Friday, June 1, 2012

muslim socialist jello pudding chocolate cake

if I keep having to write these disclaimers about how I hate writing about politics, it will defeat the purpose of them existing. I actually posted this article by accident, thanks to the new blogger layout. I'd had it written, but never really intended to do more with it than use it as exercise. I'm just not one to take stuff down; if I do, it will still show up in the feed so I'm kind of stuck with it. I'll really try to tone it down; next article is about video games or movies. Promise.

I was just putting some last minute touches on my mattwillwork article when I came up with another politics-related thing that had bothered me. I do not identify as politically anything. On a point-by-point basis of the classic issues, I simply happen to fall in with left. In this regard, I have a generally positive opinion of our current president. Not glowing, just positive. Regardless of whether you are disappointed by him (or never liked him), when he got elected, I went in with realistic expectations. I liked what he was saying, and agreed with the sentiments. But I knew to expect him to only (be able to) do a fraction of what he'd said, and by and large I was okay with that over what was left of John McCain. Initially I could have bore the thought of president McCain but as it went on he became a tool, I really didn't want him to win. As usual with these politics articles that I claim to hate writing, my intention is not to attack, but to defend. Usually defend something against one or several angry people that I'm tired of hearing. Today's topic is, ding ding ding: Barack Obama.

...and I approve this message
OH my goodness! It's time for a BREAKDOWN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We haven't had a bbbbbreakkkkdddown in forever. For the uninitiated, that just means list. There are a lot of things that people bring up as negatives regarding this president. And while normally that's fine and not something I'd have a smidgen of trouble with, I can't help thinking most of these problems people have are unfair. You want to hate on him for his policies because you disagree with them? Go for it. Good on ya, enjoy your autonomy. It's a good thing. But then a lot of people come along and bring up the most ridiculous reasons to dislike him. And Imma break that stuff down for ya, before you even look 1 2 3 BREAKDOWN!

1. He's a Muslim


Well let's backpedal. No, he's not, first of all. I was in a history class one day going over the early history of America, when for one reason or another (I think it was partially related to the lesson), one student verbally expressed his dislike for Obama. Fine. But this guy tried to pass off his reason thusly: Obama is a secret Muslim. The teacher offered to share with the class evidence of this if the student provided it. He did, and it was this:

Except his version cut off at around 00:08. The point of that specific clip was that Obama was saying it was ridiculous that McCain was accusing him of being a Muslim. My teacher sought and found the full version I embedded above and played it a day after the student's. She meant not to humiliate him. She, in fact, offered a discussion about whether it would even be a problem if we really did have a Muslim president. Almost everyone said no. He said yes. When asked why, he said that Islam is not in line with the original principles of this country, and he was serious. Immediately I wanted to say "You mean like slavery?" but I refrained. Because this guy was pink and pink people are mean. A more intellectualized version of my response is this: Isn't one of the founding principles of this country freedom of religion? What about change? The whole point of the constitution is that it's a modular document, what patriots will often call a living document. Just because something was commonly accepted at the time of this country's foundation, it doesn't necessarily make it a good thing, and the founding principles of this country are the ability for us to realize when this happens, and do something about it.

Getting back to the Islam thing, to people who would try to justify presidency being exclusive to Christians: That's retarded. Re. Tar. Ded. More retarded than the baby your two married cousins had. Okay, okay, sorry. No republican = redneck jokes. Sorry. I just mean that while it's true that separation of church and state was not built into the constitution (Am I supposed to capitalize that? I dunno), a lot of bad ideas were originally built into it, and a lot of good ideas weren't. That doesn't mean that new ideas are unconstitutional, or spit in the face of our forefathers. That's just me though. To me, the best possible way to please everyone in this case is to try and not please any one person completely. A religion-neutral state just seems most fair, and part of that is letting people of any faith become president.  

2. He's a Socialist

Can you even tell me what a socialist is? I mean, beyond the fact that they've been movie bad guys for 60 years? I can't, at least not to my own satisfaction. For argument's sake, though, let's pull a definition out of the internet's ass and see. I'm a Webster's man myself:

Socialism. nounany of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods

Whoza jiggawhat? This calls for an index finger.

. . . . . . various. . . . . theories. . . . . . . . collective. . . . . . ownership and administration. . . . . . . . . ownership and administration. . . . . . . ownership and administration. . . . . . . . . . . . . .

 Okay, I kind of get it. No privatization, more or less, right? No Kellogg's Frosted Flakes, just Government Flakes (or alternatively, People's Flakes). Socialism came around, as is my understanding, as a result of wealth disparity. The idea of communal property in pre-Soviet Russia sounded sweet because of unusually greedy bastards and unusually hungry peasants. I sympathize with it somewhat, but do prefer capitalism on a mechanical level. The thing is, I don't understand how some people can't just look at socialism as another form of economics instead of as a force of evil. It's really just that: money and businesses are organized differently. No big whoop-dee-doo. If you had been born in China or Soviet Russia or something, you'd think capitalism was evil. Neither is a force for "good" in this world, they're just ... things. Like if a friend of yours is (a) tall or (b) short, it's not like either makes him good or evil. Your preference for one economic system or the other is not dissimilar to your favorite sports team or (yes) even your religion: It is heavily influenced by the location of your birth. And when that is the deciding factor for most people, even when they don't know it, you have to wonder where the drive for their argument comes from.

Taking a page from the Daily Show, I will also point out that it's not like our own government doesn't already have traces of socialism in it. Medicare exists. Social Security Exists. Nobody's complaining. What pundits usually like to say in response to things like universal healthcare is that we're "moving towards" socialism. They do this because it's vague, scary, and implies some kind of impending doom. They don't have to tell you anything about what they mean by that. Like, really, what does that mean? I've heard people say that this-or-that is proof that it's happening, but they never say where it's going. There are varying degrees and types of socialism to boot, so you can't know exactly which endgame they think they're warning us about. You think they would say, since they're so upset.

All of this means nothing, and you know why? Because he's not even a socialist anyway, and he's not going to take your freedoms away. If you are the type to keep saying socialism is slowly digging its evil claws into our everythings until we're all calling each other "comrade", it's not. They will cite things like governmental regulations or the recent health care bill to try to convince us that capitalism is under fire. Well, it's not. Government regulations on production are there for our safety; trust me, you want meat inspectors. Mandatory health care is no more ridiculous than mandatory auto insurance. And wealth redistribution? Until you're a gigantic megacorporation, the proposed taxations on the rich will not affect you. In fact, in all likelihood, based on sheer probability, you'll probably benefit tremendously from one economic safety net or another at some point. We can disagree on these issues, but I see no reason to accuse elected officials of being a secret traitor because of them, especially by trying to use a word that doesn't even mean traitor. Socialism is just an incendiary word. That's why they use it. If the word "Doodlebocker" was incendiary, they'd just use that instead, and everyone would be shouting Doodlebocker.

I just want to say that again. Doodlebocker.

3. He's Not a Born Citizen

First of all, yes he is and ... I mean, even if that was true, again, you gotta ask if it really matters. Maybe an amendment allowing immigrants to become president would be a good thing. I mean, aren't we all-

4. He wasn't even born on this planet


5. He's a Lobster Monster from Another Galaxy!

What are you-

6. Lobster Lover! You Hate Freedom! 

We're done here

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