My take on the issues


I regarded Trump's election as a flip of the bird at the condescension of liberalism's most prominent faces, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. I also saw in it an embrace of discrimination against blacks, Hispanics, Middle Easterners, homosexuals, transsexuals, and secularists. Because I too despise Obama, Clinton, and groups such as Black Lives Matter, I sympathized, yet I regarded a vote for Trump as like setting your child's head on fire to kill the lice.

I had these thoughts today because of a chain of comments between myself and a Georgia blogger (http://rhymeswithplague.blogspot.com/2017/09/the-world-is-not-ending-today-after-all.html), a chain that ended with him observing, sadly I thought, that Atlanta has become notable for its diverse cultures and religions. He would like life even less here in Oregon's Willamette Valley, because it is one of the most liberal, and least religious, parts of the country, although this isn't to say that conservatives and Christians don't abound. I didn't know how much they abounded until the "Make America Great Again" caps and bumper stickers started appearing during Trump's election bid. Sad to say, those who publicly supported Trump risked having their property vandalized, and one local man was even assaulted by a mob. Before moving to a liberal area, I imagined that being liberal meant being tolerant. After all, their bumper stickers read, "Honor Diversity."


I suspect that the few conservatives who read this blog regard me as a liberal, and that my liberal readers are sometimes offended by my conservatism. When we like someone, we want them to fit into our tribe, and this means that we must agree with them on important concepts. The purpose of this post is to present my views on current issues. You will find that I don't fit anywhere.

Diversity. I think it breeds disharmony, so I would prefer, in the interest of harmony, to live in a land that was overwhelmingly composed of people who trace their roots to Western Europe, which is to say, people who are as much like myself as possible.

LGBTQ. I'm fine with gays--I even like gays, and, yes, I think they are different from heterosexuals in ways other than who they sleep with. Transgenders? As many of you know, my father believed himself to be a woman, but I have no idea what influence that has on my attitudes. Suffice it to say that I want homosexuals and transgender people to have equal rights in every way, but I'm personally weirded-out by transgenders in particular. 

Hispanics? I don't want people sneaking into my country, although those who were brought here as children didn't sneak in, so they deserve special consideration. I especially resent the liberal equation of people who swim the Rio Grande with those who spend months or years working to gain legal citizenship. No country can maintain its identity if has open borders.

Women's rights?  I'm reticent about women going into professions that require explosive strength, and I'm especially leery of them going into combat, but I think that if we're going to have equality, it needs to be all or nothing, so I can hardly oppose women doing anything they want to do as long as they can pass the same tests as men. 

Abortion? I believe that people who equate a fetus with a human being are full of it, and so it is that I support the freedom to choose. While abortion is regrettable, I think it beats the alternative, which is to force the very women who are the least equipped to care for a child to either bear children or to face the possibility of death from botched abortions, while allowing women of means to spend whatever it takes to get a safe abortion. When my teenage sister got pregnant fifty years ago, she flew from Mississippi, where abortion was a felony, to Colorado where it was legal. The trip put a strain on my parents' finances, but if there was ever a young girl who would have been a parental disaster, my sister was that girl, which means that the responsibility for parenting would have fallen to my already overwrought parents. I have another family member who raised not one but two of her unwed daughter's children after her daughter walked away. This is the price of illegal abortion. The children who are so parented are rarely well-parented, and the responsibility for their care is rarely paid for by those who would outlaw abortion. In fact, the very people who most vigorously oppose abortion also stand in vigorous opposition to government support for poor families.

Religion? If, as religious people claim, love was their guiding principal and their kingdom really wasn't of this world, no one would oppose them, but the sad truth is that religion perpetually wars against freedom and perpetually supports factionalism. Thanks to the power of religion, one-third of the world's nations have blasphemy laws, the penalties for which range from a fine (in Western Europe) to execution (in much of the Moslem world). Century in and century out, religion stands in unbroken support of hatred and intolerance. If, in the name of freedom and equality, you oppose religion's use of government to force sectarian values and practices upon the public, religious people will claim that you are persecuting them, and will take every means to silence you. As most religious people see it, there is no way but their way.

America's blacks. I don't regard the black race overall as making a positive contribution to life in America. In the sixties, their struggle was praiseworthy for its high ideals. Now, their primary struggle revolves around police shootings of black people, primarily black criminals. By making heroin dealers the poster children for their movement, groups such as Black Lives Matter cannot inspire the same public outrage against injustice that was aroused the world over by the likes of a young college student named James Meredith and a hardworking bus rider named Rosa Parks. I don't know why black Americans lag behind whites and yellows in every standard of success and well-being, but they appear to blame their failures solely upon white oppression. Since the masses of white people disagree, the accusation is a non-starter. I'm ashamed to say this because it contradicts my belief that everyone deserves a fair trial, but when I hear of a heroin dealer being shot dead in the street, I just think to myself, good riddance, no matter what his race.

