Oregon writer, Rain Trueax, and Oregon painter, Diane, co-author Rainy Day Thought, where they write about experiences, ideas, nature, creativity, and culture. The latter might appear at times political, but we will try to avoid partisanship to speak to the broader issues that impact a culture. This is just too important a time not to sometimes speak to problems that impact society. As she and I do, readers will find we often disagree and have for over 50 years-- still able to be close friends. You can do that if you can be agreeable that we share more than not despite the difference.

Diane posts on Wednesdays and Rain on Saturdays. There may be extra days or changes as situations warrant. Comments, relating to the topic, are welcome as it turns an article into a discussion, but must be in English, with no profanity, hate-filled comments, or links (unless pre-approved).

Fantasy, the painting by Diane Widler Wenzel, cropped a little to fit the needs of a banner.

Friday, January 11, 2008

and the other side

Beings I am a registered Democrat, part of that base you read about as I have even donated money to Democratic candidates, it's hard to write about Republican candidates. I do pay attention to them, but disagree with them all.

The Republican candidates appear to be mostly me-toos where it comes to George W. Bush. If they see Bush as having done a good job, right there, it's a major conflict with me-- like what kind of judgment would they have if they got in power? They want to keep all the tax cuts for the rich (gotta keep that debt building). Except for Ron Paul, they plan to stay in Iraq forever and maybe bomb Iran in their the military's spare time. There is no contradiction in their minds between an expensive war and lowering taxes that could pay for it. Their stance on torture is just as tortured (except for McCain who knows a bit about the subject).

So you have Mr 9/11, Giuliani, who brags about how he'll keep us safe from another terrorist attack because he's such a tough guy-- but you never hear him talk about why the command center for the Port Authority, which basically meant the fire and police for NYC, were all in the World Trade Center, long targeted by terrorists, where others with better judgment said, don't put it there. His blind stubbornness does not make one think he'd make a good president. The corruption in his background doesn't make you feel he'd be trustworthy in any aspect of leadership-- not to mention how much he likes dictator powers.

In this election, I believe there is also something new for Republicans to consider--two fundamentalists. Before I go farther, I better define some terms as I will use them. Others might define them differently-- these are my terms.

Christian: follower of Jesus Christ's teachings but might update what they mean for a modern era

christianist: claims the name but would consider Christ's teachings socialism, ignores the parts about not judging others, praying in a closet, difficulty of a rich man being spiritual [Christ used the metaphor getting into the kingdom of heaven which can be taken to mean after death or enlightenment during life]

fundamentalist Christian: takes what Jesus said in the King James Bible to be exactly what one should do; and if it's not there, well let your pastor explain what you should do. All spiritual truth has already been explained and you don't need to learn more.

Mormon: if jack Mormon, you don't take the teachings of the church seriously. If Mormon, the president of the church decrees how to live your life and you follow it or you are out. There are strict rules. Some say Mormonism is not Christian but Mormons claim it is. They are fundamentalists in that they have to believe what their leader says is true or they revert to part one above.

So Huckabee is a fundamentalist Christian, in my opinion. It seems most likely that his religious fervor has convinced him that's reason enough to be the president, as he hopes it will be for many voters. He doesn't appear to believe he needs to study up on foreign policy or even know what those issues are. Like our christianist president, he seems to count on divine guidance in the tough times.

Why I say he's a fundamentalist Christian is he says he doesn't believe in evolution, appears to take the Bible literally (even when it was not meant that way), believes in helping the poor, and appears to think one should live a gospel-driven life (who knows if he does but that's what confession is for).

I do not think being a member of any religion is a reason to vote for or against them unless the religion teaches something bad-- or encourages purposeful ignorance. Fundamentalism (of all sorts) follows the latter path.

I do not believe, that someone who let their church leader tell them being black was the sign of Cain from the Old Testament and therefore that person is unfit to be a priest, can be anything but a fundamentalist. Sorry it's that way but nothing the members can do about it. It's how it is from god on high who speaks direction on these important issues only to our religious leader. I'll pull over to the side of the road and cry when I hear our Mormon president has gotten new divine orders (as Romney claims he did regarding the bigotry of his church).

I would personally not vote for someone who dismissed science, didn't bother to get educated as to what science can teach us. If your religion is able to dictate something illogical to you, like that mark of Cain nonsense, what else can it tell you to do or think? Side note: What is there about religion that seems to turn off some people's brains?

In my opinion, it's important to do your own research on the candidates you prefer. For instance, supposed you were a fundamentalist Christian (unlikely you'd still be reading this blog but just pretend) and liked Huckabee's religion. Check out his record as governor, the questionable paroles, the corruption, the gifts he personally took, what he did versus how he talked.

