"I wish I could tell them: I am not a lesbian, but even if I were, what would it matter? I have a husband and a child, but even if I didn’t, what would it matter? I’m not Albanian, but even if I was, what would it matter? I’m not a communist, but even if I was, what would it matter? I don’t believe in God, but what does it matter? Some people have a different opinion about God and Christ and the Virgin Mary — what does it matter? You demand respect for your right to believe in God as you like, why don’t you respect others’ rights to believe in a different way, or not to believe at all?"The quote above was taken from the Pharyngula blog. It states very succinctly what I have felt for a long time.
The news is filled with vitriolic attacks which sling supposedly negative terminology around like the waste water it resembles. "Socialist," "communist," "unchristian," etc., etc. Name calling has become standard stock in trade in politics -- always trying to create prejudices and then using those subtle prejudices to influence and deceive gullible people.
Because I believe the healthiest economies and the best societies are created through a carefully thought out and crafted blend of capitalism and socialism, I can expect to be denounced as a hated socialist or even a communist. No thought. No careful analysis. My carefully thought out world view is summarily dismissed by utilizing mindless prejudice against a phastasmic boogeyman or "boogeyidea."
I can also expect to be hatefully denounced as a "murderer" because I believe a woman should have the right to practice birth control and end a pregnancy if she feels unprepared to follow through with an unwanted and ill-advised pregnancy.
Instead of my atheism being accepted as the result of careful thought, reasoning and research, I am denounced as some monster with no morals who is totally unworthy of acceptance in civilized society.
Our government has been almost totally paralyzed for nearly four years now by a concerted effort by one party to demonize the other party and its champion who just happens to be the lawfully elected and installed President. They publicly stated that their goal was to make sure he would not be re-elected. Many people have forgotten that and blame him for his inability to do more to extricate our nation from the financial catastrophe that same obstructionist party brought about.
Let's get real here! American presidents are not kings! They can't rule by fiat! To get things done, they have to have the cooperation of congress!
Instead of condemning and thinking they might not vote for Obama, they should be congratulating him on the rather outstanding things he has accomplished against all the naysaying, obstructionism and grandstanding he has had to put up with.
Far too many people (and I have to watch myself in this area) act on emotion, not reason. That is why negative campaign slogans work so well. Emotion tends to turn the mind off. Angry people are not thinking people most of the time. Many a murderer came to that realization after letting his/her emotional anger precipitate a fatal attack on someone that put them in prison for life or sitting on death row.
Emotions are not evil in and of themselves. However, they must be based on and held in check by careful thought. The theocratic fascists of the Republican party know they must get people to feel first and think later (or never) if they are going to win in about three weeks.
I'm hoping enough thought can be generated to offset all this mindless sloganeering.