Monday, May 21, 2012

An open letter of non-apology to my GOP Voting Friends and Family


Dear friends of many decades and family,

I do not usually devote my blog to politics per se, but your voiced indignation with my intention to vote, once again, for Obama comes through loud and clear. Yes, I had traditionally voted Republican for virtually my entire life. Yes, I still despise the likes of Bill Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, the late Ted Kennedy, Barbara Boxer, Chuck Schumer, Maxine Waters, and Barney Frank, et al just like you do.

But, I also despise George Bush, Eric Cantor, John Boehner, Mitch McConnell, Paul Rand, Rick Perry, Rick Santorum, and that imbecilic woman from Alaska that some of you thought would make a wonderful Vice President.  You see, I can see them all for the dangerous extremists that they are, and they disgust me equally.  That you can see the danger of only one side of the equation is what sets us apart; albeit, I know you won’t fully understand that.  Barry Goldwater would have understood it.

No, I’m not a Democrat, nor a Liberal, nor Socialist.  I’m an Independent/Uncommitted voter, a fiscal conservative and a social liberal...thus I say moderate.

I used to be a one issue voter.  I may have even harbored some prejudice against minorities.   I’ve out grown the former, and over come the latter.

Yes, I agree our national debt is out of control; government is too big and getting bigger. Our current expenditures in entitlements (Medicare, Social Security, Medicaid, etc.) use up every tax dollar the federal Government takes in, leaving exactly zero dollars to fund the military, or a single government office or worker - hence the national debt growth. And never mind the almost 1 Trillion spent on Bush’s phony war in Iraq. It’s not a new issue, it’s been going on for decades.

 Thus we continue to borrow from the Chinese, selling our future generations down the river and inviting a financial disaster that will make Greece look stable. Yes, it must be stopped and controlled.  I’m not sure how.  I do know cuts should be made, especially to the big ticket items like entitlements and the military. It will be painful. I also know that some US corporations are paying zero tax, and that the 1%-3% of Americans earning multi-millions are paying substantially less of a tax rate than I am. Both of those things need to be fixed as well. Neither the GOP nor Democrats have the proper solution. So it continues.

Yes, gasoline prices are higher than ever.  But the executive branch has next to zero to do with it.  Blame part of it on the loss and non-replacement of petroleum refineries in the US.  But mostly blame China’s and India’s economic growth, growth in their middle class. Automobile sales in China are going through the roof; it is no longer a bicycle dependent society.  Oil prices, like lumber, metals (buy factory ammo lately??), and other commodities are influenced by the growing demand of industrialized nations.  That’s what influences the market price.  You can “Drill baby drill” till your tits fall off and wait till every idiot “abstinence only” teenage daughter has another kid out of wedlock, and that oil will still be sold on the world market to the highest bidder just like any other oil...all incremental 3-5% of it.  Alternate energy sources-natural gas- and investment in technological changes in the private sector is our best long term solution. Fuck oil.

That you find gays “disgusting” and thus endorse their being denied the institution of marriage and full rights of citizenship is inexplicable to me. Maybe we harbored that feeling together, and even the  same feeling about inter-racial marriage many years ago.  Perhaps it’s because we are a product of a less enlightened age. I’ve gotten over it.  I can’t go back to those days.

That you think a woman’s right to choose to give birth or terminate an unwanted pregnancy isn’t her right at all but strictly the business of a male dominated government puzzles me. Or perhaps you don’t think that way, but it’s not your uterus so it isn’t on your radar screen of issues. 

Perhaps you agree that women shouldn’t have total access to contraception, and want to see organizations which support women’s health and contraceptive rights shut down.  Or maybe you don’t support that mindset, but it just doesn’t matter since it doesn’t directly affect you.

