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A couple items that sum it all up for me - The Fucking Bluebird of Goddamn Happiness [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Zoethe

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A couple items that sum it all up for me [Nov. 3rd, 2004|06:38 pm]
Zoethe
[Current Mood |contemplativecontemplative]

1. A friend was trying to make me feel better earlier. She said, "Well, at least what's coming won't really affect us. We're not gay, we're not poor, we don't need an abortion, and we're too old for the draft."

I said, "That doesn't make me feel better! It's not about what happens to me; it's about the rights of others!"

And I realized that that encapsulated the difference between a Liberal point of view and a Conservative one.

-------------

2. I have friends who voted for Bush whom I respect. Who, truly voting their conscience, made a decision, and are sympathetic to the distress that Kerry voters are feeling, even if they don't truly understand us any better than we understand them.

But I, and others, have also run into plenty of this. And it doesn't reflect well on Bush voters.

------------

3. I am in awe of the writer of this essay. Totally wowed. And I think I understand better what we are facing in the effort to recapture the American sensibility. Take the time to read it.
LinkReply

Comments:
From: haroeris_astrum
2004-11-03 11:57 pm (UTC)
The election is over. It doesn't change your cause or beliefs - Eternal Revolution... Ok, now for a real agenda: http://www.livejournal.com/userinfo.bml?user=acrobaticchrist
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2004-11-04 12:20 am (UTC)
I don't understand why you voted for Bush, but I respect that the Kerry message didn't reach you.

It's our responsibility to change that.
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[User Picture]From: kimmaline
2004-11-04 07:41 am (UTC)
May I ask, starrchilde, what it is that you didn't like about Kerry? I mean, I assume that since you don't seem to like Bush and still voted for him you could write a book on what you don't like about Kerry...but maybe just a brief idea? I haven't heard anyone say anything that wasn't really outlandishly propagandized that made them dislike Kerry...and I am genuinely interested.
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[User Picture]From: dwagoner
2004-11-04 08:28 pm (UTC)

Almost..

I am not starrchilde and I don't even play her on TV, but I also "voted against Kerry". Since you sounded sincere, I started to write a response to the question, but each thing I listed required its own huge unpacking context. We would need several hours and much patient listening on your part before I could generate the context necessary to understand how hard it was for me to vote for Bush.

Let me summarize by saying that:

1. From my political perspective [borderline-anarchist-small-L-libertarian] there is no essential difference between the Bush and Kerry. They area both big-money, big-government professional politicians and like as not, not much would change. Neither is essentially interested in defending my freedom and otherwise leaving me the heck alone.

2. Given that, my choice was the devil-I-know vs the devil-I-suspect. I don't like the "daddy" party any better than the "mommy" party. Republican stupidity like abortion, gay-marriage, etc, can be loudly countered because it is so obvious. Democrat stupidity like nationalized health-care and support for the UN and "world opinion" is dangerous because it is framed as an unselfish, free-floating, warm-fuzzy benefit for everyone and much harder to oppose. At least you know where the idiot Republicans stand and can fight them.

3. Voting for the Osama Bin Laden-approved ticket doesn't appeal to me much. Though I don't think that we should even have gotten into Iraq, there are strategic benefits for the security of our country. [Trust me on this, it would take hours for me to explain why that sounds even remotely plausible.] Had they asked me, I would have said "don't do it". Not because Iraq is another Viet Nam [Those that say it is show that they understand neither situation] but because the US shouldn't spend blood and tax dollars on liberating other countries. Of course, it wasn't for WMD [or oil] that we went into Iraq but to fundamentally shake the region out of complacently supporting terrorism. Though some would vocally disagree, the facts show that from *that* perspective, it has been a fair success. Again, that doesn't mean that I approve.

Bah ... See how long it is getting already? Next time you are in Boston, buy me a drink and I will try to explain it. : )

[Sorry Zoethe for dumping on your journal since you don't even know me....]
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2004-11-04 08:36 pm (UTC)

Re: Almost..

