Friday, May 09, 2008

Some Irreverent Political Observations

Since this blog is a tribute to the greatest American - Thomas Jefferson - it is also a place for political discourse. I have three blunt, brutally honest, irreverent, and incendiary observations. This is just one man's opinion, so take it or leave it.

1. The Reverent Jeremiah Wright controversy has backfired on Hillary Clinton and the right-wing buffoons on talk radio. These are people who do not know the first thing about liberation theology or prophetic proclamation. These things are too complicated for their simplistic way of thinking. Their attack on Rev. Wright has been taken as an attack on the black church itself, which is why 91% of African Americans who voted in the Democratic Primary in North Carolina favored Obama over Clinton. I hope people will now stop saying that race has nothing to do with this election, or that as a society we're past that. Race has everything to do with this election!

2. I hold several things against George W. Bush, least of all the fact that he can't say "nuclear." He is responsible for the greatest military blunder of the past 150 years. Saddam may have been brutal, but he was never a real threat to the U.S. and he kept Iran at bay. Every reason we were given for war has turned out to be false. The ruling Shiites in Iraq now have close ties with Iran, and Iran feeds the Hezbollah terrorist machine in Syria. The political alignment of Syria, Iran, and Iraq means the resurgence of a greater Persia, which is our real enemy, not Saddam! Of course, the fact that most Americans can't tell the difference between a Persian and an Arab, or a Shiite and a Sunni means that we aren't fit to impose a foolish foreign policy in that part of the world anyway. In the meantime we get meaningless platitudes like, "We're fighting them there so we don't have to fight them here," or, "We're establishing a beach-head of democracy in that part of the world." Until Sunnis and Shiites agree that it's not the 7th century anymore they're not ready for democracy, and our young men and women should not be dying "over there" in the same kind of meaningless and unending struggle that ended the Roman and British Empires.

PLUS, George Bush has given us massive deficits and a trade imbalance which has weakened the Dollar. This means we are fighting a war on borrowed money, which further devalues the Dollar. Since oil is traded on the commodities market in U.S. Dollars, I think you'll get a feel for my argument next time you fill up your car at 3.55 per gallon! We're way past traditional supply and demand market forces here. The market is being manipulated by oil companies who are in collusion with one another (for example, Exxon-Mobil testified before Congress that they will not increase output until 2012. Why should they? They are the most profitable company in human history!) Their greed is eroding our entire economy like acid, and George Bush, along with Dick Cheney, who rode into office as the most energy-savvy administration ever, has done NOTHING. In fact, one could argue they are also in collusion with oil companies. The only people on the planet right now who seem to be enjoying the waning days of this administration are their oil buddies in Houston and West Texas. And finally, the requirement that 10% of fuel in the U.S. be ethanol is the dumbest idea in the history of dumb ideas! Oil is for fuel, corn is for eating - it's simple!!! The U.S. is the biggest producer of corn in the world. Corn is the staple food of people everywhere! But, so that American soccer moms can have a clean conscience while driving their flexfuel Suburbans around town, the price of food has doubled in the rest of the world. People are starving!!! This is one reason why so many people in the world hate us right now, and on this point, they are right!

3. I am really confused by conservatives who love George Bush, but hate John McCain. McCain is Bush in a different suit. Their policies and positions are IDENTICAL – except for one thing – McCain is fiscally more restrained than Bush, which means he is more conservative. Can someone please explain to me why conservatives flock to Bush’s side, but run from McCain? Until I get a good explanation, I’ll just assume they simply echo what they hear on the radio.

But, like I said, these thoughts are just one man’s opinion. Take it or leave it.


David said...

Charles, I think you are right about Rev. Wright to a point. He definitely represents prophetic/liberation preaching and social criticism that our society does not like and that overly criticizing him has hurt Hillary's campaign.

However, I understand black theology but I still do not think Rev. Wright represents all blacks or all black theologians. There is what I call the more radical side of Black theology represented in the writings of James Cone that equate the black (oppressed), religious experience as seen, for example in the Exodus, with the Black Power movement and thus tend to be militant and aggressive against whites (i.e., "the oppressors.") Wright appears to represent this form of Black theology accept he has equated white oppression with American oppression.
Nevertheless, Cone's brother Cecil as well as writer's like J. Deotis Roberts represent a type of black theology that recognizes the black experience, wants to empower blacks, but also desires for reconciliation and bridge-building with whites. This strand of black theology desires to be more ecumenical, and I don't see Rev. Wright encamping with these guys.