You told me that those who can’t afford health care should be allowed to die in the streets as a way of getting medical costs lowered for everyone.  I want to believe you were joking and that you haven’t entirely surrendered your humanity.  That we happily have our health care coverage and are able and willing to absorb the annual rate increases that put it beyond the means of 50% of the nation, isn’t a sound reason to oppose finding ways to cover people. “Let them eat cake.” wasn’t an effective policy for Marie Antoinette or the French aristocracy... history has a way of repeating itself.  We need to learn from it. 

I understand you’re mostly believers and thus don’t understand or fear the implications of the religious right’s drive toward infusing religious doctrine into our school science classes; or don’t care that they would have their ancient religious scripture be the basis for laws and government policy, or the driver behind military action; or are fine with having it forced on soldiers who prefer not to have a religion or are of another religion. You likely don’t know there is a constitutional amendment prohibiting those things. Or you don’t care about quasi-theocracy in government ... since it's your flavor of theism.

You lived through the reality, but some how you still believe the recession started when Obama took office, selectively forgetting it started eight months prior. Yes, it’s the worst financial crisis for America since the Great Depression; it’s no picnic for Europe either.  The good news is your Stock Market investments have recovered almost to pre-recession levels, unemployment slowly but persistently continues to decline, and the GDP is inching upward.  Not fast enough for you, you say.   To which “greatest recession since 1929” do you compare that "not fast enough" growth rate?

Sorry you see regulation of the financial industry an impediment to growth; and don’t recognize its absence / weakness as one major reason for the recession and enforcing it a way to prevent another.

You’re angry over Obama bailing out the auto industry and saving those million jobs and keeping the nation’s largest manufacturing concern from collapse.  It was just plain wrong you say...  in spite of their now seeing double digit/record profits which will end up costing the US tax payers exactly nothing. But let’s condemn the bail out  based on....  oh, I dunno - socialism?

To those of you who - as non-Jewish as you are- are concerned over Obama’s not encouraging Israel to initiate a war with Iran with a preemptive attack, instead trying to find a way to influence Iran without igniting another middle east war: Do you even know why your unswerving support for Israel is so intense, and why your acceptance of war as a first response is so prevalent, especially since you never had any love for Jews your whole life or served in the military yourself?  Think about it.

I imagine, that some of you still think Obama is foreign born, and/or a Muslim, and/or the anti-Christ, who is waging a war on religion and is part of a socialist plot to enslave the nation in Marxist doctrine.  There’s noting anyone can say or do to convince you otherwise, so I’ll simply ignore it.

No, I’m not a one issue voter. I care about more than just my taxes and my guns. Perhaps I have a broader perspective because I tend to read broadly, and not just the financial pages or NRA newsletters. I also get my news from many varied sources, not just FOX or knee-jerk neanderthal conservative radio personalities. This tends to impact on ones thinking. Thus,  I can’t vote for legitimizing the inequality of people; or the subjugation of women; or for a war mentality; or for a let them eat cake perspective; or for deception about oil prices; or for religious dogma in government or imposed on people; or for big business over civility and humanity and how we treat the least among us; or for your 401k investments at the expense of  everything else; or for the right of domestic violence perpetrators to carry concealed; or for Mitt Romney’s off shore holdings and 15% tax rate. 

Yes, I will vote for the “Kenyan negro,” again.

Yes, I’ve changed. My hairstyle changed my tastes in food and beverages have changed, the way I perceive humanity, government, the world as a whole has evolved.  I’ve matured, my perspective has expanded. But my love and respect for you has not changed, that never will. 

No, I don’t want your rebuttal.  I’m sure you can stridently defend your position to your satisfaction. I’m just clearing the air, just trying to give you an understanding of who I am, albeit, I’m still me.  

In four years I’ll again reject kneejerk narrow dogma and rely on my reason, my humanity and my intellect to evaluate the positions of the presidential candidates and make my choice.  I invite you to do likewise.

23 comments:

Jane said...

