Thursday, July 15, 2010

Motivation

I was called unpatriotic when President George W. Bush was in office.  Not by many. But, by a few. I was no fan of W as President. I voted against him both times. I disagreed with him politically and philosophically.  I thought he was a war-monger and I think the term "compassionate conservative" is an oxymoron. But, (and this is a big but), I never questioned the man's motivation.  I never questioned his patriotism.  I never questioned his dedication to doing what he thought was the best for the American people.  There's a conservative radio host who praises his callers who agree with him with the phrase "You're a great American."  Funny.  He never says that to the callers who disagree with him.  Well, as much as I disagreed with W's policies, I can say with all sincerity he is a "great American".  Anyone who runs for the office of President of the United States sacrifices much.  We should thank anyone who puts up with our crap for four or eight years.  And, we should never, ever question his patriotism.

Good, patriotic people can have huge disagreements over how to get what's best for our country. But, we what we have in common is we want what is best. And, as long as we can all keep that in mind, compromise is possible.  Heck, maybe even consensus is possible on a few issues.  But, when we start questioning each others' motivation, we get ourselves into real trouble, trouble I think we are in today.  And, I'll say it, it's mostly coming from the right.  

Look at the picture above.  What comes to mind?  Does the President look disrespectful of his office?  Does he look like he hates America?  Does he look like he thinks he's "king"?  I'm guessing you answered no unless you saw the idiotic email circulating among some conservatives now.

Now look at this picture.  What comes to mind?

Here's what is being said about this picture:


When one of my conservative friends was faced with the truth about this picture and the sheer hypocrisy of the outrage over this picture but not a whimper about Bush (or Ford) putting his feet on the desk, he responded with this:

The difference is that no one ever doubted that Gerald Ford and George Bush were on the side of America and loved the country. It is clear that Obama is not on the side of America and hates the country. He is a domestic enemy of the United States and this is further proof of it.

You know... he's right- in this sense.  One thing us liberals never did was say George Bush was trying to destroy the country.  We may have said he was destroying the country.  But, not that he was trying to destroy the country.  

C'mon guys. Isn't it enough to say Obama's not the legitimate President because his father cooked up a conspiracy from the time he was born almost 50 years ago to get him elected President even though he was born in Kenya?  Isn't it enough to say he's incompetent and naive?  Isn't it enough to say he's a "thug"?  No. You've got to say he's an enemy of the country, bent on destroying the land he's called home since shortly after his birth in Kenya.  He's a secret Muslim who only pretended to be Christian for decades so he could hatch his plot of being elected President and selling us out to the Muslims who build mosques in the United States as symbols of conquest (I kid you not, one of my friends said this yesterday- mosques in the United States are a symbol of Muslim conquest).  

Yesterday, when I walked away from a conversation just shaking my head, one of my conservative friends challenged me with "silence doesn't solve anything". True enough.  But, it's really, really hard to come to common ground with someone who doesn't even trust your motivations.

22 comments:

Mike aka MonolithTMA said...

It's saddening to see this double standard and yet it comes as no surprise.

NW Ohio Skeptic said...

Bill Cunningham, eh? :)

Can't hardly stand him these days. I am a long time listener of 700WLW.

Don said...

After reading your posts and comments for several years, I would never, ever question your patriotism, or that in what you say, you have nothing but the best interests of the U.S. in mind. The heart of your post is why I have become so disgusted with politics in general. I have to step back and concentrate on other things for a time.

Anonymous said...

Why not just get to the heart of the matter and that is:

George W. Bush is a Capitalist
Barack H. Obama is a Marxist

Or if one prefers:

George W. Bush is a Conservative
Barack H. Obama is a Liberal

Brian, while you qualify your comments regarding a silly email (one I've never received, btw) that most people haven't--with how you couldn't stand Bush, (we both know that) and that "compassionate conservativism" is an oxymoron, which means "anyone conservative cannot possibly be a compassionate person", I would suggest that you dig deeper and talk about what is REALLY bugging you. Certainly its more than this? --rhonda

brian said...

Rhonda,

First of all, a Liberal is not Marxis and Obama is not a Marxist. In fact, a lot of Liberals would say he's not even a "real" LIberal.

Yes, my remarks were prompted by a particular email. The fact that you haven't seen it just means you haven't seen it. It doesn't really to to the heart of the matter which is the malicious lies being spread about our President and, even the questioning of his motives.

As for my dislike for the term compassionate conservative, I'm sorry if that offends you. But, it doesn't mean that a person who is conservative cannot be compassionate. It means that I don't see what most people tell me are conservative values as being particularly compassionate. The whole idea that if everyone just worked a little harder they could have what they want and that by helping people we are actually crippling them just doesn't seem compassionate to me. But, it doesn't mean that anyone who calls themselves conservative cannot be compassionate. I think most people who are conservatives actually give a great deal to charity. I think that most people who call themselves conservatives actually realize that the things in our country that are socialized are socialized for good reason. They typically don't take their conservative views literally or play them all the way out to their logical conclusions.