Creationism. The only people who believe in creationism (re-marketed as "intelligent design") are those who regard the Biblical account of creation as scientifically accurate. They insist upon--and often succeed in--having "both sides of the controversy" taught in school, but there are no "both sides." There is instead what science can verify versus what religion accepts upon credulity, aka "faith." The difference between evolutionism and creationism is the difference between astronomy and astrology. The more credence we give to pseudoscience, the harder it will be for us to compete in a world in which science works and religion fails.

The environment. Most of America's political conservatives are Catholic or evangelical Christians who argue that their deity wouldn't have created a world that man could destroy because such a world would place the power of man above the power of God. The result of their thinking is that if humankind can't seriously harm the environment, then humankind need take no responsibility for protecting the environment. Because this is "faith-based" thinking, evidence to the contrary is irrelevant. As for non-religious people who oppose environmental protections, they fall into two camps. The first are libertarians who don't want the government telling them what to do, regardless of the consequences. The second group are capitalists who don't care how many species we drive into extinction until it gets down to animals like cows and chickens that they can make money from. They likewise don't care how many people die in droughts, super storms, firestorms, and so forth, as long as they're not among the dead, and as long as they're making money. With them, it's money first, money last, and money in the middle. Laissez-faire capitalism was made by and sustained by such people.

Gun control. I am ashamed to live in a country in which 5% of the world's population owns 50% of its guns; a country that exports millions of weapons a year to criminals and to oppressive dictatorships like Saudi Arabia; a country in which 30,000 of its own citizen die every year from gun violence, and tens of thousands more are wounded. The Las Vegas shooter only made the news because his victims were white and because he ran up the average number of people killed in a single place in a single day. The supporters of "gun rights" point to the Second Amendment to the Constitution ("A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed"). We're talking here about a document that was written when the only guns were single shot muskets that were slow to load and relied upon relatively weak black powder. What's more, the stated goal of "the founding fathers" was to arm the citizen militias that substituted for a standing army. 

Prior to the recent mass shooting in Nevada, Congress was getting ready to pass legislation that would make it easier for people to buy silencers, not because honest citizens need silencers but because the NRA (National Rifle Association) is a white, richly-funded, physically threatening, one-issue lobby, that opposes any restrictions to gun ownership or to the types of guns that Americans can own. For example, the NRA supports the use of bullets that can penetrate police body armor; they favor selling guns to violent felons and to the criminally insane; and they hold that everyone should be able to walk the streets with guns on their hips or hidden in their clothes. They even argue that the answer to gun violence is more guns, their argument being that this will enable the good guys to whip out their guns and shoot down the bad guys before the latter can hurt anyone. Because this solution is absurd, it is my belief that the NRA simply doesn't want to admit that it values gun ownership over human life. I also believe that it only wants all of these guns so that white people can protect themselves against black people, and so they can wage war against their own government if that government tries to take away their guns. They're monomaniacs, at best, and I think it pleases them to know that black men are fourteen times more likely to be shot than are white men. 

Am I out of issues?

14 comments:

Elephant's Child said...

I doubt that you will ever be out of issues.
And I am not at all surprised that you don't fit neatly into any box.

Snowbrush said...

"I doubt that you will ever be out of issues."

I'm sure that Peggy would agree that I have limitless "issues," but that's not quite what I meant. What I meant was issues that are currently on the national consciousness in America. Just before you commented, I added a significant sentence to my heading about black relations. It reads: I'm ashamed to say this because I it contradicts my belief that everyone deserves a fair trial, but when I hear of a heroin dealer being shot dead in the street, I just think to myself, good riddance, no matter what his race.

angela said...

I think your a sensible person who has made their choices on observing all the facts and you have used your brains
Sadly many people don’t
Our world is in crisis
And here in our country the big issue is gay marrage
And the thing people get angry about is who adults choose to sleep with
I just don’t understand it.
I really really don’t

Snowbrush said...

"I doubt that you will ever be out of issues."

I could have mentioned our dumb-ass president's war of words with the leader of North Korea. If Trump was the one who was going to be killed in a nuclear annihilation, I doubt that he would be so cheeky. As it is, both he and Mr. Oriental Pillsbury Doughboy are acting like spoiled brats. In fact, much of what Trump says are the kinds of things that parents scold their children for saying. For instance, a few times now, he has made some provocative statement, but when questioned about what he meant, he would say, "You'll find out!" Does this sound like an adult to you? Peggy never took an interest in the news until Trump announced his candidacy, and now she watches it twice daily while screaming profanities at the television (I'm sure I look like a shell-shocked veteran as I silently observe her display of murderous antipathy).