I love you Bart!! You have eloquently stated my feelings as well....(except I still had some residual brainwashing and voted for McCain..my bad)

Sheila F

Dromedary Hump said...

Thanks, Jane. Back at ya!

NewEnglandBob said...

Bravo, Bart! (First time I called you by your name here on the blog). You have succinctly stated all that I have believed for many years. I am happy that you have changed. Having you as an ally will help us break through so that we, as a nation of concerned people, friends, neighbors, caretakers-of-each-other can grow as a nation and prosper in the future.

Dromedary Hump said...

Thanks for that, Bob. Means a lot to me coming from you.

Jonathan Escobedo said...

Well Bart how could you not be smitten with Frank,Pelosi,Clinton etc.? Did they not fight the good fight lol great piece thanks for putting into words what quite a few people think and what is ultimately speaking truth to power .The only point that bothers me is that you write you came from a more conservative mindset and enlightened yourself towards a mostly libertarian slant I come from a more liberal perspective and feel like I am moving towards a more conservative slant as I get older . Is this just cynicism ? Or even a relevant topic to ask in a comment section ? Well thank you again for such an eloquent expression of your thoughts and outlook .

Dromedary Hump said...

Jonathan... Thanks.
Moving from the left to the right, or from the right to the left as we age I think is a natural progression that brings thinking people to the middle.
Either way, It's all good.

Jeff said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you. Very well-written. I only wish the people that really could stand to read this would open their mind enough to do so.

Anonymous said...

For a person who feels facts are so important, I am disappointed at your lack of same.
When it comes to the budget deficit, this is a fact: If you were to eliminate every government expenditure except for the defense budget, we would still run deficits.
Entitlement programs are not the problem - the defense budget is.

Joe said...

Awesome Hump -- I could have written this myself!

Just curious, have you taken a look at Gary Johnson for POTUS? Admittedly, he's got no chance of winning but I will sleep better at night.

flyz4free said...

So well and bravely spoken Bart. The people who feel inclined to criticize your positions, in most cases, are probably more pissed off you had the temerity to say ANYTHING about these issues rather than intelligently taking up an opposing point of view. Many have not taken the time to educate themselves and so an uneducated, kneejerk response would be the order of the day. You help us all to investigate the issues and stand our ground my friend. Many here, myself included, certainly appreciate that.

Dromedary Hump said...

Jeff,
Thanks for that.

Joe,
Thanks..no, not familiar with Johnson. But you've aroused my curiosity. I'll look into him.

flyz,
Thanks for the support. I concur with your assessment.

Anon,
before you get all pissy in your anonymous comment, perhaps a tad more research on your own part may be in order. You will find this of great value, if you have any interest in facts, and your intellectual curiosity permits it:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EW5IdwltaAc&feature=youtu.be

Joe said...

Hump, Johnson is the Libertarian candidate for POTUS btw. You can read about him at http://www.garyjohnson2012.com.

No more politicking -- I swear :)

Anonymous said...

Perfect!
thank you Bart.

gristleoflife said...

I humbly kowtow before you. Your wisdom is an inspiration. Perhaps, upon reading this post, your GOP friends and family will snap out of it and come to enlightenment as well as you have ...but I doubt it.

Anonymous said...

Great article Bart. Looking over American politics from the '80s to the present, the 2010 elections were an alarming wake up call for me.

I'm looking at the present makeup of the Republican party which is a combination of neo-libertarianists, states rightists, John Birchers, anti-ed, anti-regulation...and pro-religious agenda; we have a country that I no longer recognize. These are the many reasons I'll be voting for the Democrats this election cycle.

Do the libertarians hold the key to the future? I have doubts that their utopianism works and I think we have had a small taste of their policies from the t-baggers during the past year.

Jeff Sherry

Dromedary Hump said...

POSTED FOR RACHEL h AT HER REQUEST VIA EMAIL


I can't get my iPhone to work with the Wordpress format. Would you post this for me?