You are right that most people do not realize that there is a difference between Persians and Arabs. There is still very much Persian/Assyrian nation sentiments in these nations even though they are the same religion. Furthermore, Egypt is different than both Iraq and Iran and most Arab nations actually do not even care about Syria and the whole Palestine.

I agree with you on why you do not trust Bush, but surely Bush has to have done some good things in his presidency.

I guess to answer your McCain/Bush question, I think Bush has a persona that is inviting, friendly, and makes him seem like a regular joe that anyone can love. Because of that most Americans originally and some still are very trusting of Bush. On the other hand, I always here that McCain appears to be untrustworthy. I don't know. Like I said I really haven't taken the time to research McCain yet and still don't know who I am going to vote for but that is my assessment of the feelings of the Republican party.

Charles North said...

David. I agree that Wright's theology represents a fringe movement, but that fringe has now become more mainstream thanks to 24/7 news and radio attacks on Wright.

Yes, of course I think Bush has done some good. I applaud his tax cuts and his 2 appointments to the Supreme Court. These 2 things alone have done much good for our country. And I agree that Bush has a friendly persona, while McCain has something fishy about him. His sneering cockiness is not warm or inviting, it pushes people away, and I have a hunch that his wife Cindy is going to become a problem as this campaign heats up. Maybe it's just me, but I don't want a "regular guy" in the White House. That's what we have sophisticated elitists for.

David said...

By the way thinks for your advice on Aquino. I have him again for Maymester (Systematic) and the Fall (Contemporary Religious Thought), so any advice always helps. Also, I am very jealous of ya'll. That is my favorite place in the world to go. Did you go to the library and see Sinaiticus also?

Ryan said...

Like Kenny Bania said "That's gold Jerry. Gold!"

I'll comment later but I just wanted to let you know that I read and enjoyed it. As you know I have some strong opinions on the oil companies. But hey, it's all OPEC's fault. It is AMAZING what the average American will believe.

Mark said...

On the Rev. Wright issue, (I use this term VERY loosely since I do not revere the person)... It is one thing to cry out to God to address the sins of this nation. We are NOT God's chosen nation... Christians are his chosen people... two seperate things. So for Wright to say that God will damn America for the sinful and wretched state it is in is ok by my book.

In fact, political discussions inside of the building that we call "church" doesn't bother me. A few weeks ago, I got to experience the freedom trail in Boston. If I remember, the Boston Tea Party was planned and started in a church building...

However, to make wild accusations about the role of the US in the global spread of aids and some of the other claims defies logic and facts. Instead of helping heal the wounds of the past, Wright continually rips open those wounds and makes them worse. Racism still exists in part today because people like Wright perpetuate it.

As for Bush... now that I am out of uniform, I can say that he, and the Republican party have greatly dissapointed me. The GOP has tended to be fiscally conservative and constitutionally conservative. However, Bush has not been either.

Our role in Afgahnistan is understandable. That was truely bringing the fight to the badguys... But Iraq? What a unnecessary war and what a failed policy.

I don't think we've truely felt the full impact of the war in Iraq. The military will take decades to recover. The financial losses have forced military leaders to make hard decisions that will effect our rediness for other future fights.

On the oil issue... don't blame the oil companies for practicing capitalism and making a few bucks. In fact, I don't really think the gas cost have REALLY impacted us yet... I see people out there whining about gas costs and still going out to eat at Chili's, buying a carton of cigs or a case of beer... MOST people still have not had to drastically change thier way of living because of the gas costs.

Charles North said...

Mark - thanks for weighing in. I'm glad you didn't read my criticism of the president as criticism of our military. I think this president came into office as a friend of the military, and has disappointed greatly. He has done more damage to the military than Bill Clinton ever did. Remember Bush's campaign promise that he would never use the military for "nation building"?

cj4866 said...

This is the most important election in the history of the U.S. in my opinion. But this country is suffering from a national epidemic of media group think. We have given up our ability to think for ourselves and do our homework.

John McCain may not be our first choice, but considering his opponents, he's our only choice. My dad's generation shook clenched fists with staunch determination, and this generation can barely clench the TV remote. I hear alot of whining but not many conservatives are actively pursuing & supporting the best candidate. My first choice was based solely on his track record and getting to know the man's character.

But... McCain is what we're left with. If he's elected, THEN will be the time to shift gears and hold him accountable to uphold our conservative values. If O'Bama is elected, we have No voice.

Time to wake up, folks.