Sunday, November 9, 2008

I never do this...but what the heck, I have everything to lose.

Whether you ever wanted my opinions or not, you’re going to get a few very strong ones right now because for one reason or another you like and maybe even love me so you keep up on what I’m doing every now and again. How’s that for a run-on sentence? So, what am I up to right now? I am currently fighting the queasiness I have near-constantly had since this year’s election season began. If I didn’t know better, my stomach would still swear that I was standing in the doorway of a plane at 13,000 feet spoon-style tandem strapped to this stranger I am trusting as an expert. Will our chute open? Am I prepared enough to know what to do if it doesn’t? I’m much more inclined to be an optimist, but with this election I simply can’t shake the instinct that things are about to go horribly, horribly wrong. I am educated as to what our President elect has planned for this nation. Let me just say that for those for whom ignorance is bliss, I envy you at this moment.

A rather heated family feud ensued about two weeks before elections this year among my immediate and extended family. It all began after my ultra-conservative aunt sent the following email to the whole family:

Here is a creative approach to redistribution of wealth as offered in a local newspaper...

Today on my way to lunch I passed a homeless guy with a sign that read "Vote Obama, I need the money." I laughed.

Once in the restaurant my server had on a "Obama 08" tie, again I laughed as he had given away his political preference--just imagine the coincidence.

When the bill came I decided not to tip the server and explained to him that I was exploring the Obama redistribution of wealth concept. He stood there in disbelief while I told him that I was going to redistribute his tip to someone who I deemed more in need--the homeless guy outside. The server angrily stormed from my sight.

I went outside, gave the homeless guy $10 and told him to thank the server inside as I've decided he could use the money more. The homeless guy was grateful.

At the end of my rather unscientific redistribution experiment I realized the homeless guy was grateful for the money he did not earn, but the waiter was pretty angry that I gave away the money he did earn even though the actual recipient needed money more.

I guess redistribution of wealth is an easier thing to swallow in concept than in practical application.

Political satire as delivered through the medium of comic strips has long-been one of my favorite means of this type of expression. I found this one today, though it is not at all new, and think it fits the above story well.

At any rate, the email started a written war of epic proportions from all of the liberals in the family who felt that they had had enough. They were each abusive in their own way – more, I think, from previous and similar emails they had received from this particular aunt. They each also hid behind a façade of peace that was anything but peaceful. I’ve always held strong that just because you offer up a disclaimer of, “I don’t mean to offend” or even, “You know that I love you, but…” these statements don’t pave the way to unleash whatever horrible things you might have to say simply because you’re going to say them “nicely”. It reminded me of the absolute joke that is the positive discipline process. Here, please allow me to butter you up so that you’ll brown nicely when I throw you in the sweltering oven in just a moment.

I too, had had enough and made no pretense of any niceties in MY email. I know that there were some who responded in their own way by only contacting this aunt individually – as was both appropriate and respectful. I purposefully chose the platform of including the entire group in my own email so that we could all be assured to be embarrassed by this kind of behavior. I ran each one of them through my own little ringer – including the aunt. There were different reasons that I was upset with each and every one of them. I am no peacemaker, and this was not a group of people having a debate. It was textual mud-slinging with no intent past mere soap-box moments. Arguments for arguments sake.

This election season literally turned brother against brother in this country and it makes me sick. These states are not “United” as Barak would like us all to believe. He would like us to believe all of the things he says. He is a politician, after all. He is undoubtedly a man of hope, I won’t deny that. But he is no more so, however, than any other candidate we’ve ever seen in this nation’s history. He is just better with rhetoric and as such, was able to persuade the majority vote. I don’t begrudge him his victory, but I do look with mournful eyes at those loved ones of mine who helped enable this. That is part of the pain this brings me now; knowing that I have lost something very important to me in some people I have held respect and admiration for.

