Endless Musings

This blog contains the random thoughts, feelings, and observations of a slightly "left of normal" young woman.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Time to Get a Bit Political

Most of my postings on this blog have been of a personal nature. I don't tend to change that entirely, but I feel the need to vent some political steam at the moment.
Since this is a personal blog, I feel the need to give some personal background info. My grandparents on my mother's side were "academic" liberals. My grandfather was a science professor at both the University of Ohio, and later, the University of Michigan. Both he and my grandmother were very active in liberal politics. My grandparents on my father's side were "working class" liberals from Chicago. Both of my parents are life-long liberals. I was raised in a liberal household. As an adult, I am still a liberal.
I have been on other blogs that are either news or political in nature. I have read and, at times, posted comments on some of these blogs. The one thing that I have noticed all these blogs have in common is the increasing exchange of scathing insults being hurled back and forth between liberals and conservatives. Much of the time these insults have little to nothing to do with the issue at hand. I admit that there have been occasions when I have given in to my "less than mature side" and have posted responses to some of the insults posted by conservatives. Needless to say, my responses were less than constructive. Afterwards, I walked away from my computer feeling more riled up than as if I had actually gotten through to anyone.
I have learned to ignor most of the insults posted on these sites. Giving in and responding in kind only gives con-trolls the satisfaction of getting a liberal angry. It only encourages them to continue post their scathing insults. Plus, by responding in kind, I know that I am only lowering myself to their level.
There are a few insults that the conservatives repeatedly like to hurl at liberals. I would like to address the most common ones and give my response.

1. LIBERALS HATE AMERICA.

My response: As a liberal, I can assure you that we do not hate America. As it has been so kindly pointed out by many conservatives, we are free to leave this country if we chose. The fact that we liberals not only stick it out in this country, but take the time to try and change things for the better is proof that we care about our country. Also, lets not forget that part of what makes being an American so great is our right (thus far at least) to dissent. Thomas Jefferson once said, "Dissent is the highest form of patriotism."
I can handle the idea that people might diagree with my political viewpoint (I even have some conservative friends) but don't dare accuse me of hating my country.


2. LIBERALS DON'T SUPPORT THE TROOPS

My response: I take personal offence to this. My father and his father are/where vets. I have a several friends who are also vets (from Vietnam and the 1st Gulf War.) I have a very good friend who is presently serving in Iraq. Every time the news talks about another solider being killed I hold my breath praying that it will not be my friend. I pray for my friend (and all the men and women) fighting over seas, that they will return home soon and in one piece.
I do support our troops. I don't support this war. I question the reasons why our government started this war and the way the government has chosen to fight it.
I was outraged when I learned that the Bush administration overturned a ruling that awarded damages to American vets who as POWs had been tortuted in Iraq (during the 1st Gulf War.) If I was against the troops, then why would this upset me?
Every liberal I know (and I know plenty) support the troops, they just disagree with the war.

3. LIBERALS FAVOR THE TERRORISTS

My response: I don't know a single liberal who favors the terrorists. We all remember the horror of 9/11. I personally knew people who worked in the World Trade Center. The company I used to work for had offices in those buildings. I was not against the government going after the people directly responsible for what happened that day.
That being said, I do not believe that this war in Iraq really has anything to do with getting those terrorists invovled in 9/11. If it does, then I (and many like me) would like to see the proof. Yes, Bin Laden is from the Middle East and Iraq happens to be a Middle Eastern country, but that isn't enough to convince me that Iraq (or Saddam) was directly invovled in 9/11.
Now please don't get me wrong. I never doubted that Saddam was an evil dictator. He was. I just question whether it was our country's right or responsibility to rush into Iraq without taking the time to amass more international support, or properly arm our troops, or devise a feasible exit strategy.

4. LIBERALS WANT DEMOCRACY IN IRAQ TO FAIL

My response: I am glad that Saddam is gone. I am glad that the Iraqi's had an election. Whether or not it was a truely fair election is a matter of debate. Once again, while I think these things are good things I doubt that it was our country's responsibilty to make it happen. I doubt that the ends (for America's intrest in this) justify the means. Our government has spent billions on this war and Bush has just asked for billions more. Even more important to me, we have lost over a thousand men and women. Also, more Iraqi women and children have been killed in this war than all that died in America on 9/11. I'm not sure that this is blood that our country needs on its hands.
I also have serious doubts as to whether or not our form of democracy will take hold in Iraq. No, I'm not trying to imply that the Iraqi people are lesser people than we are. I just know that life in that part of the world is drastically different. The culture is also drastically different and I don't see that changing over night just because the Americans are there.

5. LIBERALS DON'T BELIEVE IN GOD

My response: I personally do believe in God. I was raised in a Lutheran household. I was baptized and confirmed in the Lutheran Church. I admit that I am not a regular attendee at church, but I do go from time to time.
I will not even try to speak for all liberals on this issue. Some of my liberal friends are also Christians, some belong to other faiths, and a very small number are atheists. I guess it would be correct to say that the liberals I know who are atheists don't believe in God, but there are really only a few people I know that fall into that category.
Most liberals I know believe in God in one form or another. Maybe we liberals are more accepting of other people's beliefs and this causes confusion for the ultra-conservatives.
Incidentally, the pastor at my parent's church happens to be a liberal. I wonder if he has conservatives questioning his faith.

The insults addressed above are far from being the only ones that I have had flug my way by conservatives. They are the most common ones that I see and I felt like addressing them here.
I am not going to go off and rant and rage a bunch of anti-conservative insults to try and "even the score." I don't believe that it is productive to do so.
I wish that we in this country could respect eachother enough to respect different opinions. No matter which side of the political coin you are on it does no one any good for us to hate each other. Like it or not, we are in this mess together. We might as well learn how to play nice.

8 Comments:

  • At 11:56 AM, Blogger Reverend La Petite Choupique said…

    I think I love you. Come to my blog.

     
  • At 5:44 PM, Blogger sean said…

    Dammit. The Reverend's new blogfishing tactics have led me, a regular reverend reader, on to all these other great blogs. With so much good writing to read, how am I supposed to get any writing done?
    -s

     
  • At 4:14 PM, Blogger Staci said…

    I can completely relate to your frustrations. A very good friend of mine is a complete Bush supporter and a conservative. We have tense debates on occasion and yes I lose my temper.

    Your post is eloquent and to the point and I was in complete agreement with you. I am going to send my friend here so he can see the truth behind the "godless america hating, unpatriotic, liberals"

    Good post!

     
  • At 7:05 PM, Blogger LibraryTavern Liz said…

    Well stated! I share your sentiments.

     
  • At 11:46 AM, Blogger Reverend La Petite Choupique said…

    I really do enjoy what you have written above. I find it frustrating that the "family values" and "overt religious zealotry" markets have been cornered by the Republican and conservative camps.
    On a positive note though, we have cornered the market on thinking.
    Not a bad trade.

     
  • At 11:27 PM, Blogger Deb said…

    Jessgirl, great post; I couldn't agree more. Thanks for making these points so clearly.

     
  • At 9:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    u r a jack ass

    i actually used my brain....
    wow.....

     
  • At 9:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    wow
    you believe in aborting babys too?

     

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