Archive for January, 2011

Sarah Palin’s Blood Libel

Posted by Doug White under Political

I need to admit up front I am a fan of Sarah Palin’s.  I have admired her since John McCain picked her in 2008 to run as his running mate.  A popular Governor of Alaska who believes in many of the same things I do.  A woman with a Down’s Syndrome child which has its own special challenges and yet she was still able to have a successful career.  This reminded me of my sister who has a Down’s Syndrome child of her own yet is able to be both a good parent as well as a great professional in her chosen career.

I don’t always think she does the right thing.  I think she can ramble a bit much when she speaks.  But in some respects, that’s part of her charm.  She’s not “rehearsed” like some politicians are, she seems more real to me than most.  I didn’t originally think the reality show she did was a good idea but changed my mind after watching it.  I thought she let her daughters’ ex-boyfriend get under her skin way too much. 

All minor things overall but I don’t think she’s a perfect person.  I think she has her flaws. 

I have been confused though on the level of pure hatred espoused by people against her almost from the beginning.  I remember being startled by accusations that her youngest son wasn’t hers and that she supposedly faked the pregnancy.  I  was then revolted to find out that similar people than chastised her for not aborting the same baby.

I remember talking with a very liberal colleague of mine a few years back and while he mocked those who felt Obama may not be a natural born citizen, he in the very same breath felt that Palin should “prove” her youngest kid was hers and not her daughters.  ???  Who thinks like that?

Palin has been between a rock and a hard place from the beginning.  She gets home from the Presidential campaign and is bombarded (oops, a violent term, I should watch myself) by lawsuits to the point where she couldn’t do her job.  So she resigns.  And they give her grief for quitting.

She launches a pretty successful campaign to get Tea Party Conservatives into political power and uses a map that uses target symbols – something that has been done by others – and when a congresswoman and others are brutalized by a psychopath she is blamed.  Because of a map.  That the lunatic more than likely never saw. 

If this was the Wild, Wild West she would have been strung up and hung by people last Saturday night – that is the sheer hate I saw while watching what was going on.  No proof, just innuendo.  It’s like the age-old question: “Have you stopped beating your wife?”  There’s no good way to respond to what was happening.

So as the days go by, people start clamoring, “Why hasn’t she spoken?  Is she afraid? What’s she hiding?”  Blah, blah, blah.  And I knew that no matter what she did she’d be doomed.

And I was right.  She posted a video last night that I thought hit all the right notes.  She did not take responsibility (because she was not to blame) but offered condolences for those who suffered a loss.  She called out the lame media that is determined to destroy her reputation.  I thought it was probably one of the best speeches she’s given in some time.

But she used the phrase “Blood Libel”.  I had never heard the phrase before so it slipped right by me.  Until the media went into their fanatic mode, that is.  The term apparently refers to an accusation made against Jews that they would sacrifice Christians for their blood in sacrifices.

I agree, it has a serious overtone in a historical context.  It also appears to be something that is used by some to refer to false accusations made against you.  Which in this case fits!!  She was accused of something she had no part in!  What is wrong with this country that we let our dislike of a political point of view feed our animalistic desire to see someone’s life and reputation ripped to shreds?  Is that who we really are?

Take a look at the next two phrases:

“Man, my boss crucified me when he found out I didn’t get the work done!”

 “Jesus F&@!ing Christ!”

I wonder how many people use the phrase “crucified” without realizing that the term refers to the horrendous, torturous way that Jesus Christ – whom I consider my Savior – was MURDERED.  Should I be offended every time the phrase is used – or should I have the common sense to look at the context?

The other phrase is a way some take my Savior’s name and turn it into a curse.  This is offensive.  Yet, it is used ALL the time.  But see that’s ok right?  After all, Christians have no right to be offended when their religious leaders, symbols or practices are maligned.  They’re supposed to just take it.

Sarah Palin was maligned this week.    Her name should have never been brought up in regards to this situation.  People have exploited this horrible story to attack a woman who had absolutely no reason to be attacked.  It’s sick and twisted.

