America: A Culture Of Bullies & Violence?


America loves a bully. Despite the word’s definition: A person who uses strength or power to harm or intimidate those who are weaker. We, as Americans, celebrate the bully at every turn, while accusing those who use brains over brawn as being weak. Take our current president, for example. Here is a man who is consistently painted as being weak by his critics, both Republicans and Democrats alike. America’s love of the bully is what, for so long, made Russia such a formidable opponent. They were bullies and they were threatening our global bully position. Yes, we often claim to be the saviors of other “weaker” nations, but when given an opportunity to move a couple of notches up the evolutionary ladder, we almost always resort to our most basic, animalistic tendencies. That being said, we often do manage to grow eventually, but not before enacting irreversible brutality on both ourselves and those around us.

Barack Obama is fully capable of devouring his enemies and critics. But he does so with a knife and fork and a bib tucked neatly into his shirt. His recent live Q&A at a House Republican retreat in Baltimore proved that to be the case. Despite the ongoing insistence by the radical right that Obama is nothing without his teleprompter (that he’s all smoke and mirrors and his “illusion” of intelligence and knowledge has more to do with his well-rehearsed oratory skills), Obama cleaned the floor with these fools on live national television while suggesting “a tone of civility instead of slash and burn will be helpful.” And no teleprompter! His victory here was so complete that, according to MSNBC’s Luke Russert, one Republican official and other GOP aides confided that allowing the “cameras to roll like that” was a “mistake.” Even Fox News cut away from the live proceeding 20 minutes before it ended! And Ezra Klein of the Washington Post called it “the most compelling political television I’ve seen…maybe ever.” But in perfect pathological fashion, folks like Florida Republican Marco Rubio continue to insist that Obama is helpless without his teleprompter. It should be noted that Rubio made that claim again the other day while standing before a set of teleprompters and flipping through pages of notes on the podium before him.

So what exactly is this pathological rewriting of reality? I had a handful of very disturbing interactions with a Libertarian acquaintance of mine recently and felt I got a series of first-hand examples of this kind of mindset. The same mindset that allowed Fox News to cut away from Obama in Baltimore and replace him with talking heads who immediately started rewriting history even as it was happening! And what was most terrifying about my exchange with this Libertarian fellow who sees himself as “an extremely socially, ultra-liberal independent voter” was the complete and utter lack of self-awareness that accompanied it. This fellow would make accusations against Obama and other politicians, basically regurgitating “facts” which he’d heard or read elsewhere and, when confronted with proof to the contrary, would either A) delete his previous comments (when interacting online) or claim never to have said any such thing; or B) refuse to respond to any rebuttal by changing the subject entirely or simply calling his debate opponent crazy. All the while NEVER backing up any of his statements or admitting when he’d been proven wrong. Even when confronted with deleted comments he claimed never to have made (they were, unbeknownst to him, saved on our email accounts), he would then backpedal by saying “Well, that’s not what I meant to say.” But when asked what it was he had meant to say, he would again resort to name-calling, but never actually answer the question at hand. It seemed, time and again, truth and reality were of no interest to him. There was a complete and total pathology at work that would allow him to create new realities in any given moment to suit his desires. With this tact, logic and reason had no effect and were therefore of no importance. And while, in certain situations, an interaction like this might serve as a source of mild amusement or come across as innocently baffling, here, in the political arena, it was downright terrifying. And I took it to be a signifier of a mindset all too common by some of today’s most vocal political protesters.

Meanwhile, political henchmen and possible presidential candidates like Dick Cheney and Sarah Palin stir the pot by publicly proclaiming Obama weak for apologizing internationally for America’s past transgressions (mostly committed while Cheney was Vice President). As if admitting you were wrong or apologizing for mistakes was ineffectual and spineless as opposed to honorable, ethical and, that dirtiest of all words, conscientious. They also condemned the president for politely bowing before asian world-leaders (despite it being tradition and a sign of respect–much like a handshake). But to the bully, showing respect or admitting that there may be common ground is tantamount to surrendering. So while Obama continues to act like an intelligent, thoughtful, educated and civil world leader, many Americans simply can’t stomach the fact that he’s not more outwardly aggressive.

