The New Years’ resolutions in politics
Linda P. Campbell of the Fort-Worth Star Telegram (republished in the Spokesman-Review, Spokane, Washington) the 31st of December 2010 provided her readers with a list of moral resolutions that I can quite well applaud and seemed to be singularly in sync with that of the Coeur d’Alene Press New Year’s resolution that also argued toward more civil discourse. But given the letters to the editor that the Coeur d’Alene Press then published, such as “Response: Liberal applies double standard” from Ray Fink and “Tea Party: What it is — and isn’t” from “Hoot” Gaylor; it becomes obvious that the moral need for civil discourse is a resolution that will immediately be abandoned. Certainly by the Press, anyway.
“Hoot” Gaylor, would no doubt call himself a “conservative” by way of “TEA Party” affiliation. However, let it also be said that nine-tenths of any “TEA Party” argument is about pure ignorance. When it isn’t that, it becomes a movement that literally acts against its own interests. Or operates from a point of denial.
Ray Fink however is a fellow of another order. Apparently, his idea of “conservative” is to go around engaging in childish name-calling of anyone with whom he disagrees. Or, if this is a person who has an issue with say the Republican party, no matter how legitimate, the message must be demeaned and disparaged by placing it in the “liberal” camp. All I can say of anyone who’d call himself a “conservative” by attacking other people as “liberal” is show me the proof.
It wasn’t that long ago that Mr. Fink was whining about the society that wasn’t saying enough or doing enough about the Vietnam veterans. Hell, he was also whining about the government that wasn’t doing enough about the Vietnam Veterans. While he did have something of a point about that, he also let his bitterness control his reactions to the media, society as a whole and government in particular get the best of his thinking. Bitterness doesn’t exactly lead to conservative thinking, rather, it is in the opposite direction, the direction of someone who is radical in nature.
New Year’s resolution # 1. Ms. Campbell spoke of actually being gracious toward those who don’t think like me. It would be nice if Mr. Fink would demonstrate some of that graciousness. He did happen to be a Vietnam veteran, right? When he went to war in that country, it was to defend even Jimmy Pappas’ right to say what he wished and to have published in the Press anything that he cared to. After defending such a right, it begs the question of why Mr. Fink would turn around and attack such a right. He did not only defend people who “think just like him” but also, those who do not. Not only did he defend people with whom he does agree, but also those who disagree with himself! Now why the attacks? Why the bitter hatred? Call it the “me” factor. A fellow who no longer cares about other people. A fellow who feels utterly persecuted if anyone “dares” to open his mouth and express dissent about anything. Graciousness in politics would mean, that if you enter the military and a theater of war to defend democracy as I am assuming that Mr. Fink did, you don’t forget that this is still a democracy that allows for a wide spectrum of opinion. A conservative (and a gracious person) would respect that, a radical never will.
Ray Fink might set my teeth on edge, but he still has a right to have his hate-filled opinions published. Unfortunately, he doesn’t care to extend the same consideration to others.
New Year’s resolution # 2: Denial will never be a river in Egypt. If Mr. Gaylor thinks only in terms of exactly how “the rich” finance government, and specifically only through their tax dollars, he’d be highly mistaken. The rich, and very specifically people with the monetary means to hire lobbyists to front on their behalf will finance government, all right, to get government to act specifically on their behalf. There is, a lot more than just tax money that pours into Washington, D.C.
There is also reason to believe, that the not so spontaneous “TEA Party” movement has been well-financed by special interests who did not like President Obama’s reforms and tried to get enough GOP into Congress to proceed to undo them. To literally continue the destructive habits supported by the preceding GW administration. Destructive habits such as the Wall Street Meltdown that surely had to have severely effected even members of the “TEA Party” movement itself. But, with enough money, you can always get people to vote against their own best interests.
New Year’s resolution # 3: How about looking in the mirror? Again, with respect to “Hoot” Gaylor, did it ever occur to you that what ever you may spout about the opposition sounds suspiciously like yourself?
I don’t do New Year’s resolutions as a rule. My health is precarious. My emotions are often turbulent because of a number of personal tragedies in my life. The loss of pet cats, the loss of co-workers—people I genuinely cared about. The grief that Capital One continues to cause me. Unstable work hours. About the best I can argue is to simply try to make it day by day. But, there is one thing that I am guaranteed to do, LOL!,that is to continue to post to blog.
So, tonight, I watched the ball drop in Times Square, New York City, New York while watching CNN. I definitely do not care to miss it. Watching the ball drop is the height of what I call my New Year’s celebration. I don’t party. I don’t go anywhere. My window to the world is the HDTV and this computer. But, in my quiet way, even I can find some cheer in the ending of the old year and the starting of the New. Thus…
Linda Campbell’s editorial becomes a must read, the poem she recited throughout her editorial about those (especially the author) who are not going to pass this way again. That it is only today that you can help the needy. Only today can you love your neighbor as yourself. The day (and the year) being over with, you can not literally redo the past what you did not choose to do then. It was a wonderful column. And wonderfully conservative, too.