Peace,
Brian

Anonymous said...

OK Brian, to help you understand the motivation of such an email, I'd say that if Condoleeza Rice or Michael Steele were Prez with his feet on the desk, no such email would be going out because no such offense would be taken.

The motivation for such an email is the belief that a Marxist has his feet on top of the very valued traditions based on the founding of this, what once was, a great nation. People (even many who think themselves Liberals) are beginning to be offended and to feel the same way.

He can only blame Bush for the present state of the country for so long.

People are beginning to realize that they should have paid attention to Jeremiah Wright being Obama's mentor for so many years, and his following of Saul Alinsky's "Rules for Radicals"--so many other things that could be named, too many to go into here--all of which is ruining this nation.

So when a President who values and works to conserve the ideals and values of America's founding puts his feet on the desk, it doesn't offend. When a Marxist radical who is doing everything possible to destroy said values and ideals puts his feet on the desk--it does. --rhonda

brian said...

Thanks for the explanation, Rhonda. See you didn't even need to receive the email to get the point. Which is: "The President is a Marxist, doesn't even deserve to be in the Oval office. So, of course, everything he does as long as he is President is offensive."

I could not disagree with you more, for reasons stated above and gone into elsewhere ad nauseum.

Peace,
Brian

Anonymous said...

"The President is a Marxist, doesn't even deserve to be in the Oval office. So, of course, everything he does as long as he is President is offensive."

You betcha. That's it, Brian.

He doesn't deserve it is NIW being seen after only 18 months in office. Our country is being destroyed. Do you not see that?

If not, why not?

--rhonda

NW Ohio Skeptic said...

Brian,

You do realize this exercise with rhonda is futile? :)

We can't see it like she does.......
Must be these da*n marxist, commie, socialist,liberal, gay loving,america hating, military hating glasses we are wearing. :)

Bush is to blame for what Bush caused. 2 wars. An economic collapse. (for starters) Obama is accountable for what he has done since he said took office. Obama didn't get us in two wars and he certainly had no part in the insane financial policies that have brought the house down.

Liberals are quite willing to judge what Obama has done. Every liberal and progressive magazine I get (and I get most of them) has scathing articles about our President and his policies.

There is a segment of our society that is not going to be happy with Obama no matter what he does. They believe he is a Muslim Marxist without a legitimate birth certificate, who puts his feet on the desk. :)

Bruce

brian said...

Rhonda,

I can't see it (that Obama is destroying the country) simply because it's not true. But, more importantly, what I am coming to realize is that we can only see what we allow ourselves to see. There is so much data out there that it's easy to simply pay attention to the data that supports one's current position and ignore the data that refutes it and that is what the vast majority of us do. When it comest to political or religious issues it's even worse. And, I've observed that the further right or left one is on the political scale, the worse the blindness. Those who say Obama is destroying the country tend to ignore the fact that the deep recession we are in is first of all global and secondly has its roots in the Bush administration. They seem to forget that the first bailouts were passed with the cooperation of Bush while he was still in office. This is not about blaming Bush. But, it's not things were all peaches and cream when Obama took over.

Bruce, you are right. In fact I was going to write a blog post about this very thing this week. I took on a little experiment a couple of weeks ago where I befriended some ultra-right wing conservative "patriots" on Facebook a couple of weeks ago. I will write about my experience in more detail. But, for now, I'll say that the experiment has shown me that facts rarely get in the way of a deeply held opinion. What I do find interesting is those on the far left criticize Obama about as harshly as those on the far right. But, for different reasons. True socialists scoff at the claim that Obama is a socialist. And, liberals who as far left as some of my friends are far right say that he's not even a true liberal.

brian said...

Rhonda,

I can't see it (that Obama is destroying the country) simply because it's not true. But, more importantly, what I am coming to realize is that we can only see what we allow ourselves to see. There is so much data out there that it's easy to simply pay attention to the data that supports one's current position and ignore the data that refutes it and that is what the vast majority of us do. When it comest to political or religious issues it's even worse. And, I've observed that the further right or left one is on the political scale, the worse the blindness. Those who say Obama is destroying the country tend to ignore the fact that the deep recession we are in is first of all global and secondly has its roots in the Bush administration. They seem to forget that the first bailouts were passed with the cooperation of Bush while he was still in office. This is not about blaming Bush. But, it's not things were all peaches and cream when Obama took over.

Bruce, you are right. In fact I was going to write a blog post about this very thing this week. I took on a little experiment a couple of weeks ago where I befriended some ultra-right wing conservative "patriots" on Facebook a couple of weeks ago. I will write about my experience in more detail. But, for now, I'll say that the experiment has shown me that facts rarely get in the way of a deeply held opinion. What I do find interesting is those on the far left criticize Obama about as harshly as those on the far right. But, for different reasons. True socialists scoff at the claim that Obama is a socialist. And, liberals who as far left as some of my friends are far right say that he's not even a true liberal.

Kansas Bob said...

