Sunday, August 06, 2017

Djeat yet? No. Jew?

"Djeat yet? No. Jew?"

So yesterday a guy I'd never met, never heard of, knew nothing about, decided to try to end a Facebook argument (discussion) on politics with the following: "Fuck you Jew." He also called me a "queer faggot," (My response was to suggest, in a very subtle fashion, that might have been a tad redundant). Amazingly, later on, he apologized. I accepted it.

My point is that as much as some Americans (mostly Republicans) want to pretend that we are beyond racism and bigotry, i.e. there is no "Muslim ban", it's just for security reasons (even though the Dumpster managed to leave off the two countries that provided about 17 of the 19 9-11-01 hijackers, Saudi Arabia and UAE- coincidentally, the Trump company has major investments and co-development deals in both countries), or "we're not biased against Hispanics" but because one Hispanic guy killed one person, we need to spend billions of dollars building a wall.... anyway, I digress.

We are not beyond racism, intolerance, or bigotry. Or xenophobia. Which is why the Meet the Press "special edition" this morning on the political divide between the parties and the country missed the single biggest reasons for the differences between Republicans and Democrats. Much as the right wing likes to posture in favor of the military, the flag, the "home of the brave," they are cowards. Fearful. Seeing monsters in every shadow. Democrats are braver, less fearful. You can't whip up a Democratic rally by trying to scare the attendees by creating fictional monsters- the "they" or "them." Whether "they" are Muslims, Mexicans, gays, transgender people, immigrants (legal or not), liberals, college professors, African Americans, imaginary illegal voters with fake ID's pretending to be real voters... or whomever the whipping boy or straw man of the moment is, Democrats aren't scared. We want to make this a better world for everybody. We want environmental regulations to protect the future- earth, air, water. We want to expand the franchise, make voting easier to get more people to the polls. We're not afraid of immigrants. We're not afraid of people who speak a different language, have a different culture, a different (or no) religion.

We don't feel the need to use the powers of government to impose our religious beliefs on others. We don't need to use the powers of government to imprison and torture people who are different from us. We don't need to use the government to spy on everybody, read all of their e-mails and text messages, because somewhere, somehow, someone might be plotting to attack us. We didn't need to pretend that Iraq was an existential threat to the United States in 2003 with imaginary "weapons of mass destruction," and we don't need to gin up one of the most impoverished nations in the world- North Korea- to try to make out that they are (or will be, ever) a military threat to the United States.

We don't need to use our military to feel brave or powerful. We believe in science and are not afraid of knowledge or new inventions. That's what makes us Democrats.