Recently, the National Review’s Daniel Pipes outlined his thoughts on how Obama (“a president whose election I opposed, whose goals I fear, and whose policies I work against”) can regain the respect of the nation and lift his sagging poll numbers in an article he called “How to Save the Obama Presidency: Bomb Iran,”:

“[Obama] needs a dramatic gesture to change the public perception of him as a light-weight, bumbling ideologue, preferably in an arena where the stakes are high, where he can take charge, and where he can trump expectations… Such an opportunity does exist: Obama can give orders for the U.S. military to destroy Iran’s nuclear-weapon capacity.”

Because, let’s face it, two wars is not enough. And they weren’t Obama’s. Obama needs his own trophy war if he wants to gain the respect of all those Americans who believe him to be a socialist wimp. And of course the simple-solutions everywoman, Sarah Palin, agreed wholeheartedly with Pipes:

“If [Obama] decided to toughen up and do all that he can to secure our nation and our allies, I think people would, perhaps, shift their thinking a little bit and decide, ‘Well, maybe he’s tougher than we think he’s—than he is today,’ and there wouldn’t be as much passion to make sure that he doesn’t serve another four years.”

And what’s saddest about all of this is that they may be correct. This would, quite likely, make a significant percentage of Americans more comfortable with Obama. Sure, it would plunge our already disastrous economy deeper into the toilet and hundreds of thousands of lives would most likely be lost in a war that would extend far beyond any comprehensible expectations (not to mention result in the further alienation of our Nato partners and other countries and citizens around the globe), but at least Obama would take his rightful place as another American bully and save face among his fellow citizens who think him a sissy boy. Or would it? We already know that, despite appalled denial, many Americans still struggle with racism and are not comfortable with a black (or even half-black) president. So what would happen if this president suddenly got tough, angry even, and became the bully we’re all so used to seeing in that highest of political offices? Well, he’d have a whole new set of problems to face that, well, a white guy might not, as Eric Deggans of the St. Petersburg Times discussed back in April of 2008:

“For new school black politicians, it is an essential question: How do you recognize the righteous anger of those frustrated by racial inequality without looking like just another Angry Black Man?

Those of us who write often about black folks and politics knew there would come a moment when the first black man with a realistic shot at becoming president would have to face this challenge — reconciling black anger and frustration with white fear and resentment.”

Would Obama go from intellectually-threatening wuss to scary, angry black guy in the eyes of the fearful? I mean, in this country, as sad a commentary as it is, a white president and a black president are still not treated equally in the eyes of some of our citizens. Take that Wingnut email being forwarded that takes outrage at Obama putting his feet up on the desk in the Oval Office:

Does this photo of President Obama in the Oval Office convey anything to you about his attitude?

Would you speak with the Chief of Staff, your Chief Economics Adviser, and your Senior Adviser with your feet up on the Resolute Desk – a gift from Queen Victoria to President Rutherford B. Hayes in 1880?

We should inundate the White House with emails demanding he keep his feet off of our furniture.

This arrogant, immature & self-centered man has no sense of honor, or of simple decency.

While this posture is disrespectful in any culture, it is absolutely never done in any executive setting.

Further, in over half of the cultures of the world, it is recognized not only as disrespectful, but as an extreme insult.

He thinks of himself as a king — and not as a servant of the people, humbly occupying our White House for his term in office.

Electing him was an enormous mistake — and will cost us in many ways, for generations.

Where were all the letters of appall and outrage when our last (white) president did the very same thing?

So one wonders if it is possible for a man like Barack Obama to be the bully America loves without being stamped “another Angry Black Man.” Would he gain some level of twisted respect from the very men and women who fear him (after all, in America, fear equals power and strength, right?), or do we only like our bullies to be white?

Personally, I’m thrilled not to have another bully president even though I find myself at times wanting Obama to be a little more forceful in his political dealings. While I admire and celebrate what I hope will turn out to be a more evolved approach to politics (it’s one of the reasons I voted for him), I believe he would actually be more effective if he were a bit more ruthless. Sadly, the current climate in Washington is set up to keep Obama from achieving any successes, regardless of whether or not they are in the best interest of most Americans. So he is essentially bullied by a divided House and Senate who will try and keep his hands tied for as long as he’s willing to allow them. At the same time, I believe Obama has a bigger picture in mind and is actually putting his money (and career) where his mouth is:

“I’d rather be a really good one-term president than a mediocre two-term president… There’s a tendency in Washington to think that our job description of elected officials is to get re-elected. That’s not our job description. Our job description is to solve problems and to help people. And, you know, that’s not just the view of elected officials themselves. That’s also the filter through which the media reads things.”