Hey, no problem. I started this thread for dialogue.
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[User Picture]From: kimmaline
2004-11-04 11:36 pm (UTC)

Re: Almost..

Thank you. I don't agree with all that you said, but it was good to hear an explaination that didn't include, "you dumb ass bleeding heart liberal."

Next time you are in San Francisco, buy me a drink and I'll tell you why I disagree with you. :)
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[User Picture]From: dwagoner
2004-11-05 12:11 am (UTC)

Woo hoo!

Coast-to-coast drinkin' and talking about politics...

*There* is a recipe for a wild time. : )

Oh and you are welcome. I wish I felt like I could scratch the surface of the explanation. I could recommend some links and books if you were really curious, but I don't know where you are coming from so I don't what would be most meaningful to you.
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[User Picture]From: kimmaline
2004-11-05 02:44 am (UTC)

Re: Woo hoo!

I just really appreciate that you could talk to me without the name calling. I have never in my life said anything icky to a libertarian (of which I have some leanings) or a conservative, but I find more and more often that I am not getting the same thing in return.

I would say that we could throw in some coast to coast baseball with our drinking, but the Sox always kick the crap out of my A's. :(
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[User Picture]From: just_carrie
2004-11-04 12:08 am (UTC)
I had a similar thing happen to me today. Who the hell are these people who presume to know what god wants? That sort of religious presumption appalls me and is one of the many reasons why I am not a christian.
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[User Picture]From: just_carrie
2004-11-04 12:35 am (UTC)
Religion can be an amazingly beautiful affair or a truly horrible afflication. I have two problem with modern christians:
1. They worry more about the next "life" than this one. Who cares about the environment or anything outside the front yard? they are going to heavan and won't have to worry about it anyway.

2. They twist and turn and abuse the bible to support hate-mongering agendas. Jesus was a stand-up guy. He partied with thieves, and liars, and whores. He didn't just preach compassion and tolerance. He lived it. The average "christian" in the my neck of the bible belt does anything but follow Jesus' example. And it's a damn shame.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2004-11-04 05:46 am (UTC)
But Fundamentalist Christians do believe that the Word of God is available in one handy-dandy two-volume set. And everything else is bullshit.

It's hard logic to argue around. I don't agree with them, but I can't convince them of anything.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2004-11-04 12:21 am (UTC)
One wag showed up in my office with mock-sympathy on his face. I just calmly replied that I could live with the four years; it's the Supreme Court nominations that really tear me up.

He looked a bit stricken at the notion.
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[User Picture]From: just_carrie
2004-11-04 12:26 am (UTC)
I am with you. I can take four more years of Dubya. But the Supreme Court nominations, that's completely different. The far-reaching damage what will be wrought, horrifies me. I worry about what sort of right my 12 year daughter will have over her own body in the years to come.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2004-11-04 12:32 am (UTC)
Roe v. Wade will be overturned. In 50 states there will be battles - long, expensive battles. Abortion will be pick-and-choose, since not every place will illegalize it.

And the unwanted crack babies and mixed-race babies born because of this? You can bet that good, God-fearing Christian families will tep up to the plate and adopt every one of them.

You can bet.

But you will lose.
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[User Picture]From: kenp_v3
2004-11-04 05:39 am (UTC)
Roe v. Wade will be overturned.

My prediction: you're wrong.

Dems still have the ability to filibuster any Supreme Court nominee who they find to be too far to the right. Bush will be forced to nominate more moderate judges. Past history with Republican presidents show that they do not have a great track record in appointing pro-life Supreme Court judges. (David Souter???)

Besides I also have a cynical belief that many of the powerfull people behind the scenes in the Republican Party aren't really anxious to see Roe v. Wade overturned. It would remove a great wedge issue from the table that Republicans have been able to use to their advantage. Instead they'd rather focus on winning smaller battles over abortion- which keeps conservatives happy with the constant promise of greater things to come.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2004-11-04 12:29 am (UTC)
I am a grammar stickler, for the most part. "That" bugs the hell out of me, too.

