Friday, September 4, 2009

Yes, I'm Going There

A warning: This blog is about to get political. There are some of you who will want to click away from my blog immediately. You are welcome to do so and I'll have no hard feelings. I'll wait three seconds while you find something else to read.




OK. I now assume that everyone reading this has been warned and is ready to enter the Political Zone.

You ready?

(Disclaimer: I am not suggesting that all people who disagree with our current administration fall into the following categories. I have had great discussions with people recently where the dialogue remained calm and interesting. I appreciate learning from others and hearing others' opinions. I do not assume that someone who disagrees with me is stupid, flat-out wrong, or misled. That being said...)


I love being American. I love our freedoms. I especially love our freedom of speech, and I am fully grateful that people are welcomed, even encouraged, to spew their own personal hatreds wherever they'd like.

But I am so tired of hatred. I am so tired of anger. I am so tired of fear. I honestly want to cry.

I'm an idealist. I like to believe that millions of people working together can create solutions to help those who struggle in our great nation. I like to believe that millions of people working together will SOLVE problems, not CREATE problems.

What I am seeing now is that millions of people are choosing (CHOOSING!!!) not to work together. Rather than create public dialogue that is respectful and intelligent, so many people are choosing to sow fear. Do you know what you reap when you sow fear?

You reap disaster.

I have had emails and read comments lately that equate Obama with Hitler. They equate our society with pre-WWII Germany. They equate Obama's desire to talk to school children on Tuesday, encouraging them to take their education seriously with Hitler's desire to create Nazi Youth Brigades.

If I swore, I'd do so right now.

This is RIDICULOUS. Do you hear me? This is INANE, right? Except it's what people are saying. It's what people are believing.

Hitler used something called The Big Lie. Do you remember this from high school World History?

The Big Lie (German: Große Lüge) is a propaganda technique. The expression was coined by Adolf Hitler in his 1925 autobiography Mein Kampf for a lie so "colossal" that no one would believe that someone "could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously".

Here's what Hitler said about using the Big Lie. (By the way, he was accusing the Jews of using the Big Lie themselves. Nice.)

All this was inspired by the principle--which is quite true in itself--that in the big lie there is always a certain force of credibility; because the broad masses of a nation are always more easily corrupted in the deeper strata of their emotional nature than consciously or voluntarily; and thus in the primitive simplicity of their minds they more readily fall victims to the big lie than the small lie, since they themselves often tell small lies in little matters but would be ashamed to resort to large-scale falsehoods. It would never come into their heads to fabricate colossal untruths, and they would not believe that others could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously. Even though the facts which prove this to be so may be brought clearly to their minds, they will still doubt and waver and will continue to think that there may be some other explanation. For the grossly impudent lie always leaves traces behind it, even after it has been nailed down, a fact which is known to all expert liars in this world and to all who conspire together in the art of lying.

This is my hypothesis. It is easier to vilify someone we don't agree with than to simply realize that intelligent people can have vastly different opinions. After all, if we get deeply entrenched in a belief, we have to assume that everyone who doesn't think like us is wrong. We have to assume that someone who thinks differently than us is not just wrong, but in some cases may well be evil. Enter Obama as anti-Christ, Obama as secret Muslim (and there's something so wrong about this accusation anway), Obama as non-American. The Big Lie begins. And then it spreads.

This is a quote from a message board my friend just sent me:

When Obama shows his birth certificate, then I might let him speak to my child. When Obama quits apologizing for America and Americans to other countries, maybe then!! When he quits bowing to Saudi Kings, possibly I'll think about it. When he admits he's a Muslim, might do it then......and when he explains why he sat under a radical, racist, Black-Panther preacher for 20 years, and only quit going when the media caught him........and please explain why Michelle, her mom and kids were allowed to sight see all over Europe in AF-2 at tax payer expense......and why her SNACK cost the tax payers $450 bucks at the Waldorff Astoria.......and when hell freezes over then and only then would I let my dead DOG sit and listen to anything Obama has to say!! One Big A$$ Mistake America!! Do ya have voters remorse yet? God help us!!