So while I am frustrated and angered by the eternal roadblocks put in place by lesser men and women, I am also thrilled to see America with an intelligent, self-aware leader who recognizes the changes that need to be made if we are to grow out of our infancy. Sadly, our love affair with violence (both verbal and physical) and our passion for vengeance and our need to be “stronger” than any potential opponent regardless of ideology or purpose, gets in the way of our actually making strides in the betterment of our people, our nation, or our world. And perhaps the above-mentioned live Q&A in Baltimore is a significant step in Obama bridging the gap between substance and politics. NBC’s Chuck Todd commented on the live event:

“The president should hold Congressional ‘town halls’ more often. Public needs to see this if they’ll ever trust Washington again.”

The Huffington Post’s Sam Stein added:

“Obama assumed the role of responsible adult to the GOP children, or, at the very least, of a college professor teaching and lecturing a room full of students.”

Dee Dee Myers, Clinton’s former press secretary, backed up that statement with:

“On one level it looked brave but on another he was the substitute teacher there, lecturing the audience. A lot of us have been waiting for that moment, a little more fight, a little more politics.”

And then there’s that poor fella so outraged by the IRS he decided that violence was the only answer to his problems and so he created his own 9/11 by crashing a plane into an Austin IRS complex. It seems in our celebration of bullies, we simultaneously send out a non-stop message that violence is a justifiable means to an end. I tried to address this concept metaphorically in my film THE PLAGUE, but the studio behind it decided that the film should actually be the polar opposite of its intent and set about systematically removing the film’s message and attempt at cultural self-reflection. Instead, they tried to turn it into a film about killer-kids; essentially, they were far more attracted to the notion of a film that celebrated its violence rather than one that made an informed commentary on it. And this is, as many of us already know, not a new development in the industry. God-forbid anything should elicit individual thought or stir conversation or promote questions. The studios would rather keep people right where they are (our base impulses sell more tickets than our intellect or common sense). Like Sarah Palin, who actually sells herself as a presidential candidate by publicizing the fact that she’s not qualified to run this country:

“I’m never going to pretend like I know more than the next person. I’m not going to pretend to be an elitist. In fact, I’m going to fight the elitist, because for too often and for too long now, I think the elitists have tried to make people like me and people in the heartland of America feel like we just don’t get it, and big government’s just going to have to take care of us… I want to speak up for the American people and say: No, we really do have some good common-sense solutions. I can be a messenger for that.”

Good common-sense solutions. Like bombing Iran. And I don’t know about anyone else, but the thought of a president who doesn’t know more than I do about running this country scares the shit out of me. But somehow this comforts many. They can relate to Palin. And she can be a bully. Unreasonable, unrealistic, ignorant, under-educated and completely incapable of admitting –or even understanding– when she’s wrong… Sounds like someone else I know. Or a vocal group of people I read about daily.

Here’s a quote I thought hit the nail on the head:

“If you were to imagine a bunch of middle-class white people who conceive of themselves as the oppressed productive backbone of the country, and who embody a strange collection of unbridled ignorance and bizarre ahistorical conspiracy theory, you’d have a pretty good handle on the teabaggers.”

Yep. That pretty much sums up Palin and her many followers and fans. That gun-toting, angry mob you see on the news pretty much every day. And like so many people in this group, they struggle, fight and vote against their own best interests. Blogger Ben Grossblatt put it quite eloquently, I thought:

“The Tea Party is a quasi-Libertarian collection of people who think Obama is a socialist, and who delude themselves into believing they’re more than just ventriloquist dummies for the Republicans. They fancy themselves populists, but they support the same economic and legislative policies that have put regular people under the heel of big business.”

Big business, in the form of corporate entities, is the friend to the “tea-bagger”, despite any claims they may make to the contrary. And why is that? Because big business are bullies. And, no matter how much we may fear them, they give us some measure of comfort in the fear they elicit. We have a certain twisted “respect” for their power over us. And to make matters worse, we secretly hope to one day become a member of those wealthier-than-god, untouchable bullies. I think Reagan’s trickle-down economics proved that to be true. A failed economic plan that put the biggest tax breaks in the hands of the wealthiest Americans and opened the door for what turned out to be the complete corporate takeover of our nation (the world?) and still has the support of some of America’s least-wealthy and most-hard-hit-by-the-recession individuals. And despite the gross reality of this backward economic plan, there’s always a chance that one of us may find ourselves a member of that elite group (you sure you don’t like elitists, Ms. Palin?) and then we can finally reap the benefits of a misguided nation which fights to eliminate its middle-class (despite true Capitalism’s dependency on it) and broaden the division between rich and poor. Because the rich have historically always bullied the poor. And, as I said before, America loves and respects a bully. Even when we’re under their heel.

