Please bear with me as this post is a work in progress. Today I am attempting to let my hair down, relax on the research, and express a viewpoint. I have limited time and focus as the animals, children, and husband are circling around me. To make things even more hurried, I have a commitment to be somewhere soon. So, I am going to hurry and spit it out.
I read a good amount of material, and I read often. Unfortunately, I usually end up spending more time reading the comments following an article rather than focusing on the article itself. The reason being that I am often shocked and taken back by the amount of negative and derogatory terms used. People who write in the comments section rarely have anything substantial or intelligent to add. Usually it is a brief harangue filled with vicious attacks. I would even go so far as to say that the posts border on hatred.
Rarely is this hatred focused on one individual or idea. It is often a fountain of expletives and poorly written insults against another group. It is what I would consider political racism between republicans/conservatives and democrats/liberals. I am not implying that intelligent people capable of disagreement and literate discourse are the perpetrators here. I am simply suggesting that the many illiterate, bigoted, intolerant, and hypocritical respondents have little to offer except regurgitated epithets that are often inflammatory and unjustified. It makes me wonder how many people in America actually think and act in this way. It scares me to realize that there are people in America who think and act this way. I am not suggesting my own superiority as I do not feel that way. I do not propose that my style of expressing myself is any better than any other. Nevertheless, I do expect a certain amount of decorum from people, especially adults. And I would like to think that Americans are capable of more than overused slang and vulgarities.
I am beginning to work on a list of derogatory terms as I stumbles across them. I will continue to add to it. As I said, this entire post is a work in progress.
Derogatory terms for republicans & conservatives
Derogatory terms for democrats & liberals
Should politicians be held accountable for the things that they say? Is there a difference between a harmless gaffe, a slip of the tongue, and a true reflection of the individual's personal agenda? If so, how can the average person determine the difference?
According to George Will, "A politician's words reveal less about what he thinks about his subject than what he thinks about his audience" (1). So the question remains whether we should we judge politicians by their words, especially if we do not have a clear view or record of their actions. Nevertheless, many politicians have said things that when taken out of context could easily be misinterpreted. This is especially true for prominent individuals, and I doubt that there has been one who has not made some sort of gaffe.
The following video is a compilation of awkward moments and worth a laugh.
Sent 6pm July 26 (that is 2 in 1 day!!!)
Arrived in my inbox today
Campaign solicitation sent July 25th
Joe Biden that is...
Not to be let down, I received email #6 from Obama for America a few moments ago. This time it is a friendly invitation that promises to be a fun party in Barack's back yard...
Email #5 arrived today
. To be fair, this scheme is similar to one being run by the Romney campaign (Meet Mitt's Choice For VP
). According to the Obama email and website, you can enter to win (no donation necessary) a chance to join President Obama for his birthday celebration. If you read the fine print, you will notice that only 2 winners will receive the prize package. Romney's campaign is awarding 1 entrant a chance to meet his running mate.
I have received one email a day from the Obama campaign since I signed his birthday card (without any forewarning that I was submitting my address to a fundraising database). I have yet to receive anything from the Romney Campaign even though I did enter my email on the home page
I think I have formed a new addiction. Well, that may be a bit of an exaggeration. I guess it is more of a compulsion-" a strong, usually irresistible impulse to perform an act, especially one that is irrational or contrary to one's will" (1).
So you wonder, what act is it that I may be performing that is so irrational? Do I wash my hands 50 times a day? Do I duct tape my doors and windows to keep out germs? Do I hoard loads of 8 tracks because I will need them one day? No. The new compulsion I have developed is checking my email every day. Yes, that's right. You saw it. I AM CHECKING MY EMAIL EVERY DAY!!! As a matter of fact, I am reading it right now...
(Pause for dramatic effect).
Did I mention that I am also holding my breath?