I will agree with this rabid poster about one thing. God needs to help us. Other than that one statement, I must say I wish I were shocked at the underlying rage under this post. I'm not. I've read this too much from too many people, and I'm terribly terribly sad about what it says about our society.

I ask you to think about your feelings on politics. When you start talking about politics, are you talking about philosophy? Are you talking about specific policies? Are you respectful of those who hold other opinions? Are you spreading fear? Are you suggesting positive improvements on policy? Are you specific in things you wish were different? Or are you allowing hatemongers to have their way with you? Are you part of the Big Lie?

I beg you. Don't allow your spirit to be torn by hatred.

I stay rather non-religious in this blog, but I want to share one of my favorite scriptural passages. This is from the Book of Mormon, and is from Christ.

3 Nephi 11:29-30 For verily, verily I say unto you, he that hath the spirit of contention is not of me, but is of the devil, who is the father of contention, and he stirreth up the hearts of men to contend with anger, one with another. Behold, this is not my doctrine, to stir up the hearts of men with anger, one against another; but this is my doctrine, that such things should be done away.

The Lord spreads peace. He sows peace and He reaps love. This is what I hope for our nation, that we can turn from hatred to love, that we can solve our problems together. Yes, that makes me idealistic. But I'd rather be idealistic than angry. So when you talk to me or to others about the things you see as wrong in our society, have ideas. Have hope. Be ready to be part of the solution, or just don't talk at all.


Sarah said...

It baffles me that people will not let their kids listen to the President of the U.S.A. It is on education! It is not like children are the Presidents core interest group when it comes to politics, or can even vote on matters for that fact.
Americans are loosing respect for the office and people serving our country in politics. It is historically sad!
Now I may go vent in my own blog.

P.S. I can see why you were a "child" bride. Your HS picture is gorgeous!

Gaylene said...

Amen, Amen, Amen!!!

Holly said...

1. We don't know exactly what Obama is going to say in his speech. However, the fact that he politicizes every speech he makes, and that this speech is being made to kids 18 and under, has Conservatives up in arms. The unknown is often feared.
2. I agree, comparing Obama to any dictator, especially Hitler, is over the top. The fact that we have the freedom to speak out against him, or for him, negates this comparison.
3. I appreciate my kids' school district for sending out an email Wednesday letting the parents know that students will not watch the speech in school, but providing a special link so parents and students can watch the speech together after school. That gives the parents the opportunity to preview it if they wish or simply to watch it with their children and discuss it afterward. Our California school budgets are so tight they cannot afford the financial loss of hundreds of students missing school on Sept. 8th due to Obama's speech being shown in class.

Danielle said...

Merci beaucoup, mon amie! I am tired, no exhausted, of people arguing for argument's sake. Where is the respect?

I spent the last eight years not liking the person who was president, but trying to show him some respect, because of the office he held.

I will be joining my kids for the President's address. Not because I worry about what he will say, but because I want them to know how important I feel it is to listen to what the leader of our country says ( also because I think he's great).

Thanks for putting in words the exasperation I have been feeling the last few days.

Motherboard said...

Amen! You said everything that I wanted to say, but refrained from saying.

I'm tired. Tired of the alarmist view on everything. Acting like this creates more problems. Be freaking proactive.

Those who are acting this way are and embarrassment to our nation.

The End.

(great post btw!)

Megan B. said...

I totally agree! I was going to vent about this on my blog too, but I might just link to your because you said it so well.

Camilla said...

You show wisdom and respect in your views Kerri.

I would like to point out that 'hatred' for the man holding the office of President based solely on his political party is not new to this nation. Bush, Clinton, and Bush Sr. were all vilified at times during their respective presidencies.

I don't agree with the woman whose post that you quoted at all. I don't believe many of the lies that have been spread by Obama (he isn't, but even if he was a Muslim, how does that have anything to do with his ability to run our country?)

I think what has many people concerned is that Obama has used similar speeches as a chance to push his politics. Having said that, I actually think most Americans have more in common than we all think--now one really wants other Americans to go without healthcare, education, or the protections of government, we just think there are different ways to go about it providing those necessities. I, like you, don't understand why we can't just be civil about it???

