So, yesterday, my buddy Josh Einstein took me task over this post I wrote. Well, he didn’t actually take me to task, he just kind of fired a few shots without thinking when he commented on Facebook. Here’s what he had to say over there:
I'll take the time to post a proper response later but let me just say even from you I am shocked and offended. That you would feel it necessary to bash America, the country that shields you from the unpleasant realities going on in many parts of the world, on today of all days, really takes some balls.
And then he added this later in response to another comment:
I guess you meant "insightful" but it certainly does "incite" people like me that actually love this country even when it's run by people I vehemently disagree with.
Josh and I disagree on a lot of points. We do agree on the last statement in the last quote above. Where I think we part though, and where I think Josh misses my point is the whole right/left thing he’s so hung up on. (I’m basing that on previous discussions and comments.) I’m more left than right, no question there. But I actually don’t think those labels mean anything anymore. There just convenient ways to target someone you don’t want to debate but want to smear as being “them” instead of “us.”
You see, Josh, here’s my point. Both sides in any of the arguments, debates, quarrels, what-have-you, of the last two decades haven’t really been sides and don’t really give a damn about the issues. All they care about, holy and patriotic protestations included, is winning and hanging on to the gravy train that comes with power. Most of the issues and proposed resolutions aren’t going to really make fundamental change because our system doesn’t allow for fundamental change anymore, if it ever did. The ruling class doesn’t want change. It never has. It never will. Sure, occasionally, change comes about, but it doesn’t come from the top. Those at the top adopt the call for change, it comes from somewhere down below, and leaders adopt it because they think it will help them get or maintain power. And even when it looks like there might be a crack in the machinery where change might get a chance, it usually takes some sort of violent upheaval to make it come close to sticking. John Brown proved that point. So did Bull Conner, but in the opposite way.
The intent of my post yesterday was pretty clear. It wasn’t attacking this country. It was acknowledging what I see as the truth and being sad for the country I love. The bad guys won, and the leaders (on all sides) who we elected never had the temerity to tell us so, or do anything real to change the course. Instead they played, and continue to play the game as if we have some control over that outcome. The same thing is happening now in the health care fracas that far too many are pretending is a debate. To me that one is simple. It is a moral issue at its core and to talk about it as anything else proves the immorality of the forces that have been arrayed against it since Truman’s day. Talking about government takeovers and all of that crap means nothing in the end, other than just some blood to chum the waters with hoping to stir up the school. The only question anyone in favor of reform has to ask is a simple one. Do you want to continue to see people die, or suffer, while those who make a living in the health care industry continue to reap enormous profits, when there is a better way? Simple. And I’m not out to take profit away from anyone. But I do find it interesting that the supposed right wing that is even more supposedly filled with Christians can’t get behind that principle. The fact that Obama and his allies can’t make that argument speaks volumes. Let me rephrase. The fact that Obama’s plan isn’t to tear the system apart but to build on the parts that work, speaks volumes. Too much damn money is at stake to really turn this into the moral issue it really is. And we all know that when morals and money collide, money wins. Unless there is money to be made or an opponent to be crushed from adopting the moral argument.
So, Josh, my friend, here’s the deal. If you want to interpret my interpretation of events as being anti-love for this country go ahead. There are plenty of folks who will stick their heads in the sand and say the same thing. You can feel comfortable in those numbers. But, my friend, I think when it comes to loving and respecting something, in my book, not ignoring what you perceive as wrong or wrong headed, shows less commitment to any ideal (be it love, patriotism, whatever) that you wrap yourself in. You can be disappointed in my all you wish, that’s your right. My disappointment in you is that I know you’re smart enough not to play the label maker’s games and see through the nonsense.