Worse yet, there is an air of humor and mockery coming from supporters of Obama’s policies and I don’t know whether I am more afraid that they don’t understand what they’re supporting or possibly worse, that they do understand and still support such potentially destructive ideas. Pathways to hell are frequently paved with good intentions. You might not guess it from what I have just said, but it is still true that I am every bit as much an idealist as I am a realist. Idealism, however, can be every bit as dangerous as a loaded gun being pointed in your direction. It can have the same ultimate effect. History is a wonderful teacher of what ideals like Obama's lead to.

We have all heard and seen the interview with “Joe, the Plumber”, but what I can’t understand is how anyone can really listen to this interview and not believe that they are supporting Socialism by supporting Obama. Marx, Stalin, Obama. Don’t even think for one moment that I’m kidding.

Joe: Your new tax plan is going to tax me more, isn’t it?

Barak: It’s not that I want to punish your success. I just want to make sure that everybody who is behind you, that they’ve got the chance at success too. I think that when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody.

You either understand what this means, or you’re kidding yourself because you like the guy, but this is Socialism, pure and simple.

Read up, my friends and family, on what exactly has been voted for. Karl Marx once spoke regarding America where he said something along the lines of them not being able force Communism on us all at once, but if they started us down the path of Socialism that little by little we would succumb without even knowing what or how it had happened. Socialism is the bridge between Capitalism and Communism. Again, not kidding even a little bit.

Socalized medicine is no different. I hope you have enjoyed seeing whatever doctor you liked, pretty much whenever you liked. Get ready to pay the same as you are now, possibly more, and three hour lines to see a PA.

Churchill said it best, as usual, "Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery." There's your equality. You can't simply "hand-out" better situations, people actually have to make some decisions in their lives. Well, actually, now they won't be required to. We have elected President Robin Hood to steal from all the evil rich people (didn't you know that having money makes you a bad person and an even worse person if you don't give it away?) and give to all of the good poor people of this country (conversely, didn't you know that being poor makes you a humble, decent, hard-working person?). Money reveals character and we've already seen exactly what handouts more often than not reveal: complete dependence and reliance upon that handout. I am a Christian and I will only teach a man to fish, not steal them from my neighbor because he got up off his ass and went out at 3 o'clock in the morning and what? how? he has the most fish? Well, that can't be fair that he has the most. I should go take some to give to my other neighbor who rolled out of bed hungry at the crack of noon. May I never be too grown-up for sarcasm.

I had no pony in this race, folks. Just because I am opposed to Obama does not mean that I was a McCain supporter. I don’t think we’ve had a Presidential race that wasn’t up to “the lesser of two evils”, so to speak, in a few decades. Yes, I was unquestioningly more supportive of John McCain, but there was a long string of mistakes and policies that made me disappointed that he was the Republican nominee.

So, why am I now choosing to bring all of this up? Because many of the people I have been closest to throughout my entire life I am learning are so fundamentally and philosophically divergent from America’s foundation that I am, as earlier stated, sick over it. I think a lot of these controversies come from what everyone eventually ultimately asks themselves, “What is this country all about?” I’ll make it as simple as I can and from my own experience: If you’re a Mormon and you want to know what is true of your church, read the Book of Mormon. If you’re an American and you want to know what is true of your country, read the Constitution. Neither was written with any “blinders” on and I cannot throw my support behind anyone who believes so or wants you to believe so. There are very few things that I am absolutely certain of in this life, but of this I am: God’s divine inspiration was behind both documents and God wears no blinders.

I will continue to live my life as I have always done and pray for personal peace for myself and others and as always, we'll see what happens. If you know me well at all, you know that I don’t write notes when I’m angry and frustrated, I write novels. And since this is my blog and I like to keep it a predominantly harmonious place, this is likely to be my only rant of this scale. Thanks to anyone who persevered through to the end (whether you agree with me or not).


Marsh Mayhem said...

Hey Liz -- I bet you can hardly remember me from good ol' East, but I absolutely and whole-heartedly agree with 100% what you've written here today. You have nothing to apologize for, unless articulate, thought-out, and true pennings are now faux-pas!

Well done. (Anne Greenhalgh)

Molly said...

