Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Talkin' with Dad

I always respected my Dad as an educated man, but at some point, he turned into one of those cranky Republicans completely blinded by an abject hatred of the Kenyan-in-Chief. I don't know when that was (most likely, around 2008), but there it is.

He likes to forward random emails and the like, and often includes me in his mailing list, just because it tickles his sense of humor. And I tend to respond in good grace.

So the other day, when I saw an email from him entitled "usma1959-forum: Fw: Saul David Alinsky," I knew we were in for a bumpy ride. And I was right.

As far as I could tell, he just sent this to me and a bunch of his West Point buddies (that's in the title: US Military Academy forum, and his graduating class of 1959), and he started it with "Scary, isn't it?"

After that, it was standard boilerplate propaganda, only unique in that it was in green Comic Sans with red "titles" for each bullet point. But the weird part is, aside from the random formatting, it was familiar. Somebody had taken an old Obama/Alinsky email, added a line to the beginning about Hillary Clinton writing her senior thesis on Alinsky, and we were off to the races.

Now, like I said, I love my Dad, even when he's being an idiot. So I didn't hit "reply all." I replied just to him, and wrote:
You know, you could look these things up for yourself, instead of falling for any old chunk of BS that rolls down the line.

(If you really need to read it now, feel free to follow the link. But I go over the high points later, and didn't think I should repeat it more than once. Your choice.)

I figured that my reply to his email would be the end of it. And in a reasonable world, it would be. But no. (I had to get my stubborn streak somewhere, right?)
Agreed. Except that while the Alinsky connections are not only suspect, they are downright false. the eight points are a rewrite of the "Communist Rules" (See the Snopes article that you quoted. And regardless of the accuracy of the thing, we are headed down a slippery slope because all of the eight points in the original e-mail are being pushed by the Obongo administration, and I fear for the country if we keep on.

Love you – Dad
Yes, that's right. "Obongo." As he's gotten older, he's become less and less reticent about his racism. (In his defense, he's never sent me a picture of Obama photoshopped to look like a witchdoctor - I can't guarantee that he didn't send one to other people, of course.)

I'd tried to be nice. I really had. But if he was going to push it...
Yup, Gonna have to look closer at 'em, aren't we?

First, yes, those "8 points" are a rewrite of the "Communist rules for revolution." Which are also mythical. You didn't go deep enough: those "8 points" date back to either the end of WWII or the McCarthy era, and are idiot counterfeits - propaganda from your father's era, which somebody dug up, dusted off, and recycled (apparently successfully, based on your reaction).


But, hey, let's go farther, shall we? Let's look at this dreadful list that has you so fearful for the future of America.

1) Healthcare– Control healthcare and you control the people
Well, there's an obvious flaw right there. Obama doesn't "control healthcare." The insurance companies are still at work making a profit. It's a capitalist solution to a healthcare crisis - there is no "socialized medicine." There's just suddenly some regulation on an industry that's been stealing from the American people for far too long. And they hate that.

(In your defense, there is one example of "socialized medicine" in America. It's called the Veteran's Administration - I'm sure you're familiar with them.)

2) Poverty – Increase the Poverty level as high as possible, poor people are easier to control and will not fight back if you are providing everything for them to live.
I'm sure you've heard the phrase "income inequality" - yeah, that's the thing that Obama is trying to fight, not increase. And incidentally, despite what Fox "News" want you to believe, the median household income in the United States has been increasing since midway through Obama's first term - you know, following the slide he inherited from the previous administration.


3) Debt – Increase the debt to an unsustainable level. That way you are able to increase taxes, and this will produce more poverty.
Again, you really should avoid listening to Fox "News." U.S. GDP is up. Unemployment is down to 6.7 percent in February, and despite the current sag, the stock market has has been setting new records each quarter. Oh, and those terrible tax increases? Have you noticed that they didn't happen?

4) Gun Control– Remove the ability to defend themselves from the Government. That way you are able to create a police state
Oy. OK, name a gun law that Obama has pushed through. Just one. The NRA is reduced to chanting "you know he's going to do it!" over and over. And the suckers fall for it. Gun sales are up, Dad. Sorry.

5) Welfare – Take control of every aspect of their lives (Food, Housing, and Income)
Again, oy. This is the ignorant nonsense that social conservatives and rich entitled douchebags have been peddling since time immemorial. You don't believe me? In 1912, Hilaire Belloc argued that, while capitalism was harsh, any attempts to amend its defects through could only lead to the rise of what he calls the "Servile State". According to Belloc, this servile state resembles ancient slavery, in its reliance on the government solving problems instead of the force of society taking care of issues on their own.

Sound familiar? Despite that, and despite the fact that 20 years later, the Federal government started up this dreaded "welfare state," the American people still managed to win WWII. In fact, your generation, and mine, both grew from this evil abuse of taxpayer's money, which prevents people from dying of starvation in the middle of what your boy Hannity calls "the single greatest nation that God ever gave man on this earth."

6) Education – Take control of what people read and listen to – take control of what children learn in school.
So, now you're talking about "No Child Left Behind"? Wrong president there, Pops.

Please tell me where Obama has taken control of Fox "News." And then explain why this doesn't invalidate your argument.

7) Religion – Remove the belief in the God from the Government and schools
Tell me one single thing that Obama has done to "remove God from government and schools," that wouldn't be done under any president, because it's the way the Constitution reads. (Treaty of Tripoli, 1797 - "the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion.")

Incidentally, if you're looking for examples of how wonderful life is under a religious government, look no farther than the Taliban.

8) Class Warfare – Divide the people into the wealthy and the poor. This will cause more discontent and it will be easier to take (Tax) the wealthy with the support of the poor.
It wasn't Obama that gave all the money to the upper 1%. Again, that was Bush (look up "real estate bubble" - remember? That whole "Wall Street collapse" thing?). And the whole "class warfare" meme is getting pushed, once again, not by the White House, but by Fox News. Obama is trying to rebuild the middle class, not tear down society. It's the rich, self-important pricks with the multi-million dollar homes and and an elevator for their cars who are trying to turn it into a war.

You have really got to find a new source for your news, Dad. When you allow Rupert Murdoch to brainwash you, it doesn't lead to a good place.

Love you,
In case you're curious, those parts up above in boldface? Yeah, I just cut-and-pasted from the original. So, yes, green Comic Sans, with the first word in red. I just took pity on your eyes and didn't recreate it here.

The saddest part, though? Dad will take it in reasonably good grace. His wife, though, already doesn't like me. And this isn't going to do anything to improve that relationship.

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