he was stupid enough to be captured.
Sometimes, he uses coded speech like Megyn Kelly bleeding from her "whatever" (as in, "having her period") or Jeb Bush's nickname being "Jebra" (as in "sissy") or coaxing us to imagine how disgusting it is that Hillary uses the bathroom or telling us that she got "schlonged" (as in, "she got fucked"). And the media acts so puzzled, like most of us don't know that "schlong" is a Yiddish expression for a cock, a dick, a peter - the male member, in other words, which I'm sure that any native New Yorker is well aware of.
The conservatives were bad enough before Trump. I listen to talk radio on my long commute - all channels so I have a sense of what the various factions of America are thinking. I never hear an optimistic word on conservative talk. Everything is downbeat and depressing, They yell; they harangue; they criticize, they lie. They love cruel teasing and making fun of people, whether it is the family of a boy shot by the police or a welfare mom who relies on food stamps to feed her kids.
They all love war too although none of them have ever been to war and voted against almost every veteran's bill that was put forward. Ted Cruz wants to carpet bomb Syria and Iraq and make the "sands glow in the dark" although that would mean killing lots of innocents..and lots of our allies as well. "We gotta' do what we gotta' do to keep America safe" as if this kind of behavior has ever made us safer.
Donald Trump wants to start make Mexico build a wall and and take all the Middle East oil. He has a plan, he says, for destroying ISIS. It would be nice if he'd let us in on on what it is, wouldn't it?
Chris Christie says he'd shoot down a Russian plane. World War III anyone?
There listeners call in, practically foaming at the mouth. They can't think of enough vituperative things to say about Obama and Hillary and Nancy and Harry. Traitors is the least of it.
I simply don't comprehend why so many Americans are so eager to jump into the dank, dark, dismal world of the conservatives.