What's this Blog About?

Politics in Wisconsin as they roll up to every level... and some other thoughts that may cross my mind are explored here from my lefty point of view. My values shape my opinions. You'll always find them in here. Let's have some fun exploring why Liberal values are American values!

Your comments are both welcome and encouraged!
(The watercolor is called Magnolia Tree for Momma, by Audrey Crawford)

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Conservative and Liberal Common Ground

I had an email conversation today with a Conservative whom I love and adore. I want to post it without naming to whom I was speaking, because I think both of us came to a different place and learned from it. I think we Liberals sometimes forget that Conservatives are not always die hard Bush supporters and I also think that Conservatives sometimes forget that we Liberals are still Patriots... Common ground does exist and I want to thank my friend for forcing me to think deeply enough to be able to articulate my ideas.

It started innocently enough with a chain email that runs frequently through Conservative circles. As you can see, it set off a bit of a firestorm....

Original chain email minus the 911 pictures:

Remember this?Thought you might be interested in this forgotten bit of information..........It was 1987! At a lecture the other day they were playing an old news video of Lt.Col. Oliver North testifying at the Iran-Contra hearings during the Reagan Administration. There was Ollie in front of God and country getting the third degree, but what he said was stunning! He was being drilled by a senator; "Did you not recently spend close to $60,000 for a home security system?" Ollie replied, "Yes, I did, Sir." The senator continued, trying to get a laugh out of the audience, "Isn't that just a little excessive?" "No, sir," continued Ollie. "No? And why not?" the senator asked. "Because the lives of my family and I were threatened, sir." "Threatened? By whom?" the senator questioned. "By a terrorist, sir" Ollie answered. "Terrorist? What terrorist could possibly scare you that much?" "His name is Osama bin Laden, sir" Ollie replied. At this point the senator tried to repeat the name, but couldn't pronounce it, which most people back then probably couldn't. A couple of people laughed at the attempt. Then the senator continued. Why are you
so afraid of this man?" the senator asked. "Because, sir, he is the most evil person alive that I know of", Ollie answered. "And what do you recommend we do about him?" asked the senator. "Well, sir, if it was up to me, I would recommend that an assassin team be formed to eliminate him and his men from the face of the earth." The senator disagreed with this approach, and that was all that was shown of the clip. By the way, that senator was Al Gore! Also: Terrorist pilot Mohammad Atta blew up a bus in Israel in 1986. The Israelis captured, tried and imprisoned him. As
part of the Oslo agreement with the Palestinians in 1993, Israel had to agree to
release so-called "political prisoners." However, the Israelis would not release
any with blood on their hands, The American President at the time, Bill Clinton,
and his Secretary of State, Warren Christopher, "insisted" that all prisoners be released.
Thus Mohammad Atta was freed and eventually thanked the US by flying an airplane into Tower One of the World Trade Center. This was reported by many of the American TV networks at the time that the terrorists were first identified. It was censored in the US from all later reports. If you agree that the American public should be made aware of this fact, pass this on.

I responded with:

With this the case, the negligence of the Bush Administration just gets worse.

July 2001 PDB: Osama Bin Laden determined to attack the United States"... Bush knew and did nothing...infact he went on a month long vacation in August.

Iraq War: "This will cost $1.7 billion and no more" "They have nuclear capacity." "They will greet us as liberators." "Mission Accomplished" (3 years later: $250
billion -with $65 billion more on the table right now, No WMD, a full out insurgency, 2700 soldiers dead and 10,000+ wounded - not to mention Iraqi civilians, US torture and our civil liberties in a shambles, and now a bloody and vicious civil war with no solution or end in sight) .

Hurricane Katrina: With ample warning of a disaster of horrifying and devastaing
proportions (see the tape released yesterday), Bush went on vacation to the ranch and nothing happened for 4 days while Americans suffered and died in the streets. The White House staff had to draw straws to decide who would have the unpleasent duty of going to the Crawford Ranch to tell Bush how bad it was 3 days later...and still the disaster goes on without resolution.

I could come up with 10 more examples of negligent incompetence by this President. His disasterous Presidency has kept us neither safe or free and the fact that people still support this insanity is beyond my comprehension. The most glaring would be the $1 trillion in debt he has amassed for my children to pay off.