I love that you wrote this. I have tried to stand up in my own way for McCain and other political ideas only to be ridiculed and ripped apart for my conservative beliefs. Thank you for writting this.
Also i'm sad I was not included in the e-mail chain, i'm pretty sure I can guess who sent the e-mail.

wascarrottop said...

Good comments Liz. I sure wish I could mend some fences with your mom.

And Molly, I did send you that email & I think you were included in some of the feedback emails.

ºÜº Love
Aunt Lorine

Kelly said...

Liz, WOW!! I cannot tell you how good this is...I mean, WELL SAID!

anseliz said...

Thanks, everyone. This type of post is emotionally exhausting to get through and that is why I rarely ever write or speak about politics or even religion. I am far too emotionally connected to my opinions and beliefs. Maybe that's a good thing, but mostly, it's just too tiring to get into when I'm not even out to change anyone's mind, more just unloading some steam. You know? I'm no activist. Revolutionary if needs be, but not an activist.

What's interesting is that the result from both the email and this post has only been a direct response from those who agree with me. I haven't heard word-one from my opposition (yet). So, hey, you out there who disagree with me: I don't hate you because I disagree with you. I tend to only direct my hatred toward things like zits in my nose. Even then, it doesn't help. While it's true that I may have lost some respect for your political intelligence, I still respect other aspects of your personality and what makes you you. In fact, I probably love you a whole lot regardless of what you think about absolutely anything. As usual though, I'll never hide behind a pretense. Some people might think that makes me kind of an ass, and yeah, I really can be sometimes. But mostly, I remain rather reserved. So, there you have it. Take me or leave me, imperfections and all and I'll take you just as you are.

luckyboy22 said...

Much as I disagree with the vast majority of what you said in ways that are I won't go in to, I took it as you said, a rant and not an attempt to persuade or invite argument, so I still love you too but don't see a lot of point in debating the issues as that there are fundamental perspective differences that go far beyond a blog post. Maybe someday in a civil face to face. You've always been passionate and I love you for it. Hope you'll forgive the same from me on occasion.

anseliz said...

Oh Shea, I love you so much. More than I think you know and certainly more than I have probably ever told you. I know everyone tends to worry when you and Dave get into it, but I never have and he certainly has never had ANY animosity for you whatsoever. There's nothing to forgive for you being you. I've always loved and admired my biggest bro and nothing will ever change or get in the way of that.

meg 'n' rich said...

Here, Here, Liz!!! Here, Here!
Right in line with my thoughts on ALL accounts!

Heidi said...

I know I am not involved in what ever smack down occurred, but if you've read my blog, you know I feel very differently about politics than you, which I had no idea about until this post. Sorry it's been a hurricane for your family. I feel like Shea, though, that fundamental differences in belief can't really be argued about on a blog - there's no amount of arguing or debating that can change ones deep down beliefs, so with all respect and love for you, I'll just say I am thrilled, full of hope and rejuvinated by Obama - I'm the happiest I've ever been about a candidate, well now, about a President. We could go back and forth about issues, but you feel informed and strong about your opinions just as I feel strong and informed about mine, so it would forever be a stalemate as it sounds like you've encountered in your family. I would just recommend being careful making statements like you've "lost respect for people's political intelligence." That can create conflict. I feel very politically intelligent, I've done my homework, so those kind of statements are unfair - we just see things in a different light, you know? I hope all Americans can put aside their differences and try to find some amount of unity. Thank goodness we live in a free country where we can voice our differences of opinion, but we must within personal relationships find a way to agree to disagree. Love ya.

liz0622 said...

so, I ofrgot how much you and I are alike. It's been way too long. I enjoyed reading your rant and I enjoy listening to others opinions whether they agree with mine or not. Your post was incredibly well thought out and I told my husband about it. He basicly said amen! and he thinks he would enjoy talking to you. He also said "finally someone who wouldn't think I'm a cook when I say Hello communism." I hope to see you soon. It's been way too long Liz