And, yeah. I remember this quote often.
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[User Picture]From: elf_inside
2004-11-04 12:38 am (UTC)
Point 1 is very accurate. I have a friend whose whole reason for voting for Bush is that she believes you should NEVER change presidents Mid-War. Ever. No matter what.

And then she tried to make light of the election. She said "It's not like who is in Washington makes any difference in MY life."
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[User Picture]From: cosmicbandit
2004-11-04 12:43 am (UTC)
Thank you for a thoughtful post and the excellent link.
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[User Picture]From: kimmaline
2004-11-04 01:03 am (UTC)
I said, "That doesn't make me feel better! It's not about what happens to me; it's about the rights of others!"

Evidently, we were on the same page today.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2004-11-04 05:42 am (UTC)
We were indeed.
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[User Picture]From: greybeta
2004-11-04 02:20 am (UTC)
There is something fundamentally wrong with the social values of our current America.
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[User Picture]From: shezan
2004-11-04 02:22 am (UTC)
You know, my almost entire flist is full of Bush-hatred and insults (when it's not people asking for Canadians and assorted Eurps to marry them, quick, so that they can get a new passport and leave the US.) I'm not saying your commentator here was especially tactful or sensible, but believe me, my experience is that the contempt is heaped higher from the other side, it really is.

That being said, my favoured candidates have lost lots of elections in my life, and I respect the way you feel, if only because I remember it only too well. Actually, I felt like you do now all day yesterday, because I'd heard from my friends in DC that the exit polls favoured Kerry, and the whole Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy was Doom 'n Gloom on Tuesday, believe it or not. (And the Kerry people had the opposite experience; the past two days they were convinced that they were winning.) Because of the time difference, I have slept very little in the past 48 hours; & early this morning I was half-awake & thinking "Oh G-d, Biden will be at State & Holbrooke as Special Envoy & Berger as NS Adviser, and the unspeakable Sydney Blumenthal will be in charge of White House Communications..." & discovering that my subconscious is actually a lot more structured than my conscious brain & was already staffing the Kerry White House. Then I turned on the news and the landscape had changed, of course: but at least it had clarified for me why I was against this candidate.

I do think you've contructed a Godzilla monster in place of the real Bush, & I hope he proves this view of him wrong in the next four years.
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[User Picture]From: rev_tobias
2004-11-04 02:48 am (UTC)
I do think you've contructed a Godzilla monster in place of the real Bush, & I hope he proves this view of him wrong in the next four years.

And wouldn't it be nice if you were right? I'm serious.

Unfortunately, Bush's track record so far makes this highly unlikely...
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2004-11-04 04:45 am (UTC)
I, too, hope that I am wrong. I would love to be pleasantly surprised by the next four years.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2004-11-04 04:46 am (UTC)
(And it's a lot easier to live with the anquish of the opposition when you're the winner.)

;-)
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From: (Anonymous)
2004-11-04 04:51 am (UTC)
I haven't gloated, even once.

Obviously I'm happy with the results, but most people who supported either side voted what they thought was best.

It is one of the sacrifices we make to live in the USA. 8 years of Clinton were like forcing burning coals onto me everyday, but that was nothing compared the joy of living in a free country.

All the hysteria aside, that hasn't changed today.

Michael
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2004-11-04 05:37 am (UTC)
Thank you for the reminder that we will survive.
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[User Picture]From: tormentedartist
2004-11-04 05:00 am (UTC)
I don't know if I agree with the writer of said essay . I for one haven't seen any of these "SUV conservatives". That is not to say that they don't exist. And if they do exist they are really stupid. After all who is allowing these companies to outsource their jobs in the first place ? Who is robbing this country blind ?

I know people who voted for Bush because they thought that right now we are in a mess and it would be too hard to shift gears. To which I say who got us here in the first place ? So I'm sure he got votes from people who otherwise might have voted differently. I'm sure Bush is going do has the worst president in history. And when he dies I really hope we aren't stupid enough to celebrate his life like people did with Reagan....