God damn! I love this!! I'm sending this to all my fundie, Obama-is-a-Kenyan-born-Muslim-Marxist, knee-jerk, this-country-needs-a-revival relatives!!!

Gary said...

Thanks for this post. Speaking as a 59 year old white guy, and a committed, fairly well studied atheist, I agree with everything you said. I have been a registered democrat for quite a few years (for the reason that in past years in Nevada you could not vote in the primaries unless you selected one or the other parties), but would call myself either a conservative democrat or an independent.



I will NEVER understand the logic of the religious, or members of the republican religious right political party. Having read the bible, the koran, part of the book of mormon, books on religious history and many of the books by our latter day atheist authors as well as many blogs, the attitudes and actions of these religious right nutcases goes ENTIRELY AGAINST the teachings of jesus, and they don't see it, or just choose to ignore it. I am amazed at this christian society of of people who could care less about their fellow man in a country that spends more on the military and learning more efficient ways of killing people than turning the other cheek or healthcare.



And the scariest part? These people seem to me to be the least educated on any given subject, the loudest most overbearing people in any gathering, the least compassionate and their vote counts for just the same as mine. Frankly, I fear for the future of this country if this religious revival, selfish attitude and disdain for our fellow man continues.



Thanks, Gary

Anonymous said...

I'm the anonymous you called prissy and then you respond with a prissy reply.
So hopefully you won't feel I'm being prissy when I say perhaps a tad more research on your own part may be in order. You will find this of great value, if you have any interest in facts, and your intellectual curiosity permits it:
http://www.minnpost.com/community-voices/2011/07/defense-spending-fuels-deficit-crisis

Dromedary Hump said...

Anon... as more evidence of your inability to process data: I didn't call you "prissy" I said your comment was "pissy" for your irate accusation of my failure to research facts.

I provided you a link which showed the actual pages of the federal budget, which confirms my contention that entitlements, including Medicaid, Medicare, mandatory payout, social security, retirement benefits for Fed. Employees and interest exceeds the entire taxable income of the USA. If you don't care to read it, or prefer to reject it, fine.

I have zero interest in pursuing discourse with someone to whom the fed. budget document itself isn't sufficient evidence of fact and confirmation of my statement.

I recommend you take your attitude and fundamentalist adherence to whatever beliefs you seem to embrace over reality elsewhere.
Thank you.

Dromedary Hump said...

PS: you'll note, if you can step back from your hysteria and hostility long enough to actually absorb my blog posting, you'd see that I specifically mentioned that cuts to entitlements AND the military are a necessity.

That military spending has grown to outrageous proportions is not a point of contention. The point was that it doesn't come close...by half... to the cost of entitlements/mandatory fed. govt program payouts.

And the evidence for that was provided and is staring you in your cowardly faceless anonymity .

Anonymous said...

Not much I can add. I too, will pinch my nose and vote for Obama (again).

I am glad the GOP choose the second least objectionable, Mr. Etch-A-Sketch (Huntsman was the best of an objectionable bunch). But still, it's sad to see a sociopath getting the nod. At least he's no Sanatorium/Bachman.

Fastthumbs

Steve said...

Great one Bart. With the exception of a different upbringing and generation, this speaks for me quite well, thank you.

I will admit however that I get a little eye twitch whenever the auto loans are referred to as a "bailout". First off I think they were initiated by W (I'm guessing he was drunk or something - quite out of character I'd say) but yeah - Obama increased the money extensively. But they were anything but bailouts. They were investments by the people into the automotive industry, and I'm not just talking figuratively. Obama took the people's money, loaned it to GM and Chrysler, and those companies then paid the loans back with a substantial interest. We, as taxpayers, directly made money off of the deal. Then stack on top the possible industrial collapse that it prevented. So I wouldn't even humor them at all and ever call it a bailout, it was a loan plain and simple.

Ok, enough of my being a critic - thanks for the great post!

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