"And here in our country the big issue is gay marriage. And the thing people get angry about is who adults choose to sleep with. I just don’t understand it."

As I'm sure you know, you're in Australia. Here in America, about the only people who object to homosexual rights do so because they believe that God will punish our entire nation if we're not all bigots. However, younger people people tend to be increasingly less religious and increasingly more open to equality in general. Also, the U.S Supreme Court (the real "law of the land" in America) has declared gay marriage a Constitutional right, which means that those who oppose equal rights for homosexuals are beating a dead horse. Here, the right-wingers have turned their attention to an assault on abortion rights, putting an end to anything approximating government run health insurance, and building a wall to keep out the Hispanics. Like dominoes, people tend to fall into line according to whether they're liberal or conservative, and while I tend to lean more toward the liberal side, I would be be rejected by them if I tried to join up. For instance, I'm notably unsympathetic in regard to the homeless, and, as for capital punishment, the only objection I have to it come from my concern that an innocent person might be executed. I also oppose illegal immigration, although I very much doubt that a wall will solve the problem. Finally, I don't believe that mean-spiritedness is anymore a conservative phenomenon than a liberal one, because it seems to me that the closer to either fringe a person becomes, the more unreasonable he or she is likely to be.

peppylady (Dora) said...

Hello from Idaho found your blog though empty nester. I must stop in when your expressing your politic views...Your blog and I did briefly today on Harvery Weinstein and other pervs.
If you have the time stop in for a cup of coffee

Emma Springfield said...

If I know you at all you re not out of issues. I will not respond to each one as I usually do. Some points I agree with others not so much. Surprised? Now that I am retired all I really want is to have peace. It will not happen in the world any time soon so I create it for myself where I am. As long as it is legal and not hurting someone the guy over there can do as he pleases but he must not disturb my peace when he is near me. I will leave him alone otherwise. And those in charge of my country who disturb my peace should know that I can still fight if necessary.

Tom Sightings said...

A lot more people probably agree with you on the issues than you might think. Take Trump for example. Many voters, perhaps even a majority, were fed up with our usual political hacks and wanted someone outside the usual field of candidates. This is not even a new phenomenon (remember Perot?) The problem is that while Trump is not your typical politician, instead of being more reasonable, more thoughtful, less partisan and less beholden to the powers-that-be, he is actually more divisive and less reasonable. So we got someone worse, not someone better. How do we get someone better?

You're right about religion, to a point. There is a lot of judgment and self-centeredness involved. But there are also many loving, helpful religious people in the world who do a lot of good. We should be tolerant of people who believe what WE think are crazy things, just as they should be tolerant toward those of us who believe what THEY think are crazy things.

And finally, as far as abortion goes, it was Bill Clinton who had the right idea -- it should be safe, legal, and rare.

Charles Gramlich said...

Strongly disagree with you on several items here. Agree on some others. But I don't find political discussions to be much fun so I won't go into details. I might say that there are all kinds of Creationists. Not all believe in a literal interpretation of the Bible. I did some blog posts on this back a few years ago. Maybe I'll have to dig those out again. I'm of course a very strong evolutionist.

Anonymous said...

You didn't say anything that I don't agree with. And, I consistently vote Democrat.

I think that the people who think diversity is great are either (1) young, experimental and flexible or (2) have never experienced much diversity. I (raised in CA) was all for diversity until I spent a couple of decades in Philadelphia. There I worked on the floor of a major university with approximately 60 young scientists. Maybe ninety per cent of these young scientists were immigrants from China or India who came over specifically for the education and job opportunities. A few were from European countries and the fewest were born in America or second generation Americans. Who decided to give our country to the foreigners? Understand, I am not against people from China or India. But, I found that most do not care about issues that are important to a lot of Americans including the environment and equality for women and minorities.

Meanwhile, the African-American community is on the news every night with shootings, robberies, and their houses burning down because of lack of knowledge about basic safety issues. And, a good number of them seem helpless to do anything for themselves and angry that they might be expected to take some responsibility for their lives. One has to feel sorry for the Black people who do their best to educate themselves, raise their children to be decent human beings, and support themselves.

Sounds like an angry rant, but I think Clinton lost the election in large part because the democrats stupidity about diversity. Humans are more comfortable living amongst people who are similar to them--maybe in race, but most importantly in cultural values.

Allie

Snowbrush said...

"Hello from Idaho found your blog though empty nester."

