...offered by Dn. James Ferrenberg, a sinner at 7:59 AM [+]
While I have come to believe that the public dialogue on politics is largely retarded...rather like watching grade school kids argue on the playground, I feel obliged to offer my cheap 2 cents on the newest ploy be laid out: racism. The issue really isn't about whether or not racism still exists in this country, for who can deny that it absolutely exists? No, the issue is how racism is being manipulated by the political power players to try and distract us from real debate.
Both sides do it all the time. Pundits and lower level players begin the spin and it begins to spread...remember, it's all about trying to sway public opinion and the distraction method is employed particularly when your side seems to be losing ground on an issue. Bush and company released the "unpatriotic" or "not-supporting the troops" distraction against the growing opposition to the efforts in Iraq...but note that Bush himself never utilized such terminology because he was busily letting others do that for him! Meanwhile he was playing the game as they always do by making sure everyone knows that he personally does not believe these protesters hate their country, but that "good people can disagree" and that they are practicing their civil freedoms etc. Many of us recall a certain backlash that was exemplified in bumper stickers that proclaimed such things as: "Peace IS Patriotic!" or "I support the troops - bring them home!" It's just the way politicians "play" us...if the "unpatriotic" distraction fails, or worse yet backfires then Bush can always show that he PERSONALLY never believed that!
Thus it should not surprise us that the Democrats in office now are employing the same distraction strategy as the president's poll numbers are declining and the protests against "out of control" government spending seem to be making traction. Racism is the dice they are rolling, and the President - just like his predecessor - is making sure his personal opinions are made know...again, in case of backfire.
HERE is article that begins the "distancing" process. And Though I appreciate what he says in this article, and I think he was VERY close in fairly noting both sides of the debate...but not close enough:
"The president similarly told NBC's 'Meet the Press' program that it is an
argument 'that's gone on for the history of this republic -- and that is what's
the right role of government? How do we balance freedom with our need to look
after one another?'"
Can I suggest that fundamentally this is a false dichotomy. It implies that the ONLY way we can look out for one another is through the government! Worse than that though, when we work through the government to "look after one another" the freedom that we sacrifice isn't only our own, but rather we chose to sacrifice OTHER people's freedom! Freedom and morality are intimately linked. Under force of imprisonment if we do not "look out for one another", do we demonstrate Christian love and charity by obeying the law!?
One may argue that government needs to do certain things, but that is not the same as staging the debate as being about balancing "freedom with looking out for one another." It really isn't a definitive "either/or." The debate is about whether or not we should let people be FREE to look out for one another or not, or if they should be forced to do so via government regulation and oversight. Of course proponents of the latter will suggest that unless the government forces people to do it, it simply will not get done and thus the provision for these people trumps freedom. That's fair and is debatable.
So, this is NOT a debate about either retaining freedom or helping people. To say so implies that people will not ever use their freedom to help people. They must be forced to do it. And if you believe this, then can I suggest that in order to be consistent that you must also support the strict enforcement of sodomy laws and make pre-marital sex illegal because that really is the Christian thing to do. In my perspective what I often see is Christians on the right and on the left arguing for the same basic amount of government oversight in our lives, but just about different issues.
Anyway, the implication of what the president said is that favoring one or the other necessarily means disfavoring the other. In other words if I want to side with freedom it means I don't think we should take care of each other. But actually what I mean is that I don't think the GOVERNMENT should take care of us. If he had said: "...the balance between freedom and letting the government take care of us" THEN I would have totally agreed.
I believe we can retain our freedom AND take care of each other.
Whatever your opinion may be, I think we all ought to agree that the way the parties "play" us with their various strategies (like the current distraction method being employed) is tiresome and we have to get past it to the real meat of the issues. It's to the point now that even when I hear politicians start babbling about "sticking to the issues" I still have serious doubts about whether or not they mean it. Likely not...watch for the strategy to peak through the rhetoric.