I watched the memorial today that was in Arizona and watched in admiration when President Obama paid his tribute to those who died.  I shed several tears as I watched him talk about the little girl who died.  I saw him hesitate and choke back a couple tears himself and I didn’t feel like it was fake, I felt like he too was sincerely mourning the loss of such a sweet innocent little kid.  I commend him for his tribute – despite the fact I typically am not a fan of his.

I only wish those who are not Sarah Palin’s biggest fans would also give her some credit when it’s due.  But for a group who claims they want less vitriol and hatred in political conversation they sure have not practiced what they are preaching.

A Decade of the Wrong Change

Posted by Doug White under Personal, Political

Almost 10 years ago, on 9/11/2001 – we all witnessed a truly horrific act that nearly 10 years later still resonates with us.  Men used planes filled with innocent men, women and children and for no reasonable reason slammed them into buildings, killing all aboard.

As horrible as that event was, borne from it, at least at the time, was a sense of unity in this country.  We seemed to step away from the petty political disagreements and the finger pointing and came together as a country, gave our support to our President and attempted to deal with the tragedy as best we could. 

My, how things change in 10 years.

We have become a society that has turned another tragic situation into a time to see who can blame others the loudest.  A young man walks up to a street corner where a politician was meeting with her constituents and shoots her and several others and the first thing out of people’s mouths is that it’s Sarah Palin’s fault.  It’s not the guy’s fault who was so disturbed that he would say things like “my favorite activity is conscience dreaming” or “All humans are in need of sleep. Jared Loughner is a human. Hence, Jared Loughner is in need of sleep.”

Nope, not his fault at all.  It’s Sarah Palin’s.  Because she put up a map on her website that listed the congresswoman’s district as a “target” for a political win last November.  There’s no mention that the Democrats did the same thing six years ago (http://www.dlc.org/ndol_ci.cfm?contentid=253055&kaid=127&subid=171)  because then we’d have to admit that blaming this sort of thing on a politician or political party is ridiculous. 

Of course there’s all sorts of moral outrage over this and fingers are being pointed at Sarah Palin and the right and how they incite people to violence.  Of course there is no mention of things such as a video that was made to show the assassination of George W. Bush (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ojWOWyHWj6M&feature=related) because then we’d have to admit that maybe there are nutty people on every side of every spectrum who do nutty things for their own personal reasons that have nothing to do with one political party or another.

Then the celebrities get involved as well.  On Twitter last night, Jane Fonda – of all people – blamed Sarah Palin for this horrible event.  Jane Fonda!  Of all people, Jane Fonda can certainly relate to being a direct cause to horrible things being done to Americans (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jane_Fonda#.22Hanoi_Jane.22_Controversy) .  Really, when it comes to moral outrage, the best thing Jane Fonda can do is simply shut up.

And it’s also apparently time to blame guns again.  We lose sight of the fact that if this nutcase didn’t have a gun, he’d have a knife.  Or a bomb.  Or a car that he rams into the place.  Or as in the nuts on 9/11/2001 – an AIRPLANE.  Nutcases will always have some way to do the rest of us harm.  Taking away guns from those who legitimately and legally own and use them is not going to solve this problem.  And quite frankly, it’s an old, dumb argument.

Here’s what I take away from yesterday’s events.  A promising politician was almost mortally injured.  A judge and several others were.  Many others were severely hurt.  And a young nine year old girl – who was born on 9/11/2001 – which meant that she was a blessing to a family on a day that was so sad for so many of us – will never do anything ever again.  She will never smile, never laugh, never cry, never play with her friends ever again.  She won’t finish high school or date or go off to college.  She won’t have the chance to be a mother herself.  And all because some freak decided – for his own personal reasons –  to do other people harm.

I have a nine year old daughter.  She is one of two children.  And she, along with her sister are the best things that have ever happened in my life.  The thought that her life – or her sisters – could be taken by some sort of random act of violence almost paralyzes me.  I can’t imagine what this child’s family is going through today.  Nor do I ever want to.

So let’s get away from the stupid, ridiculous non-sensical blame game in this country shall we?  Could we maybe get back to the type of country that surrounds this tragedy with love and prayers and caring for those who are hurt and just try again to be the country that helps people instead of being filled with such hate and ready to point the finger at everyone?  I would really like to stop being ashamed of those I call my fellow Americans.