I've never heard of it, and since I no longer provide key words to assist searchers, you're the first visitor I've had in a long time. As for Weinstein, I wish every guy like him would be fired, prosecuted, and if found guilty, spend years behind bars. Men like him give my gender a bad name, and, sad to say, he's Jewish, so no doubt people who hate Jews anyway will attribute his behavior to his DNA and use it as an excuse to hate Jews even more.

"As long as it is legal and not hurting someone the guy over there can do as he pleases but he must not disturb my peace when he is near me."

I doubt that you did meant to say that it's okay with you for him to disturb the people "over there" as long as he doesn't disturb you, but it came across that way, to me, from your words alone, and so it is to that which I will respond. As I see it, there can be no isolation, meaning that's what's happening "over there" is happening here too, which is why we have governments. I saw a sign in the county museum yesterday that stated that my town, Eugene, had no law in the early days, and this left men to shoot it out in the streets and to form mobs to form to punish the most egregious wrongdoers whom no one wanted to take on alone. I believe a great many NRA members would favor a return to mob-rule because they so trust their guns to protect them that they can't imagine themselves being the ones who were left lying dead in the street, and they couldn't care less about those who are. With the NRA, it's all about "me and my rights." If first graders are murdered enmasse, well, it's too bad, but, hey, the Second Amendment says that I should be allowed to own an arsenal that a small nation would envy, and the Second Amendment is nothing short of the word of God. As I see it ALL that matters to the NRA is the arsenals of its members, but it wasn't always this way. The NRA has become hardened over the years and everyone but the hardliners have been forced out.

"And those in charge of my country who disturb my peace should know that I can still fight if necessary."

This sounds like an NRA attitude, but you surely didn't mean to say you would shoot at government agents. Elephant's Child sent me a humorous link about gun control (https://www.facebook.com/zondagmetlubach/videos/1519824941442576/?hc_ref=ART2yssyFh95AxS-LoTGmG7J1KJAmw_F3aXufnGtrqOCtj6FEN_dF0MV6UwdVwFF9VM),and I read the top few comments, one of which was that if Anne Frank's family had had guns that maybe things would have turned out differently for Anne Frank's family. Well, golly gee, if you have several million NRA members with scores automatic weapons and tens of thousands of rounds of ammunition, and these people are willing to fight their own government to the death if machineguns should be outlawed, I guess things with them might also "turn our differently," but does anyone imagine that "differently" would be good for anyone? Do they really believe that they can force the government to backdown from enforcing laws that they don't personally like, and even if they could, it would be the end of meaningful government and the birth of mob rule because that's what these people constitute. I think that the spirit behind the NRA is the spirit of Ryan Bundy and Timothy McVey, men who believe that they have a God-given right to overrule the government with violence. A big part of why the NRA isn't being dealt with is that too many people fear it. Congressmen say that no lobby is more personally threatening than the gun lobby, and even their TV spots say, "We're coming after you." When people whose one issue is guns say they're coming after those who oppose the ownership of those guns, it's surely disingenuous to deny that they're promoting violence.

Snowbrush said...

"This is not even a new phenomenon (remember Perot?) The problem is that while Trump is not your typical politician..."

Isn't it funny that, until you get to the highest offices in the land, experience is said to be a good thing, but once a person is running for one of those offices, he or she presents a complete lack of relevant work experience as a virtue, and voters agree? Trump let us know who he was before he was elected, so it seems hollow for those who voted for him to say that they didn't know he would be this way. The appeal of Trump is like the appeal of religion in that both are based upon the words, "Believe me" instead of upon a rational presentation of the evidence for why a person should accept something as true. The most amazing thing--to me--about Trump's victory is that 52% of women (and the fathers, husbands, and brothers of women) voted for this man who, along with numerous other statements that were degrading to women, said to Billy Bush about a woman they were about to meet, "I better use some Tic Tacs just in case I start kissing her. You know I'm automatically attracted to beautiful—I just start kissing them. It's like a magnet. Just kiss. I don't even wait. And when you're a star, they let you do it. You can do anything. Grab 'em by the pussy. You can do anything." I've wondered long and hard how those 52% of women (and those fathers, husbands, and brothers of women) justified the fact that Trump told them what he was like, and they voted for him anyway. Do that many women (and their fathers, husbands, and brothers) secretly admire predatory men, or did they simply say to themselves, "I know he's depraved, but I don't care"? Christians are another group that voted heavily for Trump, but why? Given that they worship a man-god who embodied love, peace, openness, and concern for the disadvantaged, why would they vote for a candidate who embodies the reverse of their own highest virtues, unless, as was the apparent case with the women who voted for Trump, their stated beliefs are but a facade over an inner depravity? When the majority of adherents to the Christian religion act in ways that stand in stark contradiction to what they say they believe, how am I to take your words about the "many, helpful religious people" seriously?