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America: A Culture Of Bullies & Violence?

16 thoughts on “America: A Culture Of Bullies & Violence?

  1. Our two daughters were bullied by their High School Dance Team coach. The worst of the bullying occurred after the Principal forwarded our emails of concern onto the coach. The coach retaliated against us by bullying our daughters. Our oldest daughter was a Special Needs student and was bullied the worst.

    We took our concerns to the Superintendent and even the Town Board of Education, but we were ignored. Our complaints and concerns went unanswered until we were told the matter was a “personnel” matter and therefore could not be discussed. The bullying got worse when we hired an attorney.

    A quote from one email written by the Superintendent to the Principal states, “If we continue to refute all allegations then we will shatter the accusations that come in from those parties who are trying to make things such a big deal. Hang in there…” The efforts by the district BoE, the School and its employees involved to dismiss our claims were very strong, at times we felt powerless but it only made us stronger in other ways.

    We have presented our case to the State Board Of Education Special Education Division over nine day’s of Hearings. The facts determined by the Hearing Officer was that there were “outrageous acts of bullying” by the coach and that the Board “failed to appropriately reprimand” the coach, “and in fact, the Board acquiesced in the bullying by demoting the Student and supporting the advisor’s outrageous behavior”.

    The Hearing Officer found that my oldest daughters Civil Rights were violated under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. The school has sought to appeal this decision and we are currently awaiting trial in Federal Court. The local News channel recently covered the story and can be seen on youtube.com at, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FWvEWzzBETU

    1. halmasonberg says:

      Thanks so much for sharing this! Please let me know how things turn out. Your kids are lucky they have parents who will fight this hard for them. Don’t give up!

    1. halmasonberg says:

      Unfortunately, your link doesn’t seem to take me to any pictures of anyone or anything. You may need to repost. Nonetheless, can I assume that by “the king” you meant Obama? Curious. As for the “one” picture of Bush with his feet up on a desk, the point is that people who hate Obama –and many of them feel the way they do, let’s be realistic here, because he’s a black man in the White House (despite how often those very people will deny such a reasoning allegation)– are looking for “any” reason to hate him even more, regardless of whether or not those reasons are based in reality; they are willing to alter their perceptions (or have their perceptions altered) in order to maintain their need. In this case, their need to believe Obama is a bad man. The fact that anyone would or could get up in arms about Obama putting his feet up on a desk when Bush and others have done the same points out, quite simply and effectively, that there’s a double standard at work. So what’s the difference between Bush doing it (which raised nobody’s ire) and Obama doing it? Obama’s the first black president. The notion that he feels “superior” or that he’s disrespecting the White House and his position is ludicrous. The anger and disdain by those who felt “offended” by Obama’s actions are steeped in some very ugly sets of emotions. And I don’t really want to hear that he’s anti-religion. The man’s a catholic and has never done anything to disgrace or disrespect his religion (or any other). And I have no patience for claims that Obama is a socialist. That claim comes from people with no understanding of the term. Obama is a moderate at best. For many of us out here, he doesn’t come anywhere near being liberal. His political ideology is more in sync with the conservatives of old (and by old, I’m talking 30 years ago), than any true liberal agenda. I often find it hard to understand how those out there who consider themselves “good Christians” can become the purveyors of hate and bigotry; how they can allow their fears to overcome them to such a degree that they no longer represent the teachings of Christ, but instead stand for so much that he tried to warn us about. What I’ve seen said and done in the name of the Lord against Obama and, quite often, against the welfare of millions of Americans, is saddening beyond words. And certainly not anything I equate with the ahead-of-his-time teachings of Christ. If one cannot see –despite anything else– that Obama is a good man, regardless of whether or not you agree with his politics, then you are being led by something other than honesty or any true sense of what makes us compassionate human beings. To find a nefarious agenda or a disrespect of office in President Obama says more about the accuser than the accused. Obama is far from perfect. Believe me, I have my issues with some of his decisions and choices as President (I have with all presidents, that’s the nature of being an individual –the president doesn’t work just for me, but for all of us, therefore any president is bound to disappoint everyone on some front, on some issue), but to be blind to the fact that this guy is trying to actually help people, truly attempting to create as much equality among human beings and the citizens of this country as our Constitution suggests –be it financial or social– is to be led by a weakness, not by a strength. And while on the subject of equality and fairness, we must remember that America is a melting pot of religions and cultures, of ethnicities and backgrounds and histories. It is the very thing that makes us great, the very thing that binds us and makes us strong. When we find fault in that or attempt to suggest that one person’s belief should be all people’s belief, then we are trudging through dark and murky waters. For example, the Christian definition of marriage is not ALL people’s definition of marriage. It is not a given, it should not be law. There are multiple and personal definitions of that word (like so many things). I was personally raised to understand marriage as being the consummation of love between two human beings. It had nothing to do with sexual orientation. It was, at its core, about two people loving each other. So those that claim marriage is, by definition, between a man and woman, do not realize that that is “their” definition, not “the” definition. There is no “one” true definition. There is only belief, how we were raised, the culture and religion we were brought up in. But we must find a tolerance and understanding for “all” people’s beliefs. Especially those that concern love and equality, two topics near and dear to Christ’s own heart. To assume that all people should subscribe to one group’s definition is horrifying to me. Particularly when they want to make it the law of the land. Beware of such actions. That could come back and bite you when you find yourself on the other end of that legal scenario. There’s enough room in this country for all belief systems and we should be teaching tolerance, not intransigence or intolerance. I think Jesus would agree. Any actions that stem from or instigate hate are a danger to us all, whether Christian or atheist. Open yourself up to those who are not just like you. They can still be good people, who want the best for themselves and others.

