I have been characteristically vocal on the Off-Topic forum of Aunt Minnie concerning the upcoming election. I have run up against a fellow nicknamed OutpatientRadRules, a fellow Jew (although nonpracticing) who is rabidly in favor of Mr. Obama becoming President of the United States. ORR’s posts took on an increasingly shrill bent:
Funny thing Dalai —you keep trying to change my vote–I already voted on October 16th—early voting…..Love it! I would appoint Palin for undersecretary of the artic…I think she can see parts of the artic from her living room window! Why is it that die hard consevatives think a vote for a democrat is somehow unpatriotic or unamerican. You sir don’t know what democracy is nor do you have any conecpt of what a governemnt is for! As for Israel…have you been there for more than a business trip? Has your family bled and died in ’48 or ’67–if not then respectfully shut the F up!…..What you know about Israel would then be in my judgement nothing worth the fuzz in between your toes. I served on a kibbutz for a full summer working alongside the Israeli Army, I served guard duty with a gun defending myself and friends so I think I have alot more personal insight to the whole mideast situation than you…I also count palestinians both in and out of Israel my close friends. So don’t give me the standard American conservative rant from soemone who sends a check to AIPAC and thinks he supports Israel any more than a fellow colleague with a differnce of opinion. I am fine with Obama and willing to see what happens . . . Israel will not sink into the sea.
In another thread, he even got rather personal, deriding me for my “paunch” as seen in the photo with Robin Williams. Sometimes, enough is enough. I posted the following response:
There are beginnings, and there are endings. This will be the last answer I post to you, Outpatient. Your responses have become increasingly erratic and angry, and even personal. I get enough chiding about my midsection from my wife, thanks. How does that contribute to our discussion to point out my excess poundage? Sadly, I think further discourse with you serves no purpose.
Here are some final musings for you….
I actually do respect you for a number of things. I am proud of you for voting. This is the number one duty of a citizen of a democracy, and yes, I do understand what that means, thank you. My request to you, and to everyone here, is to simply think long and hard before casting that vote. I will assume you did so. I respect you for identifying with the Jewish people, if not our faith. As a Jewish parent, I would be devastated if my children made your choice of one and not both, but I would continue to love them, and in the end, I would have to respect their decision. I respect your service on the Kibbutz, something many other Jewish teens have experienced. I did not have that opportunity, but I hope my children will someday. I have some friends from Syria, though none who are Palestinian. I have no relatives that I know of who fought in any of the Israeli wars. However, about half of my family left Eastern Europe in the early part of the 20th Century and came to America, and the other half perished in the terror of the Holocaust. My outlook is therefore not quite the “standard American Conservative rant”. That racial memory, if you will, probably colors my thinking more than any other factor. Clearly, otherwise-rational people can be made to do some very irrational things in the right settings, with the right prompting, and under the influence of the right demagogue.
I have a problem with hero-worship, and voting in lock-step with a particular group, and this is what troubles me most about your innumerable pro-Obama posts. Let me digress. A few years ago, I got into trouble on a website supporting the old Palm Treo 650, one of the first smart-phones. It was introduced with several serious flaws, it crashed, it didn’t do much of what it was supposed to do. It did have a much nicer screen than its predecessors, and the blind praise flooded in based on the screen, but ignoring every other problem. I played the “Emperor’s New Clothes” game, and pointed out the flaws in this device, and I was soundly trounced by those who only saw what they wanted to see. I think ultimately I was proven correct, although not all would agree. You, too, are seeing only the “pretty screen,” Mr. Obama’s fine presentation, but choose to ignore what lies beneath. The lavish praise you have heaped upon him is not deserved. Like many members of our tribe, you vote Democratic, assuming with a 50-year-old tradition that they have the best interests of Jews, and Israel, at heart, even when presented with evidence to the contrary. I truly and honestly feel that Mr. Obama is not the best choice for Israel, or for our people. At the very least, there are significant questions about his support for Israel, and for the Palestinian cause, which have not been and will not be answered. We Jews have turned a blind eye to the increasing anti-Semitism manifested by the Left, sometimes blatant, and sometimes masked as anti-Zionism, and we are doing so yet again in this race. What I asked you to do is simply weigh all the evidence, and not march blindly into the voting booth hell-bent on bringing Mr. Obama to power. I can’t, and I wouldn’t consider controlling your vote. That is yours, it is precious, and it is your right and obligation as a citizen of this nation to vote your conscience.
That’s all I have to say about that. I do wish you well in your future endeavours, ORR.