"But there are also many loving, helpful religious people in the world who do a lot of good."

I'm sure you're right, but the rub is in how many are many? When I write about religion, I'm either looking at its foundation--which is blind faith and therefore lacking in discernment--or at its dominant face in America and in much of the rest of the world, which is characterized by sectarianism, by which I mean a tribalism that pits itself against everyone outside its belief system with the goal of either silencing or destroying them. I think that if religion could be eliminated from the world altogether that the world would have one less serious obstacle to peace and morality.

"We should be tolerant of people who believe what WE think are crazy things, just as they should be tolerant toward those of us who believe what THEY think are crazy things."

I very much doubt that you put no limits on tolerance, yet a tolerance of anything and everything seems to be what's contained in your statement.

"And finally, as far as abortion goes, it was Bill Clinton who had the right idea -- it should be safe, legal, and rare."

The only way to make it rare is birth control, and those who oppose abortion are now--on religious grounds--coming out against birth control as well. I would see the result--if not the intent--of their opposition as the enslavement of women since no woman can afford to hold a job outside of the home when she spends most of her childbearing-age years pregnant, and therefore ends up with eight to fifteen kids in the home (as did my ancestors, as I'm discovering through my ancestry research).

Kranhu said...

I agree about giving liberals/progressives the middle finger. The people I know who despise PTrump, despise anyone that voted for him. There is no tolerance. I dont pretend to know all the reasons for the hate but the same people I know who voted for Bill Clinton twice, are disgusted with PTrump for being a misogynist. Kris

Snowbrush said...

I realized that I didn't quote the part of the Constitution that applies to gun rights: "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

"I might say that there are all kinds of Creationists."

I'm sure that some would say that the "seven days" were "seven epochs" and so forth, but the fact remains that creationism is a religious belief rather than a scientific one. So much of what Christians do to force their "faith" on others is done under a similar cloak of duplicity. For example, when sued to remove a large cross that sets on government property, they'll claim that it's a war memorial, something that no one thought of decades ago when it was erected. Or, they'll erect a Ten Commandments monument in front of a courthouse, and deny that it's a religious monument, but instead argue that it represents "cultural significance." Or, they'll teach the gospel in junior high under the dodge that it's a literature class. Creationism is the same way.

"Who decided to give our country to the foreigners? ...most do not care about issues that are important to a lot of Americans including the environment and equality for women and minorities."

If they're not going to live here permanently, I can see why they wouldn't be. They're like renters who, however wonderful they are as people, they can't be expected to take the same interest in their homes and neighborhoods as do those who own their homes.

"One has to feel sorry for the Black people who do their best to educate themselves, raise their children to be decent human beings, and support themselves."

I do. I also reflect upon the thought that these so-called black leaders weren't elected, so I see no reason to think they represent black people as a whole. One of my pet peeves along these lines is the term African American. Do all black people really favor it, and how dare anyone say that if I don't use this term, I'm racist. Finally, is it in ignorance that those who use the term exclude white Americans whose ancestors came from Northern Africa where many of the people are white? A parallel is the term "Indigenous American." I was surprised to learn--from a discussion on NPR--that American Indians as a whole don't embrace the word. Some prefer Native American, and others actually prefer Indian. When it comes to knowing what the masses of black people really think, I'm more impressed with polling companies like Pew Research than with Black Lives Matter.

"I think Clinton lost the election in large part because the democrats stupidity about diversity."

I found her lecturing style, in which she seemed to be saying, "I'm far above you, but if you'll let me, I'll try to lift you to my exalted level," insufferable, as I did Obama's in which he talked as if he was doing his best to explain simple concepts to forth graders.

Snowbrush said...

"The people I know who despise PTrump, despise anyone that voted for him."

My feeling about them is, "How could you have been so dumb?!" I don't like the feeling, but it's there, and it's reinforced by the knowledge that most of those who voted for him think he's doing a great job, but that the "fake news" is portraying him dishonestly. But even if the media isn't giving him a fair deal, what about the things he himself says and does? The "fake news" isn't sending those dumb-ass tweets and saying those stupid things in speeches, but what has really gotten to me of late is all of those people in his administration who set up private email accounts for government business. Republicans threw fits for years over Hillary Clinton's private server, but are completely silent in light of the far worse act of entire private accounts. What could be more clear than that the masses of Republicans don't think in terms of right and wrong, but of, "If your people do it, it's really, really bad; but if our people do it, it's just fine."