A lot of people are so disillusioned with our system that they don't want to think about it. They do not want to research candidates. They want information spoon fed them. I hear it a lot regarding Obama-- we don't know anything about him. Well Ingineer66, a frequent commenter here, went looking, and wrote about it in the comments here-- information that didn't come to him through god's special messaging system.

This is no time to be lazy about your leader. We are in a war, maybe a second on the horizon if some of these chicken hawks get their way. We have a president who has been gutting and even selling off our infrastructure, given tax breaks to the richest while he spread pennies to the middle class, and took programs from the environment and the poorest. He has set in place a structure that enables a president to ignore laws Congress passes, break civilized rules that have been considered to be the standard-- all at his whim. The next president matters a lot if any of that is to be reversed. Don't count on simple blogs like this one or speeches during a debate or campaign. Research the facts for your children and grandchildren's sake-- maybe even your own generation as it's going. Find out for yourself what these people do and what they say they believe

As a small example of Hucakbee's beliefs, he favors eliminating the income tax and replacing it with a national sales tax, which some economists also like; but which, unless it is not on food and drugs, is hardest on the poor. He follows the Old Testament guidelines about homosexuality (but am guessing he doesn't favor stoning gays to death nor disobedient children). He has gone back and forth on whether torture is okay but wants the prison in Guantanamo to stay-- last I read.

These Republican candidates are making John McCain look good and given how McCain has kissed up to Bush, wants to lock in the tax cuts making our debt spiral, and supports staying in Iraq fifty years, if not more, you can see where that puts the rest.

Not that any of them care about my opinion, since in Oregon you have to vote in your own primary and if you were registered as an Independent you can't vote in any-- which is why I am registered as a Democrat. I will have a voice in my primary and I will do the work to be informed on at least what these people say they believe. I know... it doesn't always rarely ends up being what they do.

If you are informed, you are less apt to be influenced by something that probably helped win Hillary the New Hampshire primary when a guy yelled out iron my shirts or when she got teary. That guy could have been a plant given the rest of how her bunch operates. This is how campaigns are won, but it only impacts those who are not informed and thus easily swayed by soundbites. Know the positions and you won't be one of them.


Diane Widler Wenzel said...

Good post. There is a wealth of information now available. This could be a major positive impact on how I select a candidate now. In years past I used to select on visualizing the candidates as being a leaders of our country mostly by their public personality - how well they communicated presidentialness.

Ingineer66 said...

I think the brain turning off thing is about charisma. People can turn their brains off if they like a political candidate (Bill Clinton) just the same as if a charismatic minister is delivering a message.

As for Huckabee he believes everyone is a child of God so the parolees or the illegals coming here are children of God and should be forgiven and that is all one needs to do. Huckabee will not make a good President and hopefully has no chance of actually getting the nomination.

You talk a lot about Rudy’s corruption problems as mayor of the largest city in the US (which has plenty of corruption in its police & fire departments, schools, etc), but one question I have about Obama is that he is a politician from Chicago, historically the most corrupt city in the US when it comes to politics. I like Obama but I wonder what there might be in his past that we do not know because he is a new comer on the national stage.

Thanks for the compliment I just read it half way through writing my comments, but here is where we start to differ. I like the tax cuts and tax revenue is higher than it has ever been. We need to get spending under control. We have the same problem here in California. New programs and more spending when we cannot afford basic services.

And just my humble opinion but Hillary would be just as likely to bomb Iran as any of the Republicans out there.
I heard that on a couple of talk shows that the “iron my shirts” guy was likely a Clinton plant.
Amazing who and how we elect the leader of the free world.

Rain Trueax said...

I know we disagree on what is best for the nation, ingineer, but you do read and check things out and for that I admire you. People can do that and still not end up seeing it the same way.

On the tax cuts, you are drinking the kool-aid though :) Read some of the other side on that one for instance-- Time on revenue and economics. We all have to watch out for the things we want to believe vs looking at the facts as they are.

On Obama, we know he showed some poor judgment on I think it was a loan he took-- not sure in what year. If there is more, have confidence the Clinton machine has it... and Obama is foolish if he doesn't deal with it first. The bad part is stuff like with Kerry and the swift-boaters that never gets proven but people swallow it without need for proof.

OldLady Of The Hills said...

