I must admit, I don't get it. I'm friends with lots of you. I'm family with many of you. I love you. But I just don't get it. This post is going to piss you off--but if you can stand it, try reading another point of view.
Why were the eight years of the Bush administration okay and now, all of a sudden, you're in such dire fear of our country falling apart? Are you aware of how concerned we lefties were during the Bush administration? What, really, has Obama done so far to make you fear that you're going to lose your rights to bear arms? (By the way, I say this as a woman with a pistol in the top shelf of my closet, who also voted for Obama. ) Yes, I'm a progressive who also believes in the right to bear arms; although as I've said before, I think we're carrying it a bit too far these days. Is it really an infringement on your Constitutional liberties not to be able to buy a semi-automatic rifle? Do you really need that to kill a deer?
Why doesn't it matter to you how many civil liberties were taken away during the Bush 2.0 era to protect our "freedoms?" Why doesn't it bother you that the government can now listen to our phone conversations--anyone's phone conversations, not just suspected "enemy combatants," without a warrant? Are you aware of that? Do you care that you just gave up one of the freedoms that you say you want to protect?
Why are you okay with all of the bullshit we have to go through in airport security since 9/11? Do you really think taking away my child's sippy cup is making us safer?
Why are you okay with our country, where all men are purported to be innocent until proven guilty, becoming a perpetrator of torture? Or extraordinary rendition? Why is that okay? Why is it okay for our country to disappear people into black ops prisons? Even if you think it's just a matter of torturing people whom you're convinced are bad guys who're planning to perpetrate evil against our country, why do you want to stoop to their level? Why do you no longer want to hold the moral high ground? Why do you want to validate putting our own soldiers in danger with a "they did it, we can, too" attitude? Why is it ever okay to torture someone, no matter what their crime? Even if they do hold the key to that stupid ticking time-bomb scenario--do you really think that water boarding isn't torture? Do you really think it's okay? Are you aware that we declared that the Japanese tortured U.S. soldiers during WWII because they were water boarding them? Why is it okay now? Because our enemies are Muslim? Are you aware that Allah and God are the same entity? Are you aware that most Muslims are as peaceable as most Christians and that we shouldn't link Khaleed Shiek Mohammed to Muslims any more than we should link Timothy McVeigh to Christians?
Why would you want the President to be able to ignore Congress at his whim, through the power of Executive Privilege? Are you aware that Bush declared Executive Privilege at least 350 times? Are you aware that he used Executive Privilege to overwrite the ban against torture by our military? Are you aware that, because of that precedent, Obama can do it now, too? And is? Do you like that idea?
Why are you so strongly opposed to a woman's right to choose? I can understand this opposition more than the others, but still, how is it your place to decide what a woman should or shouldn't do? If you're a man, do you really think you should be able to dictate what a woman does with her body? How do you know when a life becomes a life? What if the soul doesn't enter the body until a baby is born? Do you really think that every unfertilized egg, every frozen embryo, every miscarried fetus, has a soul? If so, what happens to those unformed souls when they're not brought to life? Are they damned to hell? Do they go straight to heaven, even though they have no consciousness? Is it possible that maybe they're born into a new body? Have you ever thought about it? Who am I to dictate what another woman feels she needs to do?
Why are you so strongly opposed to giving gay people the right to marriage? Are you aware that the same chapter of the Bible that says that "a man shall not lie down with another man" also forbids masturbation? Forbids eating shrimp? Forbids fraternizing with a woman who's menstruating? Why is it okay to do those things now, but being gay is still an abomination against God? Do you know any gay people? Do you love any gay people? Do you really think that allowing gays to express love and commitment to each other is a threat to marriage? If so, why are they a threat to marriage when prostitutes and strippers aren't? Are you planning to vote for David Vitter, because he publicly admitted his "serious sin" after he got caught and that makes it okay?
Why are you opposed to the idea of universal health care? I really don't get that one. Is it because you're that concerned with your tax dollars going to help those who won't help themselves? And would it really be that terrible if your tax dollars helped an innocent child, who didn't have a choice who he or she was born to, even if it also helped his/her no-good, lazy, worthless, welfare queen mother? Would it really be that bad to spend a portion of your tax dollars on helping others? Why is it okay to subsidize health care for our senior citizens and our disabled but not for impoverished children? But not for our impoverished adults? Does my sister's mother-in-law deserve to die because she was out of a job when she was diagnosed with breast cancer? Did she get what was coming to her for not being a responsible citizen and getting a job, no matter what it was, so she could pay to have health care, before she was even diagnosed? Medicare is keeping her alive right now--and she was a dependable, tax-paying citizen. Should we just write her off because she happened to get cancer while she was unemployed? Can I write off the $2,000 in health care bills my husband and I have racked up this year, even while we've also paid $5,000 in health insurance premiums? Do you really think giving everyone access to health care makes us socialist? If so, sign me up.
Why are you opposed to the idea of investing in our public schools? How do we raise children out of lives of poverty if we give them no choice? I pay $800 per month to send my child to a decent school--not an excellent school, a decent one--because I feel that I have no choice. Why do I have no choice? Because the public schools in this area are deplorable--because the vast majority of children who go to public schools here are being warehoused, nothing more, until they reach an age where they turn to drugs, or having babies of their own, or something else. Because this area long ago gave up on its public schools, and anyone with even a little money, like me and my husband, started sending their children to private schools, to parochial schools. Because, for the most part, the public schools here are a one-way ticket to nothing. Why is that okay? I still pay property taxes, but I can't reap the benefits of what my taxes are supposed to pay. It's very easy to live in a small town where the public schools function well and to begrudge that money being spent on others. But again, how is it hurting you to help a child, even one you don't know, to have the chance to get an education and to rise above poverty? Why do you champion charter schools and the privatization of education, when, in many cases, you send your own children to public schools and have no idea of what you're talking about?
Why do you insist that liberals are dirty fucking hippies who hate America? Why does being opposed to a war, where our troops are sent with inadequate supplies and inadequate protection, mean we don't support the troops? What if supporting the troops meant not wanting them to go to war unless absolutely necessary, against an enemy that was proven to be a real threat, with all of the necessary supplies? Would that be so terrible? Are you allowed to be opposed to a war you consider to be unnecessary and still support the troops? Is wanting them not to be sent into war in the first place really such a terrible position to hold?
Is Sarah Palin really the person you think should lead this country? Does the Tea Party really best represent your values? Do you agree, along with Rand Paul, that the Civil Rights movement should never have happened?
Why, during the eight years that Bush was in office, were people who protested against what were seen as injustices told by the right that if we didn't like it, we could leave? But now, Tea Party protests are seen by some as the ultimate act of patriotism? Especially if they include the open display of assault rifles?
Why can't someone, in your book, who considers themselves a progressive also consider themselves a Christian? Why is it unacceptable to go by the teachings of Christ rather than by the teachings of the Old Testament? "Blessed are the meek, judge not lest ye be judged, turn the other cheek," versus "An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, no God before thy God."
Why can't we have civil discourse in this country anymore? I can agree to disagree with you. As I've said, some of my best friends and family feel as you do. But my opinions are not necessarily wrong. And I try my hardest to see your point of view--really, I do. Can you try to see mine?