Questioning a persons motives is a dark path. It plays to our cynical side and generally leads to more cynicism. If we learned anything from last week's episode with Shirley Sherrod it is that things are not always as they seem and believing the worst takes you to some strange places.

I am thankful for you Brian - our online conversations have been so helpful. Through these online chats you have helped me to see the other side of the proverbial coin. This post is another example of your great writing and your willingness to engage in thoughtful debate.

Anonymous said...

Gee, why would anyone "think" that Obama is a Marxist? LOL!

Remember, Kansas Bob, it was Brian (great writer that he is--I agree,) who questioned the motivation of those who sent the email.

--rhonda

brian said...

Rhonda,

I'm not sure I'd say I question the motives of those who sent the email other than their motive to tear the President down and to do anything they can to obstruct him. That much is clear.

I don't doubt that they're being patriotic, in their minds. I don't doubt that they think they are protecting their country. I don't doubt that they think they are good Americans defending their country and their constitution from a man they see as their enemy. OTOH, they think that Obama is out to destroy the country.

Peace,
Brian

Kansas Bob said...

"Gee, why would anyone "think" that Obama is a Marxist? LOL!"

An interesting comment Rhonda. Wondering when you began thinking that the president is a Marxist? Is that something that you have called other leaders? Is it a part of your vocabulary? Or did the term come from a radio talk show host? Not that I am questioning your motives or anything. LOL. Just questioning your source of information.

brian said...

A direct quote from the master baiter:

"As to my goal..it is to unite the country in opposition to the Obama agenda. I love America and I want America to succeed and the only way that can happen is for the OBAMA AGENDA TO FAIL.

On race relations, so much for the post racial presidency. he has only made things worse by stirring the pot and his reactions to the Cambridge cop and then the Sherrod incident and the black panther voter intimidation lawsuit clerarly indicate this : Obama has a huge chip on his shoulder agains the constitution and thw way America is run and yes against white people. I will not call him a racist but he has deep seated grievances against white people and the country itself as do nearly everyone he hangs out with. His czars, cabinet are all a bunch of grievance politics hustlers so yes Brian let me say it again.

I WANT OBAMA TO FAIL SO AMERICA CAN SUCCEED."

Anonymous said...

The "master baiter"? Oh, how very clever. (wink.)

The country IS united against the Obama agenda, whatever this man's name is, this effort is succeeding. Its only a matter of time.

The Obama is flailing and failing, not so much on the efforts of this man and others--but because the policies themselves fail, every time they're tried. The Freudian slip of Chris Matthews recently when he accidentally asked, "Do you think in the coming election the Democrats are gonna run from President O'Carter, er, I mean uh, O'bama?" --rhonda

Anonymous said...

And Brian, please, as upsetting as all this is for you, I'm sure; remember what it was like for me all those years supporting Bush, and all I went through. You saw what it was like for me. You remember the hundreds of posts, (how I said we can talk about ANYthing; even politics and still come out loving each other) and how I was called a racist, a hater and everything else because I'm conservative.

In those days, it really hurt. But it doesn't now. I don't care what people think now. I saw way too many tactics used to make me out to be some kind of devil; so my words would be disregarded. It didn't matter what I said; even when I copied and pasted an opponent's words; then THAT also was argued with as if it were evil (I guess people don't remember what they just wrote.) :)

So now, I simply speak out the truth as I see it whenever and wherever I can, just as I did prior to that; whatever people want to think they can.

It is what it is. :) --rhonda

Anonymous said...

Kansas Bob, please. Tell me how the Obama agenda is different from Marxism and then we can get somewhere, k?

I'm not gonna do people's homework and research FOR them.

So I assume you know what Marxism is. You know what the Obama Administration has been doing, and what the "stategery" is.

So you should be able to tell me the differences right away, yes?

:) --rhonda

Kansas Bob said...

@Rhonda - You asked: "Tell me how the Obama agenda is different from Marxism"

I suggest that you try checking out the Obama agenda listed here and tell me what parts you feel are Marxist. Maybe we can go from there.

Anonymous said...

Hey There Bob,

I looked at the site; I see what the Obama agenda SAYS, and of course, I have the luxury of also seeing with my own eyes what the Obama agenda has done and DOES.

Can you say "LIES"?

Please tell me, how any of these particulars of the agenda are being realized, even a little bit. Show me how they're not all going DOWN in the opposite direction? Who's happy? Are YOU?

Can you also show me that these policies have EVER WORKED for ANY nation on this earth at ANY TIME?

By Nov 2012 this one term is going down in history for America as the WORST.

Even Liberals and Democrats are running from it! The days are gone of twisting yourself into a pretzel in order to justify the harm this Marxist/Lenin/Socialist/Communist thinking does to people. No, Jesus was NOT a Socialist.

(Just in case you think that as so many have been bamboozled into thinking.)--rhonda

Kansas Bob said...

@Rhonda - Maybe it would be helpful if you focused your criticisms on one part of the president's agenda and proved it to be Marxist?