You know I saw a book in Barnes & Nobles today that was named the 5 most evil men in history, guess which vice president belongs on the cover ? God I can't believe so many Americans are so stupid .
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2004-11-04 05:40 am (UTC)
You haven't seen them? I see them every day. The people who say, well I really don't agree with Bush on abortion or marriage rights or invading Iraq, but Kerry might raise my taxes. In other words, screw the country, I wanna vacation in Cancun.

It's selfish and short-sighted.
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[User Picture]From: tormentedartist
2004-11-04 03:16 pm (UTC)
Well I work in Manhattan in a tennis club. With some of the richest people in the country as customers. Yet I'd say 85% of the people were Kerry supporters. In Manhattan you would have seen Kerry Posters EVERYWHERE. I mean everywhere.

So I guess I just haven't be exposed to these fools. Such greed is sad, and yes very short sighted. Sometimes I think stupidity should be a crime.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2004-11-04 04:07 pm (UTC)
The East Coast is the exception. You can tell by looking at the electoral college map [g].
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[User Picture]From: tormentedartist
2004-11-04 04:18 pm (UTC)
No I'm sure that some of the people who voted for Kerry are greedy too. It's that they are just well informed and know that Cheney is only going to do good for his friends. BTW did you know that Cheney voted to keep Nelson Mandela in prison ? I heard this second hand ,but the source was reliable.
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From: cktraveler
2004-11-04 06:04 am (UTC)
The term "SUV conservative" is a bit of a neologism. I would call them "Archie Bunkers" ... but these ones don't have a Meathead around to challenge their assumptions, so the only voices they usually hear are in agreement with them. That's a breeding ground for some pretty nasty memes.

I do agree that Bush is the worst President in history, not through hyperbole but after honest analysis. It's not what he's doing. It's the unprecedented degree to which he's doing it. Bush is the uber-Reagan.

BTW, I agree that Cheney is not even close to being one of the five most evil men in history. However, Karl Rove is #3 and Alan Greenspan is in the top ten.
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[User Picture]From: dandelion_diva
2004-11-04 10:12 am (UTC)
I'm sorry that person spewed such ugliness in your journal. Ugh.

Gessi
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[User Picture]From: muted_seraph
2004-11-04 03:13 pm (UTC)
Oh man I LOVE your icon. It's exactly what my rants lately have focused on.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2004-11-04 03:11 pm (UTC)
I used capital letters for that very reason. I didn't mean to imply that no one on the other side of the fence from me could have a generous spirit, only that the Big Picture trend looks that way.
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[User Picture]From: dawntreader90
2004-11-04 03:13 pm (UTC)
oh your first point, "well at least it doesn't affect US!" that's sad, but true...

a friend pointed me to this entry which i thought summed it all up rather poignantly.

the gist of it is in this excerpt:
I've had it all wrong. It's not that Americans don't understand. They understand. THAT'S JUST WHAT THEY WANT! The American people have become vicious and vindictive, unthinking, selfish and cowardly. I mean every word of that and I'll back it up.

that's what happened. it's not that people didn't understand who they were voting for, they WANTED to vote Bush in office. as a nation we are self-righteous, arrogant, bullying bastards, so why wouldn't we want someone who could best represent that?

we don't want to WORK with the rest of the world, we want to BOSS the rest of the world. why would we have voted someone who might have tried working with other countries?

so very sad. and yet we still wonder, "WHY oh WHY do they HATE us so much!?"

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[User Picture]From: muted_seraph
2004-11-04 03:20 pm (UTC)
In Logic we were talking about the philosophical differences between republicans and democrats. Reps tend to feel like insiders, thus are more willing to believe that what they want and need is what everyone wants and needs. Dems feel more like outsiders. The Reps tend to suffer from moral superiority while the Dems suffer from intellectual superiority. My Logic professor also added that Dems are more willing to believe that they are their brother's keeper. Reps think that if you're rich you deserve to keep your money because you earned it. Dems think that rich people should be taxed because they have more to give to others, and how much money do you really need anyways?