You see, ever since I sent President Obama birthday wishes via an E-card I have felt appreciated. I never used to receive much email, and I would rarely look at it more than once a week. That all changed within less than 24 hours when the first email, addressed "Friend" and signed by none other than Barack, arrived. For the next 2 days I received emails both addressed "Friend". Not only had Barack taken the time to write me another lovely message, but now Michelle had penned one as well. Three messages in 3 days exceeded my previous expectations. Unfortunately, when I opened my email account on Friday, it was empty. On Saturday. it was empty. On Sunday, it was empty. I felt lonely again. No one to call me friend or ask for my help. I kept checking even though I knew it would be irrational to expect such important people to have the time to compose messages for me on a daily basis, especially such personal and heartfelt ones as these. Nevertheless, I felt sad and disappointed, as if something important in my life were missing. A big black hole.
Today the darkness lifted. I opened my email with half-closed eyes, expecting it would be empty but yearning for another message from the Obama campaign. I needed to feel useful, wanted, important. I needed to see that now familiar salutation, FRIEND. And guess what? It was there in all of its shining glory. The world suddenly seemed a bit brighter as the sun came out from behind the clouds; birds began to sing. It is all rainbows and unicorns and puppies now.
So let's get back to reality. I do consider this a compulsion because it is IRRATIONAL behavior. I perform the act of reading these messages even though it is CONTRARY to my will. I must admit that this email was sent yesterday, but for whatever reason it did not arrive in my inbox until today.
For your reading enjoyment, here is email #4 from Jeremy Bird, National Field Director of Obama for America.
Before I begin, I would like to pay a small tribute to one of the victims who lost her life Friday night. I think it serves to remind us that these were real people with real lives, and tragedy (and in this case irony) are not strong enough words to describe the loss of these lives. She wrote a poignant piece on her own blog about the gift of life, " After Saturday evening, I know I truly understand how blessed I am for each second I am given" (**). Rest in Peace Jessica (Redfield) Ghawy .
As is true of many Americans, the recent shooting in a Colorado movie theater has rocked my world. No, I do not have any personal connections to the city of Aurora. I did not know any of the victims or witnesses. But as a living, breathing human being, I still feel intense grief and shock. I am horrified by the details as they emerge. How can one individual so callously end the lives of 12 people and harm numerous others? How can so many innocent people attending a movie screening end up in a situation like this? What if it had been me or someone I loved?
Whenever such a thing happens, these questions come to mind, as they should. Horrible events serve to remind us that we are mortal beings, often vulnerable to tragic circumstances. There is no way to explain how or why, which creates even deeper pain and fear in many people's minds. And despite our best efforts, there is no way possible to explain away the pain and fear or understand it. It is an irrational act by an irrational individual and defies all logic. Period.
Yesterday, as I watched the news, I found myself at a loss for words. I was filled with a profound sadness and even shed some tears as I listened to witness accounts on the news. I am not a religious person. Nevertheless, my heart still filled with sympathy, and I said a few silent prayers for those who were directly affected. What else could I do?
I expect that many Americans felt the way I did. I believe that we all were doing a little soul-searching and reflecting on our own lives and loved ones. I was pleased to see that the majority of our local and national leaders made it a priority to set aside their political agendas to extend condolences and express deep sympathy to the people of Aurora. Both Obama and Romney suspended campaign efforts, set aside their negative attacks, and kept their responses short and devoid of blame or negative rhetoric. Many other officials echoed the sentiment. I read through 57 comments gathered by the Huffington Post
(4), and each expressed deep-felt sympathy. This is the way it should be in the wake of a national tragedy. It provides some measure of comfort to the American people and shows respect for those affected. Nevertheless, not all leaders followed suit. There were some who decided to take advantage of a tragedy to serve their own political agenda less than 24 hours afterwards. They could not even wait for 24 hours!!! This to me is vulgar, disrespectful, and just proves how callous and insensitive these individuals/ groups are.
A prime example of this is one politician who has proven again and again that he is a selfish, narrow-minded zealot, Michael Bloomberg. The man could not wait to espouse his view and barely acknowledged any of the victims before launching into his diatribe. He was joined by the mayor of Boston and the president of the Brady Campaign.