Emilia said...

Well said!!! I wish some of the people in question could read your blog.

Stephanie said...

Yes. YES. YES! Now WHERE are the people that should be reading this? Listening to conservative talk radio with their heads in the sand. *sigh*

rhae said...

You are such an eloquent writer. I love reading your blog because everything you say, you say so well.

I completely agree. I appreciate the Book of Mormon quote you shared. The extreme contention being spread over small things feels like a diversion away from more important matters.

Megan B. said...

Yeah, we were at Barnes and Noble. I didn't see you though. I love going to Barnes and Noble and the baby didn't want to sleep in the crib, but he fell asleep in the car seat on the way, thank goodness!

tonandboys said...

Being a conservative myself, I have to say you made some very convincing points. It really made me think. And personally, I love things that make me think. I had to really look at myself and ask "why do I distrust this man? the way, I do not hate this man that I have never met, but I don't trust him easily. This is about all I could come up with. He must be like me in this one regard. I get passionate about things and I can easily get caught up in my principles and trying to change the world. This is a strength most of the time, but sometimes, it gets me into trouble. This is what I mean. I have noticed that when I get impassioned about something with people who know and trust my belief system it goes amazingly well. But when I get passionate in a group of strangers, defenses can go up in a hurry and it becomes more and more difficult for people to trust me. It seems to me, that Obama is very passionate about his beliefs. This is inspiring to those that feel the same way, but the more passionate you are, the more those in opposition will feel attacked. I feel his pain. I have been there so many times. To be a pioneer and a hero, you have to be willing to be attacked. The more passionate and persuasive you are, the more those who differ in opinions will fear you. I think most conservative parents know how passionate Obama is about his beliefs. Good for him. But, that can make you nervous when you start wondering how much of that will spill over into a speech that started out impartial. Personally, I do not object to this speech until he gives me reason to object to it...and at this point...that is just not the case. I know one other thing about passion, experience teaches you to temper it. If this speech goes well, Obama will gain some trust from me, because I will see that even though he is young and passionate...this I obviously know... I will also know he is experienced and wise. I can handle a difference in opinion if he has the wisdom to temper it when necessary. He really has a chance to prove something those open-minded enough to give him a chance. I will readily admit that some will be too hard headed to give him that chance, but I think anger and ignorance knows no political party.

Malisa said...

And THIS is why I must talk to you all the time, Kerri. Your clear level head.

I expected a good post from you, but wow. Yep, WOW.

Going to go link to you on my blog. Again.

Debbie and Boys said...

This is soooooooo my very feelings about whats going on right now. You've captured every aspect of my thoughts. And why I think them.
When I read your posts in general, I think "yeah, we must be related."
I think of myself as one who can put my thoughts and feelings into words, but when its come to all this political stuff I have not been capable.
Thank you for writing this. (I'm sending it to a few people.)

Leesa W. said...

I do agree that hate and contention have no place in politics. But I also think it's wrong to be on the other end of the spectrum and sit back and do nothing and hope it all just goes away. I feel like people are choosing one side or the other lately. Yes, that is a great scripture in the BOM about contention not being of the Lord, but there are also scriptures in the BOM of righteous men and women standing up for what is right and what will keep them free from the bondage of others including Gadianton Robbers and their secret combinations. Remember Captin Moroni and the Title of Liberty he raised as he was going to battle the very people who sought to take away the freedoms and values of his people. If those scriptures are found simultaniously in the BOM, then they should be found simultaniously in our hearts as well. We as Christians should do what we can in voicing our conearns about our values and God inspired constitutional rights being taken away from us by possible Gadianton Robbers of our day (wether that may be now or in the future depending to how you see it) and at the same time do it in a peaceful way that has no room for contention and hatered. We must not shy away in fear, but stand up for what is right and question what is wrong. I believe that there will be many opportunities in the future to stand up for what is right and good and if we start now by making that a part of who we are, it will make it easier in the future to take a stand when it becomes more vital.