Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Moralitical Dilemma

My wife has been wrestling tonight with whether or not it is morally…and … American-ly… correct to oppose Mitt Romney on the grounds that he is of a religion with some pretty “unusual” beliefs and practices.

I tell her “If that doesn’t feel right to you, then don’t oppose him on those grounds. There are plenty of other
grounds on which you can oppose Mitt Romney.”

For one, he is a gazillionaire who has never in his life had to struggle for financial security. This, it would seem, would put him out of touch with about 99% of the population who have had to face financial difficulties in their lives. Further, much of that money he made, since leaving his wealthy parents’ nest, was from off-shoring and outsourcing jobs and putting Americans out of work – in the name of profit for the few at the top of those companies…and, of course, for Romney. Seems like kind of an Anti-American thing to do.

Then, there’s the concept that he refuses to release his tax returns, so that prospective voters can see for themselves how much money he actually made and how he made it, and what kind of “write offs” he used to protect it…how much of it was invested outside the United States, thereby contributing to the economy of those other countries, instead of the one he says he wants to lead.

One could conceivably oppose him on the grounds that he is the ultimate flip-flopper. He rails against so-called “Obamacare,” which was modeled after the plan he pioneered as the governor of Massachusetts. A plan, which by the way, has been enormously successful, boasting a 98% success rate in the number of Massachusetts citizens who are now insured. Contrast that to about 84% of Americans, in general.

Romney seems to embrace whichever of his successes that are beneficial to him at a given time; and then ignore them when they’re not helpful to his immediate agenda. Right now, his agenda is getting himself elected President, within a party whose platform is pretty much built on tearing down President Obama’s crowning achievement – watered down as it was by the Republican congress. He doesn’t like being reminded what a success the “trial” program for Obamacare was…when and where he was governor.

He could be opposed on his selection of a man for his VP who, if one didn’t know better, might be confused for one of his sons. Or, perhaps, a younger clone. There’s not even a veiled attempt there at diversity in any sense of the word; sort of shouting to the American voter “Here I am. Take me or leave me.”

It would be understandable if somebody opposed Romney on the basis that even his own party, who made no bones about disliking him during the primary, just felt compelled to place him as a candidate because he was “next in line” – excluding, of course, John McCain, who proved last time that senility has no respect for even those seeking the top job.

Then, of course, I tell her that she could oppose him on that feeling she has deep down in her gut that Romney will live up to his look and be simply a lackey for the other CEOs of corporations, and one more step toward the eventual oligarchy that science fiction writers have been warning us about for years. Followed by his number two, who was voted “Biggest Suckup” by his high school classmates – and not that long ago.

But, I tell her, if you can’t oppose The Mitt on any of those grounds, and feel “clean” doing it…well, then, you should vote for him.

© 2012, Rick Baber

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Hype & Circumstance

The Great Poultry Revolution.

Lawdy, lawdy! Have we got us a bunch of worked up folk around here or what? Today, as I write this, it’s
Wednesday, and there’s boatloads of folk hittin’ the couch, right about now, bellies full of yummy chicken
sammiches. May they rest in peace.

It all started when Mr. Chicken makes the announcement that he’s all against folks of the same gender being allowed to get married to each other, because that’s what it says in the Good Book, and, by golly, if it says it in the Good Book, he’s all for it. Or, uh, against it. Well, that angered some of those selfish folks who would like to live with their life partners and enjoy the same rights and privileges under the law as Mr. Chicken. And because they were angered, the folks who were of like mind with Mr. Chicken were angered too. So everybody, being on one side or another of the issue was pretty much, you know, angered.

Some mayors said if Mr. Chicken is gonna be talking like that, then they don’t really want his stores in their towns. Like they could do anything about it.

Then, our own resident preacheritician, Mr. Huckabee, comes up with this big idea that everybody who doesn’t want to have to marry somebody who uses the same restroom they use oughtta go out on Wednesday (today) and eat a chicken sammich in the name of truth, Jesus, and the American way. So, out they went, lining up in the hot sun to buy something they could get pretty much anywhere else by just driving through a short line in their air-conditioned cars. But, because dudes didn’t want to be forced to marry dudes; and dudettes didn’t…well, you know, they spent their money to help this poor fellow out, and pretty much secure themselves a place in Heaven. It was kind of rapturesque, in a way, but nobody floated up into the sky, best I could tell. Not yet, anyway. But, the way I understand it, a chicken sammich bought today was pretty much the same thing as a ticket for later on.

Now, a cynical person, such as I have been accused of being, on occasion, might start to thinkin’ about all that money that went through those registers today. A man couldn’t come up with a better publicity stunt if he tried. It’s like if the Beatles played a free concert from a New York City rooftop, or something. And an even cynical-er person might wonder if the right reverend Mr. Huckabee could be getting, say, 2 percent of the take from today’s traffic. I even asked Mr. Huckabee that question on his Facebook page, but it was only a few minutes before my comment/question was deleted – so I guess that question was not supposed to be part of the conversation.

Seems to me that Mr. Chicken oughtta have a right to believe as he sees fit, even if he does seem to be confused on which issue of the Good Book his stance comes from. And he ought not to be threatened with being run out of town by those mayors. And, by the same token, those folks who ain’t allowed to get married, it would seem, have a right to be upset about the guy’s position, and his actions regarding keeping them from getting married. People are people, after all, and there’s nothing a person enjoys more than being able to get upset about something. Following, I guess if other folk want to show their support for Mr. Chicken’s anti-support of those disenfranchised single people by all showing up in the hot sun to make him a little bit richer today, then that should be OK, too. I wonder how many of those folk are divorced from somebody who uses the other restroom.

Far as I can tell, there’s no rules in the Good Book – even that older version that most folk figure obsolete – against eating a bird as long as it’s clean. Of course, if you live where I do, you wonder how clean those birds are. But that’s all up to our individual interpretations, I guess, the same as it is on which of those older version Good Book rules folks are going to line up in the hot sun to show their support for. But, as the cynical one who likes to find the humor in every situation, I am just saddened that the fellow who started all this didn’t own a chain of BBQ pork restaurants.

Maybe he and the Huckster will buy one with today’s profits.

© 2012, Rick Baber