Good day, good people.
For devotees of the English language: Civil is a noun. I went to visit the writings of my long-time friend, a Merriam-Webster. It means consideration of others and forbearance from rudeness and unpleasantness. Consideration is thoughtful regard for the needs of others. Two synonyms are polite and courteous.
Tolerance equals social justice. Intolerance, oppression, persecution and repression do not.
I am disappointed with myself that I do not know the answer to why the vitriol, ostracizing, shunning and severing of long-term friendships are taking place between our citizens in our nation this election year. And if I had the answer, I would be frustrated, because I would not be able to implement it in the present environment or maybe not at all.
The Republican platform has called for the criminalization of abortion without reference to exceptions. The Republican National Committee chairman, Reince Priebus, declined to bow to the candidate (Mitt Romney). “This is the platform of the Republican Party,” he told MSNBC. “It is not the platform of Mitt Romney.” If abortion is to be illegal, are the decision makers going to provide for the victims? There needs to be health care, food, clothing, education and tender loving care for the newborns. How are the proponents of illegal abortion going to pay for the results of their decision? If they wish this, then they should, in their infinite charity, take their own money and set up a foundation for the care of all.
Abortion is a health issue not a political or religious issue. This is a continuing example of the unenlightened and the dictatorial-patriarchal society oppressing, persecuting and repressing actions and ideas against women. The delusionals must stop forcing them on women against their will. If this were to become law or anything close to it, women would still seek abortions illegally from the unqualified and die like they did before Roe versus Wade. Where are the compassion and the empathy for women? Should we call the unenlightened and the dictatorial-patriarchal members of our society what they are — bigots and intolerants?
Recently a lady invited me to lunch. When I arrived two other ladies were seated with her at a table for four. I sat next to a lady I did not know. She appeared to be in her mid-seventies. My hostess introduced me to her. There was no political discussion taking place among us. During the course of the lunch, the lady next to me said sotto voce, “I belong to a Republican Women’s club. If they see me talking to a Democrat they will ostracize me.” I did not know the political affiliation of the other two women. I told her, “Do not be concerned, I am a stranger in town and my affiliation is not known. If they see you talking to me, it is alright with me if you tell them whatever you want.” She smiled and said thank you.
In the past politicians and religious leaders said God was punishing New Orleans for its sins by sending Hurricane Katrina. Hurricane Isaac approached the site of the Republican Convention in Tampa, Florida. Is God punishing the Republicans for their past sins, present ones and future? I do not hear the same politicians and religious leaders with their delusional accusations. Commenters and bloggers on the Internet are writing God is punishing the Republicans. It is true that one of the many wonderful things about America is everyone is entitled to express their opinion — no matter how ill-founded in fact it may be.
Friendships like fences need constant mending. I saw one long-time friend shun another because of political differences. People are telling me their friends will not return their telephone calls or respond to their emails. They believe the reason is: they have different political affiliations. Why? Were they ever really friends if a difference of political opinion is the reason for severing a relationship? Why cannot a difference of opinion on any subject and friendship live together?
We are all aware that brothers and friends fought against one another during the American Civil War over the issue of slavery. Religious differences have caused and are causing civil wars. But the United States of America was the first nation not to have a state religion. This is a nation of political and religious tolerance which means we must have respect for one another and their beliefs in every area. But it also means you are free to associate with whom you wish.
Is it acceptable behavior in a political speech or advertising to lie to the listeners and/or viewers?
That is, knowingly making an untrue statement with the intent to deceive or to create a false or misleading impression is a lie. Are the American people allowing an exception to having a moral sense by politicians, the CEOs of banks and financial services industry which caused the recession of 2008 by their dishonesty?
Acquaintances and strangers see us for whom and what we want them to see. Friends see us for whom and what they want us to be. The mirror sees us if we are honest for whom and what we really are.
Questions were asked by Barry Levinson, the Academy Award winning director, screenwriter and producer, of Dr. R.H. Flutes, head of the Lying Institute of America, to explain the lying epidemic that has been sweeping this country.
Levinson: “What are some of the basic teachings of lying?”
Flutes: “Conviction is very important. You can't lie in a halfhearted tone. A lie needs strength in voice commitment and body language. Take Paul Ryan's speech [at the Republican Convention]. Brilliant. He lied on almost every subject, but he was committed, elegant. His lies soared. He is a New Age liar. If he keeps his lying edge, he should be a powerful political figure for years to come.” Brackets are mine.
Just one example, Paul Ryan in his acceptance speech to be vice president nominee of the Republican Party at the Republican Convention accused Obama of closing a General Motors plant in Ryan’s home town, Janesville, Wisconsin. The Detroit News reporter, David Sherpardson, wrote, “In fact, Obama made no such promise (to keep the plant open) and the plant halted production in December 2008 when President George W. Bush was in office. Obama did speak at the plant in February 2008, and suggested that a government partnership with automakers could keep the plant open, but made no promises as Ryan suggested.” Did Mr. Ryan provide an untrue statement intentionally knowing the statement was false for political purposes and theater? If he did, does it affect his credibility? Did he have consideration for his listeners? Is he excepted from having a moral sense? Is it un-Christian to intentionally provide inaccurate information?