You said before the second election that you were voting for him to protect my children. Well thanks, their future is now weighed down with a personal debt to each of them to start their lives at their tender ages of somewhere in the neighborhood of $250,000 each... How much were your school loans that put you through college? Maybe $25,000 on the outside? My children will amass debt upwards of $100,000 (if there's even a school loan program for them) for the same education and their tax burden will be a lifetime of debt that will never give them the opportunities that our generation had...it's disgusting.

WAKE UP!!!! A $24 tax cut (my share this year) was NOT and never will be worth the devastaion caused by George W Bush. xoxo Renee
It was cc'd & bcc'd back to several people and here is are their responses (the only ones I received):

Amen to that Renee. I wish the best for your children and hope they get to go to school. My son happens to be a young 22 year old Marine. He signed up before we got in the mess we are in. (He would have gone in anyway) BUT... we had hoped he would do his 5 years and come out, get a good paying job, under this administration that won't happen. Now a job doesn't seem as important as his safety and the safety of all of the Military. I pray that this President will keep his nose out of Iran. We as a country cannot afford the war we have started much less initiate another one! I support your views and cannot understand how anyone can think this President is doing a good job. We can't take care of our own why would we worry about others?
Best of luck to you and your family,

And another response went...

Renee I think you said it all in a nutshell. While I may agree that "the writing was on the wall" as Bob's 1st email clearly shows and that there is probably alot of ignornance across partisan lines....aka....blame could be laid just about anywhere for the current mess we are in right now.....as Renee said, Bush has done nothing to stem the tide so to speak and stop this mess from escalating. And now things are getting worse day by day. The world is breeding so much anger, terror and war and just by reading any of the headlines today alone....you can tell that what we are dealing with now has so many far reaching ramifications that it will be all but impossible to stop things from spiraling forward at this point. It is if someone (alot of someones probably) put some great force into motion and it is now impossible to stop....sort of like a big bad storm that will not end until it plows away everything in its path.

Our current administration is part of this but I think the storm started way before him. He was just more fuel that keeps that fire burning. Sorry for all the analogies.....
PS: %$# I hope your son and all the others over there make it back and that there are jobs and everything for them...I pray for them everyday
PS: Renee I hope there is a chance at affordable education for your children and that their "legacy" will not be a Former Shell of Earth"...
PS: &*& I know you have a good heart and feel that this administration is doing a good job for us and I do agree with you that there are many things that this administration has done right, but there are also alot of screw ups (on all sides for that matter). I do remember hearing about Ollies testimony and about what Clinton did to free that man who "supposedly ended up being a big part of what we now are dealing with". Good facts to look at. But I think there is much more below the surface that we as ordinary citizens were and are not made aware of in relation to all of those happenings. I just hope we can exit ourselves out of some of this mess that we are all unfort. in right now. Or we wont even have to bother with "God Bless Us"...it will be more like "God Help Us". Warm Regards, ^&*^*

The original email sender then responded:

Some Presidents have a larger burden to bear. The worst natural disaster and terrorist attack in US history. President Bush isn’t responsible for these things. Are there things that could have been done different? Yes. History will tell. History isn’t written in the moment. It’s written after the dust settles. I will say this; he will either go down as incompetent, or as one of the greatest Presidents, who helped change the world to a free and safer place. I’m hoping for the later, you’re praying for anything that will make the President of the United States of America look bad.
I can be a bit pig headed, when my dander gets riled and a bit wordy...