  2. That’s strange because I just clicked on the link I provided and it took me to a whole set of images! Maybe you should figure out how a scroll wheel is for.

    I get so sick of the whole racist card!! Give it a rest!! Maybe some of us just love our country and hate to see what Obama is doing to it. If you’ve forgotten, he IS half white!

    I referred to him as “King Obama” because that’s the way he acts! He takes it upon himself to override what Congress has already voted on twice and said no to (The Dream Act) and does whatever the heck he wants! He and his family go on vacation after vacation after vacation on the taxpayers’ dollars when most of the taxpayers can’t even afford one vacation a year!

    He IS a socialist and I DO know what the word means!

    1. halmasonberg says:

      I’d just like to point out that you come across as an extremely angry person. Your nasty comments about your link are exactly what I was talking about above. I’m afraid there is no “scroll wheel.” All I get, whether I click the link or cut and past the address you provided, is a page that states, “Sorry, we were unable to find the document at the original source.” The fact that you go directly to assuming I’m an idiot and turn that into a personal attack is very telling. Again, it is the perfect illustration of everything I commented on above.

      And to say you know what the word socialist means and to, in the same breath, apply it to Obama simply makes no sense. There is no real-world correlation between the two. Regardless of whether or not one likes Obama or agrees with his politics, he is simply not a socialist. This is not a matter of opinion, mind you, this is fact. He is not a socialist nor does he represent a socialist agenda. In fact, if he did, I might be happier with him! So you already diminish the strength of your arguments by showing right off the bat that you are not speaking from a place of knowledge. Your comments about his vacations are ludicrous and out of left field. Again, not based in any reality and you’ve certainly not done your homework on vacations taken by past presidents, their frequencies and timings, and compared them to Obama.

      As for the race card, I find too often that it is precisely those whose comments suggest that racism may play a role in their attitudes and reactions who are the first to bemoan and take offense to the notion of race even being mentioned. All I can comment on is how it appears. It is clearly not knowledge that drives you, so that leaves me to speculate, naturally, what else may be at the root of your statements.

      And to use the excuse of loving your country as the reason you don’t like what Obama is doing to it is to blind yourself to the fact that those of us fighting against the election of people like Romney and Ryan have that same love of country. And this notion you have that Obama is enacting some extreme, anti-American agenda is, again, not based in reality or research or education. It seems more a fabrication of need and desire and suggests that you are extremely gullible and easily led to passionately oppose things that have no factual basis. The result appears to be that you don’t have the knowledge to back up any of your statements. I wish it were otherwise because I would genuinely like to have an intelligent, informed conversation with someone who holds opposing views from my own. I long for that. But from you I seem to get the same tired statements for which there is no basis and are, quite simply, not informed by anything real. You don’t have to see the world as I see it, but at least be properly informed. That would allow me to, at least, hear what you have to say. Unfortunately, it appears –so far as your comments here are concerned– that you don’t really have much to say at all. There is nothing to hold on to except a whole lot of anger. And while I find that somewhat disturbing, I can’t take it seriously as any form of political discourse.

