Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Vice Presidential Debate

I was hopeful that John Edwards would articulate the philosophical differences between Democrats and Republicans more effectively than, in my opinion, he did. Cheney caricatured it well but I don't even remember Edwards's response because he didn't seem to directly address this important philosophical difference. There are critical differences of philosophy that the Democrats are not getting to that would be effective and convincing if they would go a few steps further.

Economically there are two main strains that have emerged: yes, one wants to cut taxes but is simultaneously created enormous debt, it seems. Is that any better than the critique of Democrats as tax-raising social spenders? One is concerned to de-regulate businesses, take burdens off businesses, and the other is more concerned with individuals and their suffering. Both address the needs of people but through different approaches. Yes, socially there are differences, too, and Democrats represent a strain that believes the ladder of success should not be pulled up by those making more money. This strain sees the nation and the world more as a community in need of aid while the Republican stream sees a world in need of democracy that creates opportunities for business and capitalism and our American version of freedom.

Edwards spoke repeatedly about the non-connection between Al-Qaida and Iraq. The reports have already established this and the Republicans are not pushing this point hard enough to warrant a counter attack from Democrats. So if Democrats would focus on the notion that our miscues in foreign policy have created an even less secure world today because they are engendering more hatred toward us with attitudes and actions worldwide, then I think more would sit up and take notice.

Further articulating the philosophical differences would help Democrats, since the Republicans position (at least President Bush's) is wrong for good diplomacy: the idea that anyone who is not with us is against us. Jesus said this after the Pharisees accused him of casting out demons in the name of Beelzebub (Mt 12:30), but I do not support our president saying it on a world scale. This has alienated many nations and continued the rhetoric that sounds as evil to insurrectionists as Islamic fundamentalism sounds to us. To say that people hate freedom and are simply evil and that's why they hate us, puts too many Americans completely on the wrong track of discerning foreign policy. Foreign policy even before the war in Iraq is part of why many nations do not support our actions and "hate us."


At 9:41 AM, Blogger Keith Brenton said...

RE: Matthew 12:30 ... Jesus was also inclusive on the subject of casting out demons -- when it came to others not known to the apostles who were doing it in His name. So in Mark 9:40, he told John not to forbid them: "For he that is not against us is for us."

A more inclusive posture could do wonders for our country's foreign relations right now.

Though some might want us to cast out our own demons first ....

At 9:16 AM, Blogger don said...

Greg, Keith, and everybody else, I'm going to go out on a limb here and let everybody know that I am a nutcase, but I think (even though I have blogged recently here about the need for each of us to be involved) that nothing we do in this election will matter as far as the world opinion of America is concerned. I have become convinced through readings in the last 30 years of my life that we are in the last days, and the time is short. World alignments are being put in place that have nothing to do with us as American voters, and our place in the power structure is not ascending, but headed south. This is being orchestrated (or at least allowed) by God, and was foretold in numerous prophecies that are being fulfilled before our eyes, since the rebirth of Israel in 1948. I know many (maybe even most) of the readers who see this will not agree, but I am absolutely and irreversibly convinced of it, so don't comment with the thought that I will be persuaded otherwise. (If you don't agree, I don't hate you. It's not a "salvation issue", and it's not that I don't want to hear anything else, it's just that this is a viewpoint that I have been studying and forming since about 1975, and doggone it if the things foretold haven't happened, many of them since that date!)

Anyway, my point is that we should be involved in this election for what we CAN do at home, that is, social issues through which we can be "salt and light". I don't think we will ever be in control of what the rest of the world thinks of us again, no matter who is in the catbird seat. It sounds fatalistic, but it is really an amazing and exciting time to be alive, as well as changing my whole attitude toward what is really important in my daily living.

God Bless!

At 11:55 AM, Blogger David U said...

I just wanted to "amen" Don's perspective.......that he really IS a nut!! I probably choose to see things different than both of you, in some respects. It doesn't affect my love for either of you.....nor cause me to feel sorry or angry at either of you. My relationship with both of you is more important than my view of politics.

Having said that, I don't have any problems with what President Bush said about "you are either with us or against us". The world is not the same place it was just a few years ago. I took President Bush's words as saying that the US is going to fight terrorism, and you have to decide if you are also going to fight it or not. It's not time for mincing's a time that calls for one to shoot straight. Why? Because of what is at stake. This is not a religious or spiritual discussion about fellowship. Don't mix apples and oranges. What I mean by that is don't equate what Jesus said with what President Bush said. It is not the same context......not even in the same universe. I think what Jesus said is much more important than what the President said.....duh!

Ok, that is my stump speech for today!

Isn't it a blessing to know God is in control and that this world is not my home!

God bless!


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