You guys surprise me sometimes. I did not think many of you would pick up my pre-debate message, but not only did you get it, you had things to say.
Pat wanted to know why I was mentioning the wrong game:
Baseball! Hell, there's a soccer game on!!!
Frankly, I do know a few people who are soccer fans who say they are voting for Bush. A person who can enjoy the complexities of the world's game and still not figure out that Iraq had nothing to do with 9-11 is beyond my help, right now...So...
Sam likes her son's observation:
Steve - Kevin, Ryan, Andrew, Tyler and I are all watching. Talk about bonding...
Bush gave a moronic answer.
I say: What are we going to do if he wins?!?!?!?!
Ryan says: He is going to need better protection.
Kevin says: You watch too many video games.
Ryan says: Right. I need better education.
Is there any better preparation for the world than to show your child how stupid and evil it can be out there?
I went out into the world with the idealist vision of the nineteen-fifties clouding my vision. I believed that policemen were my friends, and that politicians all wanted the best for America. I had no fear of adults, (unless they were a communist). Fears were based on mushroom clouds caused by Mr. Kruschev, but he was somewhere very far away.
The earliest Presidential choice I remember clearly was between Adlai Stevenson and Dwight D. Eisenhower. Both of these men were worthy! They had served their country in war and peace. Each man had a slightly different vision of the next step for their country but each man had a bottom line personal belief system of honesty and fairness, each man stood for the concept of "The most Good, for the Most People". Both men rode around in open cars, gave speechs to crowds of people who may or may not have agreed with them. In those days You listened, indicating your agreement or disapproval by the tone of your applause. There was no central committee ordering you to shout down the opponent, at least at the National level, Chicago politics not withstanding. I was in the second grade when Eisenhower won. My family supported the other guy but "Ike" became my president and he was a good guy to me.
Four years later, in the sixth grade, we had a debate, Nixon against Kennedy. There was one on TV that may have decided the election but I mean there was a debate in the school between students. I think every class had one. I was on the Kennedy side where the big topic was what has become know as Medicare. This was a Kennedy program. The class sat and listened while two students for each candidate presented and rebutted. The teacher sat and said nothing except as a moderator. We had no idea how she was going to vote but we knew that she would. Her name was Mrs. Dull. Looking back at my sixth grade pictures, I now see that she was very nice looking. What Spanish I still know, she taught me.
There was something divisive that started in the Nixon Kennedy election. I felt it then, but I had no idea what it would become. Government was good, and stayed that way until Ronald Reagan got elected.
The fifties were marked by the constant battle against Russian propaganda. Up was down, a totalitarian government was good, American hegemony was bad, and Russians, with their superior system, had invented everything useful, like the TV, the , hydrogen bomb, Vodka, and the ball point pen. They hadn't, of course, but the propaganda was incessant. Words were twisted until you couldn't tell what anybody was really saying. We all finally decided that the lying was not limited to just the Russians!
The lessons learned during the "Cold War" about double think, have now become institutionalized in the concept we call Marketing: Winning is the only good, Right and wrong are disposable concepts and only relate to which "side" you are on.
I don't like this. I don't like anyone trying to deceive me. I don't like hearing the radio report that Kerry is widely perceived as the winner of last night's debate and then playing a Bush comment attacking Kerry as the only sound bite...Not fair!...Not for the most good, for the most people. Only good for "our side".
I don't have an answer to this evil strain that has grown cancerous in my country, but I have decided long ago to take what steps I can. In every human being there is the tendency to say things that are not true. I have resolved to fight that in myself and refuse to let it stand in matters of import, when others pass along things that aren't true to my personal knowlege.
This can get you in trouble, if done carelessly, and I am learning from my mistakes. Most of the people that say these untruths are merely passing them along. John Edwards shows me the way, oddly enough. When he contradicts someone, he looks at them right in the eye, and projects how much he cares about them, while gently calling them a liar. That word is never used.
"Well, You're mistaken... the figure is actually that 1.6 million jobs must be created each year just to serve the emerging workers who are leaving home looking for their first job. If you have lost 1.7 million jobs in the private sector, then you really need 7.2 million jobs, even if you count the new government jobs." Smile with beautiful teeth and laughing eyes, knowing all the while, that the betrayal inherant in a supposedly "Conservative" Vice President actually bragging about increasing the size of the government on National TV, is probably a lost concept on most conservatives.
Arm yourself with knowlege and love your opponent. It's the WWJD of political activism.
In viscious contrats to that, Lee Atwater was the first major operative to live every moment in double speak. After he got Daddy Bush elected, he found out he was dying of cancer, and went to each of the men and women he had slimed in political campaigns and begged their forgiveness. Though Atwater had never done the Christian thing by them, they mostly did it for him. He left an evil legacy, nonetheless. Today, Lee Atwater method college courses are being taught under the guise of Political Science!
It is a new and dangerous world we send our children to. They deserve better.
I am going to vote today, if at all possible. Kerry won this last debate also. A broad survey of the polls show this debate as Kerry's victory by the widest margin yet. With his boy getting trounced, Rove will stop at nothing to win. Things will get so ugly, in the last few days of this campaign, that America will be shocked by what Rove is willing to do and say. No lie will go unsaid. We will see if Karl Rove's theory is correct, that 12 percent of Americans can rule over the majority.
For the future of my children and yours, I hope not.