      1. Your words are awesome and wise. I come in contact with that type of thinking on and offline. What you have taken the time to eloquently explain, I silently mime a comedic jesture with each encounter. This type of thinking is redundant in the bully and the troll.

        There are just too many who reason like that. Have you read random multimedia comments online? The lowest esteem reveals true character under anonymous facade. Thanks for your insight and it is good to know that there is someone online that thinks like you.

  3. Monica suffers from selective reality. She chooses to only see Obama as the “king” who takes vacations and obstructs congress? When in reality, W took more vacations than any other president in history. Not to mention he took a surplus and created our biggest deficit – Monica has nothing to say about any of this, of course. Obama has been playing catch up ever since he took office – the congress, who she claims has voted against the dream act twice has also obstructed every single thing Obama has tried to do to improve our situation – you see, even if you don’t agree with his policies, if you don’t let the man try, how can you accuse him of not doing anything? It also works out better for the right if Obama fails (the congress did say that their goal was to make him a one term president) because then they don’t have to keep their heads in shame over Bush – they can blame it all on the black guy – here is a list of things Obama has tried to pass in his first term that has been obstructed by your right-wing buddies in congress

    You claim he is vacationing the whole time? What else should he be doing with a congress like this?
    Also, Obama is a Socialist? Do you even know what a socialist is or are you just spewing more right-wing talking points? If Obama is a socialist, how come “small” businesses are making record profits in his first term – not very socialist if you ask me.
    I think you need to open your eyes Monica and see that you are being played by people who would buy and sell your grandmother if they thought it would benefit them – that’s not capitalism, that’s just capitalism on steroids – bad steroids – the kind that make your arms huge, but your the rest of your body suffers. What benefits do you think the country will see under Romney? You think anyone but the 1% is going to benefit – what great ideas has he spouted that makes you think he will turn this country around? I’d love to know.
    Oh and we think the right is racist because they are constantly trying to paint Obama as an outlier, someone who is “foreign” – Never, in a presidential race has this tactic been used – I wonder why… hmmm, let’s think about this – could it be because he looks different than white people?
    Not to mention, you want one of the richest people in the world, who keeps his money in offshore accounts, to be president, and anyone who disagrees must be “foreign-loving, socialists” who want to bring down this country? Why would anybody want that? We’re all Americans – even you – even Romney – and I can admit that – can you?

  4. I’m done wasting my breath on a bunch of koolaide drinking idiots….And just so you know, Gavin, I believe it was the Republicans that were against slavery and fought to abolish it. Or did you forget that Lincoln was a Republican?!? Maybe you should go back and check your history.

    Bush did not take more vacations than Obama, and even if he did, he went to his own home, and worked from there. He wasn’t off on $5 million dollar vacations, taking all his children’s’ friends on swanky vacations.

    For two years, Obama had a Democratic controlled Congress, and what did he do? Pushed through the biggest tax increase in our history! Other than that, he did squat!

    Yes, I’m angry…I’m angry that morons like all of you will once again vote for another moron like Obama. You take my word for it…if Obama gets elected again, you can kiss this country and all that makes it great, goodbye!

    1. halmasonberg says:

      Oh, Monica, every time you show up here, you offer us a prime example of how people can talk as if they know something without knowing anything at all. You had a lot of time to do your homework and you chose not to. Yes, Lincoln was a Republican. But what you failed to realize was that, back in his day, Republicans were the liberal party. That changed with Roosevelt. After the Great Depression.

      Lincoln was a liberal. His party was considered “Liberal.” The conservative South opposed Lincoln. The Democratic and Republican Parties of today are a relatively new breed. They literally switched and we ended up with what was known as “Roosevelt Democrats” i.e “liberal” Democrats.

      And if you want to talk slavery, you seem to be completely oblivious to the fact that it was the conservative Party, led by South Carolina, that refused to sign the Declaration of Independence if slavery were abolished. As a result, Jefferson amended the Constitution before signing and slavey continued until the Civil War (and yes, the “liberal” President Lincoln) fought to finally end it.