Levinson: “What did you think were some of the lying highlights by Paul Ryan at the convention?”
Flutes: “I thought there was something truly exhilarating to watch a packed arena of 30 or 40 thousand people cheering the idea of having their healthcare taken away. They were so convinced by all the lies about healthcare that everyone in the arena was willing to give up all healthcare protection. It was a wonderful sight to see. And here's the best part: the lies were so well constructed, that you didn't even have to offer an alternative health care plan. Just the idea of not having healthcare was enough to bring the people to their feet. That was an A+ on the lying chart. Almost brought tears of joy to my eyes.”
Levinson asked, “In the past, if you were caught in a lie, you were discredited.”
Flutes said, “Yes, that was the old-fashioned way of thinking. Today a creative lie is worthy of celebration.”
Levinson: “But a lie is a lie, isn't it?”
Flutes: “What is so wonderful about the truth? Truth has been around for thousands of years and what has it gotten us? Look at the RNC the other night. Glorious! One lie after another. Did you hear the cheers? Truth is hardly as exciting! And you can't persuade people as easily with the truth. Truth is a harsh medicine. A good lie is soothing to the soul.”
Another example of political speaking is: Michelle Bachman, a member of the House and a former Republican candidate for president, was before an audience in Florida. She said, “I don't know how much God has to do to get the attention of the politicians. We've had an earthquake; we've had a hurricane. He said, ‘Are you going to start listening to me here?’ Listen to the American people because the American people are roaring right now. They know government is on a morbid obesity diet and we've got to rein in the spending.” Is it honest and/or proper for her to tell people God spoke to her? Does anyone believe her? Does this affect her credibility? After all, she is entitled to express her opinion — no matter how ill-founded in fact it may be. Was she being civil?
One who actually carries on conversations with God, and is dead serious about it, may be schizophrenic, which is a psychotic disorder. Interacting with voices is often a feature of psychosis. Many religious people may be psychotic and/or schizophrenic. Was Bachmann dead serious about it when she said, “He [God] said to her, ‘Are you going to start listening to me here?’ Or, was she just pandering to her audience — knowingly and intentionally providing inaccurate information? Brackets are mine.
Neil Newhouse, Romney’s pollster, said, “We're not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact-checkers.” Does Mr. Newhouse have the right attitude? Is this the attitude of Mitt Romney? I am sure Mr. Newhouse was a fan of Mark Twain who said it accurately. “A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is still putting on its shoes.” Is this what Mr. Newhouse is counting on and hoping for? Is he being civil and considerate? Are Mssrs. Newhouse and Romney condoning lying — apparently so.
So, maybe the answer is: a politician will say anything whether it is true or not, or do anything whether it is legal or not, if at the time he says it or does it he believes he will not get caught. Is this acceptable conduct for one who is asking for public trust and responsibility? Is it integrity and a moral sense are unimportant? And election at any cost is? For no matter what you have done or said, someone will happily reveal the information to your disadvantage when it is to someone else’s advantage.
Levinson: “You don't find that [lying] alarming?”
Flutes: “Alarming? A good liar is worth his weight in gold. The role of a politician is to convince others to follow. If lying works better than truth, why handicap yourself? No one celebrates someone who is truthful anymore. Winning is the ultimate prize. Is there any glory to telling the truth and losing?” Brackets are mine.
Willard Mitt Romney had an opportunity during his acceptance speech at the Republican Convention to provide the viewers with his plan for the future. But instead he offered third-party biographical and autobiographical information. As a result of his speech about the future of American and what he will do if elected president, we can all agree he will be good to his family in the future.
He provided nothing new — no specifics as to his future plans for Americans. He appears to be taking us back to the policies of George W. Bush which caused the recession of 2008. Because of the Bush policies, the working Middle Class and poor are still struggling emotionally and financially. Romney did not mention any social issues solutions, no mention of his foreign policy and the Iran nuclear threat, taxes and tax loopholes to be eliminated and how are they to be paid for and by whom? He did not tell us about his premium support, the voucher, for Medicare. He did not tell us why the Middle Class is going to pay for the Ryan Budget cuts which will benefit the wealthy and not balancing the budget until 2040 — maybe. When is Willard going to answer these questions? He has had all this time to formulate a plan, the perfect venue to explain it and he failed to do so. Why? What we do know for sure is under the Ryan Budget plan, Willard and those who receive income on investments in the same way will pay only one percent in taxes. It appears sharing the burden according to the ability to pay taxes is considered by the Ryan Budget plan to be un-American.
It appears to me, there is polarized and politicized intractability reigning in our land. Compromise for the benefit of the American people is now a word not to be used.
What is your thought on the contribution you can make to forcing members of Congress to start working for the American people for a change instead of themselves, lobbyists, and special interests?
As a suggestion, what about electing people who will sign a pledge not to sign the Grover Norquist tax pledge or rescind it if they have signed it? Then have the candidate sign a pledge to serve only in the interest of their employer, the American Taxpayer, not themselves, lobbyists or special interest groups?
I hope this post will give you something to consider and discuss. To be successful you must understand other people’s opinions and care about them.
I care about your opinion. Contacting me with comments and constructive criticisms at http://bit.ly/z5MgmK with honesty and pleasantness their constant companions will always be welcomed.