I so agree with you Rain...The importance of doing your own research or reading the research of someone you really trust....Essential, beyond words!
I just read an article in THE NEW YORK TIMES that was critical of Ron Paul's Newletter History, stating that the gist of his Newsletters for a very long long time were Anti-Semetic....Evidentally, he has excused himself by saying wqhoever wrote that doesn't speak for him...But, this was said--one way or another---Over and Over and Over....A Newsletter that bears your name sgould and must reflect your true views....
I was disappointed to read this, because of all the Republican Candidates he was the only one that jind of had GOOD things to say, in my view. I too, am a Registered Democrart, but I want to know as much about the opposition as I can, in case one of these frightening creatures gets elected---IF The Democratic Party screws up or gets foxed by the Republican Machine...These are HARD HARD Times....OY!

BTW: I thank you for your comment and FYI, I wrote a whole post about AWAY FROM HER, about a month ago(?)..Not sure of the timing on it....You might like to take a peek at it, given that you have seen the film, too. I LOVED IT!

Fran aka Redondowriter said...

The thing about me, which is sad but unfortunately mirrors a lot of people sick of politics, I don't make the time to really study the issues anymore. I am a registered Democrat, but I have voted Republican a few times--including for Arnold Schwarzenegger. (Big budget problems right here in California--disastrous, in fact). I could not vote for any evangelical or fundamentalist Christian or anyone who was extreme in their beliefs at this point. I did vote for Carter, but he was a man who never imposed his beliefs on us.

Our primary is on Feb. 5 and I literally do not know who I will vote for yet. And there are so many people like me. Political leadership is so much about charisma these days. I would probably vote for Edwards today, but they say he is not electable.

Here it is only January and we have MONTHS of this to go. Yikes!

Anonymous said...

Kerry has been making the rounds here in South Carolina with Obama. I do not like Kerry so that gives me pause. As an old fireman , I would never vote for Rudy Giuliani.Just ask the brothers at the FDNY about him. I still haven't chosen a candidate to vote for Rain. :-)

Rain Trueax said...

I do not believe anybody should vote for someone based on whether they can win but it should be because they are the best for the job. Who tells you they cannot win? Pundits and look at how badly they did in NH. Don't trust talking heads but find out what these people want to do, look at their record, judge their character, see how their goals match up with yours and put the pundits in their place-- the backseat.

As for Kerry endorsing Obama. He will get a lot of endorsements you don't like; so if you look at who endorses who, you won't end up voting on issues or character either. I knew it'd hurt him with a certain type of voter to accept Kerry's endorsement which says something about Obama's courage. I myself liked Kerry but he is not one who tends to say the wisest thing-- as in off the top of his head and that works against him and in this case, his endorsement.

Mary Lou said...

And once again we will asked to chose between the lesser of two evils instead of the best person for the job. I do NOT think Hillary would be in our best interest. I like Obama, but he is untried...I like Edwards because he talks like he is really for the common man. I HATE the fact that Kerry put himself behind Obama. THat may have hurt him. I would like to see and Edwards, Obama ticket. Both are charismatic, Edwards is experienced, and Obama would then be learning for the NEXT 8 years.

On the republican side, I liked listening to Huckabee on the Tonight show, but McCain would get my vote. RIght now I am totally undecided, and will be until after the conventions. I dont want to get my hopes up behind someone and then have them dashed when they are not nominated.

I think we need to limit our campaigning to 1 month prior to each election, and NOT for the YEARS prior!! ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

Anonymous said...

I agree on all you said here, especially about Huckabee. But in addition to his religion, I have an even better one for ya....
This was the conversation I heard yesterday by two people I know.
She: Who are you voting for?
He: I haven't made up my mind yet, but I'm leaning toward Huckabee because (ARE YOU READY FOR THIS?) he's pretty humorous and I like his sense of humor.
I prayed they wouldn't ask MY choice but all I could think was, "AH Yup! Now THAT is a damn good reason to vote a person in as President." NO wonder this country is in the situation it is!
Just shaking my head.......

Ingineer66 said...

Hey Paul why do the firefighters at FDNY not like Bush? Right after 9/11 the police and firefighters all loved Bush and they booed Hillary off the stage because of things she had done which hurt them with their pay and other non supportive things. Then a year or so after 9/11 the Firefighters union got involved and started promoting Hillary because she is a Democrat and Unions always support Democrats. If you have real evidence why real firemen don't like him I would be glad to hear it, but if it is politics as usual don't always believe the propaganda.

Rain Trueax said...

it is giuliani they don't like, ingineer and for good reasons. He let them down, betrayed them for political gain. The firefighters have not received their due either regarding their lung damage after the rescue efforts of 9/11. They were not warned of the dangers and now are being denied help. Very few Republican leaders support the little guy. It's all about the top of the pile