      Judging from your previous comments, I’m guessing you’ll deny historical fact and continue to create a reality where you are right no matter what. But I hope not. Though you come across as extremely angry and defensive, I can only hope that some small part of this resonates and that you do a little research and learn the truth about this country’s history.

      But your conviction that Obama is leading the country into the shitter suggests, as mentioned before, that there’s something far deeper at work here. You’re simply not coming from a place of truth or knowledge but from some “other” place. You may be able to shed some of that rage if you take the time to understand what’s actually going on and make your decisions based on that. Like it or not, Obama is simply not an extreme president. But the Republican Party has shifted FAR to the right of center. This is fact, not opinion. And the direction Romney and Ryan are talking about taking the country in are extreme by any American historical standard. Again, reality, not conjecture. Read your history books, look online, do whatever it takes. I don’t care who you vote for, but please do it from a place of knowledge.

      1. Let’s just talk in 4 years if Obama gets re-elected and then you can apologize for voting to send our country down the “shitter”….

        And I never said I was a huge Romney fan…he’s just a helluva a lot better candidate than Obama!

      2. Just one more thing….apparently you do have a great amount of time on your hands( I don’t—I work 3 jobs)… Let me guess?!?! Unemployed and living the high life on the government’s dime?!? No wonder you want to keep Obama in the Oval Office….

        And shall I read the water-downed, liberalized history books that are out there now ? Or should I ready “real” history books?!?! I kind of think the “real” history books are probably more factual, so I’ll stick with those!

        I will vote for Romney, and I’ll do it from a place of knowledge. I’ll vote for someone that loves our country, not someone that hates America and wants to take us into a socialist country. I’ll vote for someone that places his hand over his heart when “pledging allegiance” to the flag, and I’ll vote for someone whose wife has always been proud of America. And I’ll vote for someone that isn’t Obama….because, quite frankly, my 7 year old nephew could lead better than Obama.

      3. halmasonberg says:

        “At the policy level, this is the GOP that denies climate change, that rejects Keynesian economics, and that identifies voter fraud where there is none. At the loony-tunes level, this is the GOP that has given us the birthers, websites purporting that Obama was lying about Osama bin Laden’s death, and not one but two (failed) senatorial candidates who redefined rape in defiance of medical science and simple common sense. It’s the GOP that demands the rewriting of history (and history textbooks), still denying that Barry Goldwater’s opposition to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Richard Nixon’s “southern strategy” transformed the party of Lincoln into a haven for racists. Such is the conservative version of history that when the website Right Wing News surveyed 43 popular conservative bloggers to determine the “worst figures in American history” two years ago, Jimmy Carter, Obama, and FDR led the tally, all well ahead of Benedict Arnold, Timothy McVeigh, and John Wilkes Booth.” –Frank Rich http://nymag.com/news/frank-rich/gop-denial-2012-11/

  5. halmasonberg says:

    Wow, Monica, you are so hateful and judgmental. I hope your 7 year old nephew finds his or her way out of THAT minefield.

    And sorry, not unemployed. Nor living off the government’s dime. But the fact that you’d accuse me of such AND do so in such a nasty way is horrendously revealing. I’m sure all the people struggling through this long, difficult and supremely challenging recession (that I’ll just mention Obama kept from becoming a full-on depression) find your compassion and understanding heartwarming.

    I have to thank you, though. While I know you don’t represent most people, you do represent a portion. Those who are willing to recreate reality to fill their needs. You’re now accusing history books of having a malicious liberal agenda. You’re an extremist, Monica. You probably don’t realize it and, based on your responses here will never even try, but you are obviously a bit conspiracy-obsessed. And the result is your actions will most probably directly hurt people. But you will most likely manifest some conspiracy-oriented story as to why you were justified in your actions.

    As for time, it doesn’t take much to respond to you. Especially since your comments are usually weeks apart. Also, I find it somewhat therapeutic. Even though you come across as a very mean-spirited and arrogant person (sorry, I only know you from your comments), it is not every day I get to engage with someone like you so I do find it rather fascinating.

    The unfortunate part of this is that, while I’ve done my best to engage with you from an honest place, you don’t seem to have any interest in anything but hate and vitriol.

    And that is certainly distressing if only because I know there are others out there like you spreading hate and fear with no real clue as to why they are doing it.

    But I’ll let that be its own judgment and make its own case.

    In the meantime, I wish you well.

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