Thursday, October 25, 2012

Shame on the boo birds at Clemson

Clemson University President James Barker admonished those fans in Clemson Memorial Stadium who broke out in boos when soldiers taking there enlistment oaths came to the part of the oath that they swore to follow the orders of the President of the United States.  

Barker's letter has unleashed a right wing fire storm about freedom of speech and President Obama and all sort of well, just plain ugliness.  Those who booed where not high minded folks exercising their constitutional rights to free speech, which they have, but seemed disrespectful and low class.  Shame on them for their lack of respect for those kids and for their lack of respect of our American system.  

There are several issues to consider.  First, let us consider what Clemson University was trying to do.  It was  Military Appreciation Day at the game.  Clemson rightly wanted to recognize and pay respects to those who serve, served and were about to serve in the United States armed forces. As such, respect demanded that people put aside their partisan anger and salute young folks about to take an oath to serve our country and protect our freedoms.  Disrupting the the solemn oath those young people were taking was just selfish, petty and ignorant.  

Ignorant because it fails to recognize how the United States Constitution works and who we are as a people.  Like him or not, Barack Obama is the duly elected President of the United States until January 20th, 2013. As such, he is the Commander in Chief of the military forces of the United States.  The Founding Fathers of the United States Constitution wanted an elected civilian as Commander in Chief of the military in order to prevent the military from running over the country.  It was part of the checks and balances our nation was founded upon.  

History has proven them wise.  Napoleon rose to ravage Europe.  Africa and Asia have been riddled by military takeovers.  South America is famous for Generals in funny big hats calling the shots.  Not the United States, we have our military answer to a civilian that the people elect.  Thus booing those enlisted inductees swearing to follow the orders of the President, whomever he might be, is a slap at our Founding Fathers and a slap against the Constitution that we in America cherish. 

There are some other thoughts.  Perhaps many of the boo birds are Romney supporters. That is their right.  But, if Romney is elected, they booed the office that Romney will hold for the most of the time those taking the enlistment oath serve.  Just a thought.  

Another thought was conveyed to me by an old friend who has seen far too many college football games to count.  There are people who enjoy their drink before such games, perhaps too much.  He suggested that the boo birds were just intoxicated and did not even know the seriousness of their insult.  

Perhaps they were intoxicated.  We have no way of knowing.  But, frankly, that is really no excuse for making the solemn ceremony of induction  into the United States armed forces disrupting.  
Indeed, the boo birds showed what is wrong with America today.  We abuse our freedom to express ourselves to act out in ignorance to insult.  The boo birds had a right to boo.  I have the right to say shame on them for doing so.  

Sunday, October 21, 2012

America deserves better

This election is shameful.  Not in my lifetime have I seen people, both on the right and left so readily digest bull manure and spread it about the other candidates.  I mean crazy stuff.  Like Romney is gay and Obama is a Muslim.  

Most of all, I am tired of watching folks run down the United States of America and this state to get elected or to help a pet candidate get elected.  We are a nation that has to have paid professionals manufacture fear in the political campaigns.  And, make no mistake, the cancer on American politics are those leeches of life, the campaign professionals who make big money making us afraid of one another and hate one another.  Further, they make candidates and  elected officials lazy shells of leaders who spew out talking points and glad hand at fundraisers without ever actually doing  the homework to know what they are talking about it.  The leaders can go to some think tank or consulting group funded by some nut who fell into a lot of money and not worry about having to work and really learn. 

If I sound angry or insulted, I am.  I am angry and insulted because America deserves better political discourse than this.  Paid brats whispering in the ears of leaders is not what built America.  America was built by blood, work and people eventually respecting one another's opinions on the issues of the day and the right of a free American to disagree and still be a worthy person.  

Let's talk about what America is today.  We are the innovators of technology in the world.  Some can argue that there are too many technological gizmos in American life, but we are on the cutting edge of such things.  Indeed all the folks who complain about paying this or that tax or not getting this or that from the government usually have every gizmo known to man to make their complaints on.  While we as Americans probably spend too much time pontificating on things we really do not know about or people we do not know on the internet, other people in this world live in real fear, do not have food to eat, do not have clean water, do not have a place to go the bathroom.  Their children have no schools to go to.  And, in some places, if they have daughters, those daughters are forbidden to learn simple things like how to read.  There are people who die because they can not get basic health care or who are killed for their faith. Not in America.  And, we have most of the world's wealth, despite all the whining about China on the campaign trail.  

Yet, we get worked up in such manufactured fear frenzies.  Well paid folks create movies that scare people into thinking Obama is going to be some of sort of Islamic dictator if re-elected.  Others go on about Romney making people die without healthcare.  Its all balderdash.  And, we as a people should be ashamed to get caught up in such nonsense.  

We are Americans.  We live in the most secure and wealthiest country on Earth.  We should act like we are blessed, not cursed.  Arguing our points about the legitimate issues is part of our fiber, but real Americans argue them honestly and with respect for one another as human beings and free Americans. Our political campaigns should not be as manufactured and fictitious as professional wrestling.  America is better than that and better than this election. Your neighbor can disagree with you and be a good person.  And, whomever is elected President does not affect your life nearly as much as the choices you make for yourself.  

And, one choice you should make is to decide to be a free American and live in faith instead of fear no matter who takes the oath of office at the State House or the White House come January.