Mar 5, 2008

There's Something Wrong Here

A couple of housekeeping elements:
  • I forgot one major movie in my last post.  I have never seen The Passion of the Christ.  I have never had the desire.  I didn't need to see something horrific to get saved.  I don't want to watch it now.  It was a good movie with some great ramifications.  But I wasn't there.
  • I had to delete the Mike Huckabee panel, since he dropped out of the race yesterday.  I was proud to back a good man like that.  And I hope that he has a long and illustrious career.  He really showed that there are a lot of people in his party that are not happy.  I hope that didn't fall on deaf ears.
That actually leads me into my post.  I am reading a really good book right now - The Appeal by John Grisham.  It is not ruining anything to outline the plot.  A major chemical company loses a lawsuit and a huge financial award for causing illness through negligence.  They don't want to pay it, largely due to the flood that it would cause.  So they appeal the ruling, and then try to rig the outcome by backing a sympathetic judge in Supreme Court elections.

Then last night I started watching Oscar nominee Michael Clayton.  It is about a law firm that is representing a chemical company that is being sued for negligence which causes illness.  (Popular storyline I guess.)  The thing about both of the stories that bothered me is the role big business plays.  They cut corners, save dollars, hurt people, and then try to outlast the injured parties with repeated appeals.  These companies have lawyers and millions of dollars to use in the battle.  Most people don't have that to fight back.

This is hardly new territory.  Grisham himself visited here with The Rainmaker (which was made into a far inferior movie with Matt Damon and Claire Danes.)  There have been examples for years - from the S&L collapses in the 1980s to Enron and its ilk to the recent sub-prime mortgage fiasco.  Big companies run over the little people, leave a swatch of destruction, and then hurt the little people again when their scheme goes belly up.

So what really bothered me was in the Grisham book, where they were finding this new judge.  He was a devout Christian, and he was paraded in front of Pro Family Groups, Christian Groups, Prayer Groups -- along with Pro Gun Groups, Big Business Guys, Tort Reform Supporters.  And that is where it hit me.  If you are a Conservative Christian, chances are you vote Republican.  And you get tossed in with those other groups.  Basically, you have to support those other causes if you are taking a stand on "moral issues" because there is nowhere else to go.  So, because of that, it is assumed that the following are true (using the vernacular used to describe me by the "other side").
  • I am pro-gun
  • I am pro-war
  • I am pro-big business
  • I am anti-lawyer
  • I am pro-pharma
  • I am pro-insurance company
  • I am anti-gay
  • I am anti-abortion
  • I am pro-death penalty
  • I am anti-poor
  • I am anti-minority
The thing is, when I look at that list, some of those apply.  But a lot of them don't.  I am not pro-war.  I never backed it in the first place.  I just think we have to have an intelligent strategy over there (immediate and total withdrawal is not intelligent).  I hate insurance companies.  I hate pharmaceutical companies.  I hate big business.  And I'm not even a gun fan.  (Can't think of a reason why I should be a gun owner.)  I don't hate minorities or poor people.  But I do support some facets of moral issues.  So that lands me in with these groups.  It is said that politics make strange bedfellows.  But this is ridiculous.

There is not really an option, it would appear.  If you vote one way, you are accused of supporting a complete breakdown of morals in America.  If you vote the other, you are accused of supporting evil corporations and hating poor people.  Honestly, it seems like that it doesn't even make sense how the parties picked their platforms.  

I remember reading an interview with Bono from U2 in Rolling Stone a few years back.  He commented on how ironic it was that so many Christians were Republicans.  He said that many things the Democratic party stood for (helping poor, helping victims) actually were closer to what Jesus taught.  But he pointed out that Democrats rarely even went after those Christian groups because of the big issues (abortion, gay marriage).  It really makes it difficult to vote responsibly.  How can you support one person - when they stand for some things you agree with and for others you don't?  It almost comes down to which issues are the MOST important.

That is one of the reasons we backed Huckabee.  He was called a compassionate conservative - where he actually had some mercy in some of his positions.  Of course, this got him absolutely destroyed by the Republican establishment.  They called him a closet liberal and swore to never support him.  I am very frustrated right now.  I have no idea what to do with my political stance any more.  I cannot in good conscience continue to support candidates just because my party tells me to.  Look at the Republican party the last few years - all the scandals and problems.  It was just like when American backed all those dictators in the 1950s and 1960s to keep the Soviets out.  Instead, twenty and thirty years later, the US is trying to get rid of those dictators because they are killing people and blowing up OUR stuff.

The GOP did the same thing.  "At least this guy isn't liberal."  Instead, he was a total liar, fraud, skeevy pervert.  That's a LOT better.  What are we supposed to do?  Some of you reading this are getting angry - some because I am questioning the Republicans, some because I am a Republican.  Others of you are in the same boat as I am - really trying to figure it all out.  If I let the Bible be my guide as to how I vote, shouldn't I be against some of the very things my Party supports?  And shouldn't I be for some of the things that my "opposition" supports?  How do you rectify that in the voting booth?  I can't believe this is the way things are supposed to keep going.  I have a lot to think about between now and November.


Anonymous said...

Yep. A lot to think about. Hmm. Maybe we could write in a vote for Huckabee anyway.

Anonymous said...

You are not going to like the ending to the book you are reading.