Location: Granite Falls, North Carolina, United States

I'm an ordained United Methodist minister no longer pastoring churches, a former media producer with skills ten years out of date, a writer trying to sell my first novel, and a sales associate keeping body and soul together working for the People's Republic of Corporate America. I'm married to the most wonderful woman in the world, who was my best friend for 17 years before we married.

Monday, March 12, 2007

On Image vs. Substance

The American electorate seems all hung up on symbols and rhetoric. The news media feed this shallowness. Look at the ''talking points" you hear repeated over and over:

Republican voters care about "family values": Yeah. The first divorced president was a Republican, and had had his first child five months after he and Nancy were married. The three front runners in the current presidential race on the Republican side have eight living wives and ex-wives among them. Gingrich admits he was having an affair while criticizing Clinton for his affair. In 1971, George W. Bush paid for an abortion for a girl he had impregnated. BUT: They make the right noises about gay marriage and abortion. These noises are reported by their stenographers at the mainstream media and repeated ad nauseam.

Republicans are strong on the military: Wrong. They know how to TALK tough. But talk is all it amounts to. Ronald Reagan sent Marines to the Beirut airport for no apparent reason, except to have a show of force during the civil war there. When a suicide bomber blew up a barracks and killed over 200 of the Marines, Reagan slunk out of there like a dog with its tail between its legs. BUT he beat his chest and said militant things. These got repeated in the media, so Reagan was seen as a tough President. Bush II sent American forces into Iraq with no preparation, insufficient armor, and no plan to handle the victory. BUT, the spin machines keeps talking about terrorism and falsely linking Iraq to 9/11, so the lack of care for wounded veterans and their families is ignored until some courageous reporter at the Washington Post dared to speak out.

Democrats are weak on terrorism, and the Clinton Administration's neglect let 9/11 happen: Let's look at the record: George W. Bush made his first million in the Carlyle Group with Osama bin Laden's brother. When Saddam Hussein was threatening Kuwait, Osama bin Laden went to the Saudi royal family asking for permission to take Saddam out. They refused his request and called in the Americans instead. This turned bin Laden against America. Clinton put out a contract on Osama bin Laden, which Bush retracted when he came to power.
The Clinton Administration stopped terrorist plots against the Lincoln and Holland Tunnels and the Los Angeles Airport and thwarted Saddam Hussein's attempt to assassinate George H. W. Bush, all without having to resort to an unconstitutional Patriot Act. Bush has absolutely nothing to show for the trillions spent on no-bid contracts, no-warrant wiretaps, and other transgressions against the Constitution, not to mention giving aid to groups with ties to al Qaeda just because they're Sunnis.

John McCain is a straight-shooter: Don't make me laugh. The darling of the media, St. John McCain has changed his mind over and over, flip-flopping on gay marriage, the Confederate Flag over the South Carolina state house, and abortion, among other things. BUT, he established his reputation in 2000, and the spin is still running his way.

I could go on and on, but I'm too tired to continue for now. Maybe I'll add more later.


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