As an aside, I got an email from a non-posting AM reader:
You keep saying Obama isn’t what he says he is, and I get the feeling that you are right. Sorry to trouble you, but i’ve never missed voting in a presidential election and i am agonizing about this. Can you offer any more insight?
I responded with a fairly benign explanation of my views, as per my earlier blog post below. I told him that I assumed he was a legitimate questioner, and not someone looking for ammunition for the AM board. The reader answered:
Yes, I am very legit. Also very confused. I am spiritual in nature but not overly religious, though my beliefs are founded in the bible. I’ll stop short of saying that I believe Obama is the Anti-Christ, but the correlation is so overtly clear that it makes my skin crawl. I cannot bring myself to vote for the man. though I admit to being mezmerized when he speaks. Thank you very much, Dr. Dalai. Thank you.
Add to this the post of someone actually trying to chide me…by attributing to me a very well-written and very frightening look backward from the year 2012. This document is obviously written from a Christian perspective, and clearly beyond my meager capabilities. There is some hyperbole, but some of the scenarios ring true enough to scare me to the depths of my being:
(28) Taxes: Tax rates have gone up on personal income, dividends, capital gains, corporations, and inheritance transfers. The amount of income subject to Social Security tax has nearly doubled. The effect on the economy has been devastating. We have experienced a prolonged recession. Everybody has been hurt by this, but the poor have been hurt most of all. In dozens of cities there are just no jobs to be found. It turns out that the people President Obama called “the rich” were mostly not all that rich. They were just ordinary people who worked hard, saved, and built small businesses that provided jobs and brought economic growth. They were the people who kept inventing new and better ways to produce things and bring prices down. They were the people whose companies produced the goods and services that gave us the highest standard of living in history of world. They were the people who provided the competition that kept prices of everything so low. And the top 50% of earners were already paying 97% of income taxes collected by the U.S. government in 2006.
President Obama increased their tax burden so much that many business owners decided they didn’t want to work any harder when the government was taking so much away. “The land of the free?” Not for the most productive workers in the American economy. Just as nearly two million citizens in the decade prior to 2008 had moved out of California and New York when the Democrats had control and kept raising state taxes, many of these entrepreneurs have now moved their money, their factories, and often themselves, overseas. So many jobs have been lost that welfare rolls have swelled, and President Obama is calling for more taxes to meet the needs of those without work.
However, Obama’s tax bill still included “tax credits” for the lowest 40% of earners, who were said to “need the most help.” Since the bottom 40% were not paying any Federal income taxes in the first place, these “tax cuts” were actually a gigantic redistribution of income, a huge welfare payment, a way to “spread the wealth around,” as Obama had told “Joe the Plumber” on October 13, 2008. When critics objected that Obama’s policies were leading to inflation and unemployment, he responded that our goal should not be merely to increase America’s materialism and wealth and prosperity, but to obtain a more just distribution of wealth, even if it costs everybody a little to achieve that important goal.
(25) Israel: “The home of the brave”? In mid-2010 Iran launched a nuclear bomb which exploded in the middle of Tel Aviv, destroying much of that city. They then demanded that Israel cede huge amounts of territory to the Palestinians, and after an anguished all-night cabinet meeting, Israel’s Prime Minister agreed. Israel is now reduced to a much smaller country, hardly able to defend itself, and its future remains uncertain.
President Obama said that he abhorred what Iran had done and he hoped that the UN would unanimously condemn this crime against humanity. He also declared that the U.S. would be part of any international peacekeeping force if authorized by the UN, but the Muslim nations in the UN have so far prevented any UN action.
Many people thought he sounded so thoughtful, so reasonable. And during the campaign, after he had won the Democratic nomination, he seemed to be moving to the center in his speeches, moving away from his earlier far-left record. No one thought he would enact such a far-left, extreme liberal agenda.
But the record was all there for anyone to see. The agenda of the ACLU, the agenda of liberal activist judges in their dissenting opinions, the agenda of the homosexual activists, the agenda of the environmental activists, the agenda of the National Education Association, the agenda of the global warming activists, the agenda of the abortion rights activists, the agenda of the gun control activists, the agenda of the euthanasia supporters, the agenda of the one-world government pacifists, the agenda of far-left groups in Canada and Europe – all of these agendas were there in plain sight, and all of these groups provided huge support for Senator Obama. The liberal agenda was all there. But too many people just didn’t want to see it.
Christians didn’t take time to find out who Barack Obama was when they voted for him. Why did they risk our nation’s future on him? It was a mistake that changed the course of history.
Let’s hope this isn’t prophetic. Let’s hope we don’t have to find out.