Here we go again – partisan bickering. This appears to be a perpetual situation; either we have the Democrats criticizing the Republicans or visa versa. In 2002 Trent Lott, the incoming Republican Senate Majority Leader, made the following unfortunate comment at the retiring Strom Thurmond’s 100th birthday party:
"I want to say this about my state: When Strom Thurmond ran for president, we voted for him. We're proud of it. And if the rest of the country had followed our lead, we wouldn't have had all these problems over all these years, either."
Unfortunately, Lott’s statement was broadcast live on C-SPAN. Just what the faux opposition needed! The rest of the media jumped onboard and the battle raged. Playing one party against the other gives meaning and purpose to the anchors and the right wing pundits. And it provides more money to their big business conglomerate owners.
In the 1948 Presidential race South Carolina Governor Strom Thurmond ran on a third party ticket – the Dixiecrat Party. He carried the states of Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and South Carolina against Democrat Harry Truman and Republican Thomas Dewey.
During his pre civil rights campaign Thurmond said: "All the laws of Washington and all the bayonets of the Army cannot force the Negro into our homes, our schools, our churches." The Dixiecrat platform embraced segregation. Okay – that was in 1948. There was a different mentality in the south – a very unfortunate mentality. Hopefully, that is an attitude of the past. Thereafter, Thurmond became a Republican, left his segregationist position and went on to serve longer than anyone else in the senate.
Lott issued a written statement indicating that he was not endorsing Thurmond’s questionable, unconscionable early politics but was merely recognizing the many contributions of the long-term Senator.
No matter, the Democrats decided to make an issue of it and display anger. The media thrived on it. And Jesse Jackson, never missing any opportunity to accuse someone of being a racist, made the most of the situation by demanding that Lott resign as Senate Majority Leader. One has to wonder how Jackson could point a finger at anyone, given his own dirty laundry. And Al Gore, the former VP, in an interview with CNN, said that it was definitely racist and that he should be censured by the Senate. Who would prefer being a former "anything" when he could take a position that placed him before a microphone?
Enter Democrat Richard Durbin, another politician who opened his proverbial big mouth before he engaged his brain. Richard Durbin made the following statement with reference to the prisoners at Guantanomo Bay on 14 June 2005 after reading an email from an FBI agent:
"If I read this to you and did not tell you that it was an FBI agent describing what Americans had done to prisoners in their control, you would most certainly believe this must have been done by Nazis, Soviets in their gulags, or some mad regime – Pol Pot or others – that had no concern for human beings. Sadly, that is not the case. This is the action of Americans in the treatment of their prisoners."
It is a fact, according to a report by the International Red Cross that "the prisoners at Guantanomo Bay are well fed. They have access to shower and toilet facilities. Muslims have the opportunity to pray five times a day and are ministered to by two Muslim Chaplains. They may freely converse with one another and each has access to a copy of the Koran. They sleep on 4-to-5 inch-thick mattresses with sheets and blankets. The mattresses are on the floor, as is Afghan custom.
If we wish to make real comparisons to what the Nazis and other tyrants did – why don’t we evaluate what the Patriot Act and the Real ID Act has done and will do to the citizens of this country? Now, that is significant and worthy of real media attention but we hear nothing about it. While thousands of illegal aliens cross the southern borders daily little old ladies are unduly detained at airports. With Real ID there will come the time when we will have to respond to the command "Your papers, please!"
If the politicians would stop craving the microphone and making ridiculous public statements, they would not have to make all of these obligatory apologies. Durbin’s incendiary comments were far worse than Lott’s. Yet, it cost Lott his position as Senate Majority Leader. What will it cost Durbin? When will that ax fall? Or will future campaign promises give voters amnesia?
The greatest mass media objection to Durbin’s comments is that they might prompt retaliation against our military. Apparently his insensitive remarks may put some of our troops in unnecessary jeopardy which would be tragic – therefore, they reason, Durbin should be censured. If putting our military in unwarranted danger is justification for censure then the first two individuals who qualify for censure are George Walker Bush and Richard Bruce Cheney.
Thousands of members of our military have gone to Iraq to fight an undeclared war in a country that just might have had weapons of mass destruction. None were found. The altruistic spreading of democracy was a convenient and acceptable alternative afterthought for the war. How opportune to find Saddam Hussein in a hole in the ground in mid December of 2003, just months after the invasion. No doubt about it, Hussein is a tyrant. Thousands were killed under his reign of terror. Enter the media! Just play up his tyranny with live coverage - the uncovering of graves, repetitive views of torture and rape rooms and voila! - The sympathetic Americans would support the war effort. I wonder – what if the media covered a live abortion and allowed the viewers to witness the grisly, bloody dismemberment of a tiny defenseless baby. Think of the mass support for the repeal of abortion that those images would garner.