I'm not pleased with the Democrats, but I'm scared to death of the Republicans in their current incarnation. We're going to have to do some major reconstruction of the party if we stand a chance in the next couple years.

Here's hoping the justices will hold on for four more years.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2004-11-04 04:08 pm (UTC)
We're going to have to do some major reconstruction of the party if we stand a chance in the next couple years.

Funny. I'm writing a journal entry about this right now.
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[User Picture]From: apostate_96
2004-11-04 06:42 pm (UTC)
That's a really, really good description of the differences between liberal and conservative.

The asshole who came to gloat in your LJ should be flogged. In a public forum that's one thing, though still not the height of couth. In someone's personal blog, on the other hand, that shows a lack of tact and respect that, in the words of the immortal Dr. W. H. Cosby, deserves "a good beating!"

Thanks for pointing that essay out. I added that one to my memories, as it presented a view of the change in our society that I'd not run across before.

All 3 points were great. This is why I enjoy reading your blog!
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[User Picture]From: ccr1138
2004-11-04 09:27 pm (UTC)
[SIGH]

I have to respond to this.

>>I said, "That doesn't make me feel better! It's not about what happens to me; it's about the rights of others!"
And I realized that that encapsulated the difference between a Liberal point of view and a Conservative one.<<

That's terribly insulting. Not to mention utter bullshit.

>>3. I am in awe of the writer of this essay. Totally wowed. And I think I understand better what we are facing in the effort to recapture the American sensibility. Take the time to read it.<<

I also found this essay offensive in the extreme.

She characterizes Bush voters this way: "Their ideal world is a 1950s sitcom of a white anglo-saxon protestant nuclear family with a white picket fence and 2.1 heterosexual kids. Conservative social values. They don't like gay people, they resent any policies that appear to favor visible minorities, they dislike the world outside the borders of the US except as a tourist destination, they are uncomfortable with women in nontraditional roles, they don't like abortion or "unnatural" reproductive technologies, etc."

Surely you are too intelligent to believe that? It's always a mistake to try to attribute motives to the actions of people, especially ones you don't know. You may find individuals to whom the statements apply, but to paint tens of millions of people with the same derogatory brush is just wrong.

Really, reading the comments to this post, I am struck dumb.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2004-11-04 09:57 pm (UTC)
I am sorry, too, but I do see a lot of that mentality. It's not everyone, but it's a lot of people.

I'm not saying that Democrats have sainthood all wrapped up - I took them to task today. But I run into an appalling amount of, "Why should I care; it doesn't effect me." And I think you've complained about your issues with a lot of the people in your church that reflect that mentality as well.

You - and millions of others - are thinking conservatives. You are people with whom dialogue is possible.
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[User Picture]From: ccr1138
2004-11-04 10:48 pm (UTC)
>>But I run into an appalling amount of, "Why should I care; it doesn't effect me." And I think you've complained about your issues with a lot of the people in your church that reflect that mentality as well.<<

I don't recall hearing anyone express that sentiment, actually.

My issues with the people at church stem from their wanting to make their religious views the law of the land -- but it's not because they don't care about anyone but themselves. Quite the opposite. They believe by outlawing sinful behavior, they will save quite a few people from trying and getting hooked on stuff that will send them to hell. So, it's the exact opposite of what you assert with the "as long as it doesn't affect me" statement. If they didn't care, they'd just sit back and let everything go to hell in a handbasket.

Sure, not all their motives are pure. But don't fall into the trap of trying to stuff people into narrow little boxes. The issues in this election are complex.

As far as I have seen, it's the Kerry supporters saying, "You hate gays because you didn't vote for my guy." As if that's the only issue out there. As if we should put people's right to have society legally recognize their sexual habits above all the other issues this country faces.

Now *that's* self-centered.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2004-11-05 12:20 am (UTC)
Which is why I spent the day kicking Liberal ass. [g]
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