A Dear John Letter

(NOTE:   John is a reader who  made a couple of comments regarding my last post and responded to a previous post as well, which has prompted me to provide a couple of suggestions to him and others who might want to comment in the future…..the comments button can be found at the bottom of each post, though it is easy to miss given all the tags and categories also there.)

President Barack Obama and Warren Buffett in t...

President Barack Obama and Warren Buffett in the Oval Office, July 14, 2010. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dear John,

After I called you “silly” for pulling  out your “wascally Republican” line for a second time in response to my last post, implying the obvious point that Democrats provide misleading information as well, you wrote again, this time much more.   In turn, I initially regretted responding to the first comment, but now see it as an opportunity to give a couple of guidelines to you or anyone else who wants to comment on my posts.

Rule #1:  Pay attention to what I have written and respond to that.  Don’t use my space as an opportunity to spout your political philosophy, as if there is something novel about it.   You dream about the good old days of a much smaller government that we will never see again.  Get together with other like minded folks and have a Tea Party.   Entertain each other, but please refrain from boring me and other readers with your simple minded fantasy.

Rule #2:   Pay enough attention to what I have written so that you can write an intelligent response.  Like much of what I have written, the previous post related to the manipulation of facts and distortion of truth in politics.  Lying and misleading have always been a part of politics, but there are various degrees of distortion and the degrees matter when judging the truth of any political statement and the sincerity of  one spokesman or another.  It is particularly important to note when one side denies the plausibility of any outside criticism of the truth of their statements, which is the same as saying one’s own propaganda is truth, which is a totalitarian trait and has no place in a democracy.   As I pointed out, a Republican spokesman did just that.

This may fall on deaf ears since your analysis lacks any such distinctions  (“So getting back to your article, I don’t worry so much about the lies. They all do it, those are to be expected.”).   As such, I don’t expect you to be interested in the nuances I illuminate.  However, it is ironic that you go on to say:   “What jolts me awake however is when a politician actually tells the truth. I think we heard a candidate do such a thing recently. He truthfully told us exactly what he believes. ‘You didn’t build that.’ Chilling.”

First of all, John, you’re still asleep.   It is not chilling if you actually read the other sentences that formed the context around that one, instead of just swallowing the Republican propaganda.   Here is the context of that “chilling” statement.  Read it and note that Obama states:  “The point is, is that when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together and support each . ”  He is not dismissing individual effort, but balancing it with the support we all need at one time or another in our lives.  “We rise or fall together as one nation and as one people, and that’s the reason I’m running for president – because I still believe in that idea.  You’re not on your own, we’re in this together.”

Now, given your predilections, even after reading the full statement, you may still think that all of what Obama said  is b. s. except for that one imagined “Freudian slip” which speaks to your prejudice that he is a not-so-secret socialist.   If that is the case there is no hope for you and you might as well just keep reading other stuff on line that supports your delusions.

Just one question before you go, though:   If Obama is a socialist at heart, why is Warren Buffett such a staunch supporter?   You know, Warren Buffett, the third richest man in the world and one thankful to capitalism and many other elements in his life that have helped him become so amazingly successful?  Shouldn’t he be the perfect Republican, toasted at the recent convention?

Here’s a clue why he is not.  Mr. Buffett, like President Obama, is thankful for what he has achieved in life and empathetic and compassionate for those who have been much less fortunate.  Only to those who glorify their own efforts and disdain those less successful can mistake empathy and compassion for socialism.  Or, more cynically, caricature President Obama as a socialist.

I know, John, you think I should lighten up.    Well, if you could write something that was either clever or funny it would help.   But, lacking an expectation of that, I will at least try to lighten up in my next post with the help of a parody that maybe both you and I can enjoy.

We’ll see.   That is if you’re still around.