Approximately 1900 individuals have returned from the Iraqi war in caskets after giving their lives for the noble cause of "democracy", the worst form of government. Remember, we are a Republic, a government of law. We rarely see media coverage of the caskets and the sorrowful family who receive them. These patriotic individuals will be missed by their wives, husbands, children, parents and grandparents. They gave their all! Hundreds of others have lost arms, legs, eyesight, or other permanent reminders of their service. Their lives have changed forever because of their sacrifice. We don’t see a lot of media coverage of that.
With regards to the bickering, sniveling politicians - if publicity is the objective, then I suppose all of this squabbling does keep them in the news. It appears that Durbin’s apology accompanied by a quivering voice and tear filled eyes may make the whole problem disappear. But maybe it won’t. Does it matter in the long run? Was he sincere or was he just acting like a typical, passionate politician? Of course, we will have to endure the endless interpretations of the neoconservatives and their radio talk show pundits. While the constant barrage of verbiage is scattered across the radio and television waves the voters are less likely to concentrate on really significant things like voting records.
Every individual, public figure or otherwise, politician or a news anchormen, should be accountable for their actions and their words. However, the citizens are so barraged with what the elected elite say that it is difficult to determine what they actually do. The old cliché "Actions speak louder than words" is not always accurate in our orchestrated media. The media volume is sufficiently strident to conceal the combined crafty Republican and Democratic political activity.
In this ongoing soap-opera like partisan prattling, the voter must ask himself/herself – what are the Democrats and the Republicans really doing? Forget what they are saying – what political positions do their actions imply? Actions talk – words deceive. Shouldn’t our elected officials just get on with the business of representing us and upholding the Constitution?
Alabama Governor George C. Wallace, when running in the 1968 Presidential election said 'there's not a dime's worth of difference' between the two main parties on race." Although he used this statement to depict a particular position it should hold true in another more significant situation. They should both be upholding the Constitution. There should not be a dimes worth of difference in this very important objective. Both political parties should be protecting the rights of all American citizens. Yet, neither party favors the American citizen.
The liberals consistently embrace a "left-wing" ideology and the conservatives consistently consent to the implementation of the "left-wing" agenda while purporting to favor conservative values. The only difference between the two parties is their charade choice. The democrats pretend to favor the poor. They also favor women’s rights to murder their unborn. They sensitively support homosexual rights, a lifestyle beset with a short lifespan. The republicans pretend to support family values but do nothing to repeal abortion. Again, we have to have some media coverage on this – who do we call, give me a name? Which media magnate, conservative or liberal, really supports abortion repeal – anyone? Remember, it’s all about actions – forget the rhetoric!
Both parties should be reigning in the socialistic Supreme Court. The Supreme Court does not have the power to enforce their decisions. Yet they consistently create law by their misinterpretations and corruptions of the Constitution. They often refer to foreign law policy rather than the Constitution for their decisions. Where are the checks and balances created by our founding fathers? Where are the Administration and the Congress who should be barricading these freedom stealing decisions? The latest constitutional desecration, while this Durbin fiasco occupied our attention, was the decision against seven small property owners in New London, Connecticut. This opinion, on 23 June 2005, was written by John Paul Stevens who was joined by David H. Souter, Ruth Bader Ginsburg (CFR) Stephen G. Breyer (CFR) and Anthony Kennedy, appointed by Reagan.
Three of the five are republican, the party of family values. The other two are democrat – the party of the poor or common man. This judicial decision favored City Hall and some very well connected land scavengers who could generate more money by building a hotel and convention center. The scavengers were favored over the small property owners. This is an affront to the most basic personal liberty. This is nothing but confiscation of private property by the government.
With all of the really important, newsworthy items that should be reported we get insignificant distracting fluff. The parties spend a lot of valuable time battling each other - fodder for the media – what a huge public distraction! That is the objective! The selective media covers whatever supports the socialist, one world republican/democratic agenda. While they play war with each other, the battle rages against our diminishing civil liberties. And ultimately the voters lose.
© Deanna Spingola 2005 - All rights reserved
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