You SO misunderstand me! I want nothing but the best for my country regardless of who's President! I was quick to criticize Clinton when he ignored Rwaanda and when he signed NAFTA and DOMA. I don't fall as far along party lines as you seem to think!
My loyalty is and always will be with the people of this country, what's best for each person to make us stronger as a whole, and most importantly for my Constitution. Without that, we have nothing else we enjoy.
All President's have their disasters: Roosevelt had WWI, Roosevelt had WWII, Hoover had the Depression, Eisenhower had the Cold War and nuclear's infancy, Kennedy had the Cubans and Communism, Johnson had Vietnam and the Civil Rights Movement, Nixon had Vietnam and Watergate, Carter had gas-inflation and the Hostage crisis, Reagan had fiscal hell, and an assassination attempt and the Soviet-Afghan War, Bush I had Iran-Contra and the rise of Middle East terrorism, and Clinton had Rwaanda (800,000 people slaughtered on his watch), Monica, the first World Trade Center Bombing, Waco, and Bosnia. It's not the disaster that defines a Presidency, it's the way it's managed and/or mismanaged. It's the leadership shown after the bull horn has been laid to the side that makes a difference. Some are better than others. Some like Clinton made some big mistakes, but the difference between Clinton and Bush is that Bush refuses to learn from them. In fact he reminds me of a child who stubbornly looks at an adult and says "Cause I say so." Can you really say that the country is in a better place than when Bush took office? You call yourself a fiscal conservative. If you truly thought about it (as so many have done-see Bill Buckley's article called "It Didn't Work"), you should be
absolutely livid at this Presidency. It has no fiscal vision, it has no conservative vision (unless you count theocracy) and they have STOLEN FROM YOU: stolen your tax dollars to give to corporations to spend somewhere else in the world, stolen your tax dollars to line their own and their limited circle of friend's pockets, stolen from my children's educational opportunity, stolen from Katrina victims, stolen the lives and souls of our bravest (the soldiers who signed up for an military that once promised to only send them when necessary and has now taught them to torture). I bet you've never been to a VA hospital. I have. I bet you've never been to the cemetary off of 94W. I have. Try it one of these days, I go frequently and you will think about Murtha a little differently when you walk in his shoes...
Patriotism is never blind. In fact blind patriotism is the definition of fascism!
Three years ago when I told you this was a bad war, you ignored me and said I didn't love my country. Two years ago when I said it wasn't over yet, but was going to
get worse, you said they know what they are doing. Last year when I said, they are lying to you, you called me a conspiracy theorist. Now I tell you that it's not going to get better and you tell me I WANT it to go bad? &*&, there is no shame in admitting that you were snowed by these fouckers. 70% of the country was snowed right along with you. The question is when are you going to get angry about it and stop letting them make a fool not only of you, but of your party? I don't believe most
Republicans even know what to say about this Administration anymore. I respect
you for standing by the principles you looked for in your conservative thinking.
I have no problem with that loyalty to the theory. I have a difference of
opinion in how I look to solve the same problems you want to solve, but that
difference of opinion on philosophy is no where to be found in this discussion.
A fiscally responsible liberal and a fiscally responsible conservative ought to be able to find some common ground. A $1 trillion deficit is a good place to start... xoxo R

The final email in the chain was from my Conservative, brilliant and not quite so wordy friend who started all of this earlier today.

I’ll be honest, I haven’t been very happy with this administration. They have made mistake after mistake. Unless he did something drastic in the next few years I probably would not vote for him again, given the opportunity. I do know he has been given a task that takes resolve, someone that can rise above public opinion. Can you imagine if Roosevelt had the same political environment as Bush does today? We would never have entered WWII. My hope is that he is the right man for the time. The Iraq war isn’t going as planned. Having said that; I will say I don’t believe in Isolationism. I believe we have to take the fight to the terrorist; we can not sit back and hope it goes away. Unfortunately that comes at a cost. I’m sorry I questioned your Patriotism, I know you wish the best for the country. &*&

I haven't responded yet, but I want to do so here, because I think I learned an enormous amount today and I think we can all on both sides of the aisle learn something from the preceeding conversations. Mainly that, we all Conservative and Liberal have American Values. Politicians can all occasionally turn their backs on or ignore their core principles. This is why Democracy is so critical! We must always be vigilant and willing to criticize even when our own leaders whom we respected and put in power cross the line. The highest form of Patriotism is to love your country above the people running it at any given time.

Thanks dear for pushing my buttons today! You always stretch me to places I don't think to go and I think I'm always better for it. xoxo R


Jay Bullock said...

While the dialog you had was great, it is important, in the interest of accuracy, to note that the original email was false. See, for example, Snopes and TalkLeft.

Snopes is the first stop I make after I get any email like this. I don't know how you'd feel about it, but the cc and bcc group may appreciate the links knowing the story is a hoax.

Crawford's Take said...

Thanks Jay for doing that clarification. I falsely assumed that most people know these are hoax emails and I appreciate you making sure that was made really clear.