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Friday, May 8, 2009

Kapact's Rant: Fear and Manipulation Part One

It's been a long time since I've written a rant, due to various and sundry RL issues. Not that there hasn't been plenty to rant about. But I also think that there are plenty of angry bloggers on both side of the great partisan schism that has really paralyzed our country. I think I've got a good voice and a fairly balanced viewpoint, but I also have to question the value of any single angry rant. So I'll talk not specifically about the wrongs perpetrated by all of our politicians (because we all know about them anyway) from a partisan standpoint, but hopefully from a non-partisan point of view. I mean, as much as I think we were safer when George W Bush left office than when he came in, there is really no question that he was ineffectual domestically. There are others more responsible for our current economic mess than he, but he played a part.

I'd actually like to talk about the role that fear plays in how politicians manipulate us. Politicians have since the dawn of time used fear to control their subjects, and our government today is no change. The extreme right makes us fear things like gay marriage and alternate lifestyles, really things that we may think is wrong, but don't in fact threaten the country. I believe myself that marriage is between a man and a woman, but I don't feel threatened by people who feel otherwise, and I don't think that the government needs to weigh in on the subject. I also don't like the idea of abortion, unless in case of rape or if the life of the mother is threatened, and I don't want my tax dollars going to fund abortions. But I also don't care for the government weighing in on the matter with its clumsy hands. It's a complex issue, for sure, because there is no question that a fetus is alive. It has a heartbeat, it moves and it kicks. If that is the case, then abortion, killing it, is murder. So maybe the debate we need to have and resolve is not whether or not women should have the right to choose, but whether or not they should have the right to choose to murder the lifeform that they helped to create. Maybe the debate should be at what point the fetus is entitled to protection under the law. There are serious rights and wrongs there, and again, the issue is not simple. A person's right to choose is vital to a free nation, and any restriction of that right needs to be undertaken only after the most careful deliberation. On the other hand, at what point is abortion murder? It is a fiendishly complicated issue, but it is also a weapon used by extreme far right politicians to manipulate the public. We must fear, and therefore put a stop to these evil people who are destroying the moral fibre of the country.

The far right, however, is not alone in using fear to manipulate the public. I'll talk about that next time.

Repeating From Last Time:

The housing meltdown which is at the heart of our crisis started in earnest in 1992 when Mister Clinton had the great idea to sell houses to low-income voters who couldn't afford them. No question that both sides ignored the problem but got rich off the over-inflated bubble, but it started under Bill Clinton. The records are there. Here are a few links that show just what I'm talking about:

From The New York Times in 1999: Fannie Mae Eases Credit To Aid Mortgage Lending ( "Fannie Mae, the nation's biggest underwriter of home mortgages, has been under increasing pressure from the Clinton Administration to expand mortgage loans among low and moderate income people..."

From the New York Post: Alarms and Denial (

Bloomberg Financial News: "How the Democrats Created the Financial Crisis" (

YouTube: Democrats in their own words (

YouTube: Burning Down the House (

YouTube: Obama Ranks Second In Freddie/Fannie Contributions (

Now I'll repeat what I said last week. First and foremost, this economic crisis has roots in the Clinton administration. Clinton ordered that home loans be given to families that could not pay them. Granted, Bush should have seen the meltdown coming, but it's a time bomb that Bill Clinton planted under the house. It's up to President Obama to set the tone and the course to rebuild our house. We all share responsibility for doing the hard work, but the President is the boss. The buck stops in the Oval Office. And speaking of the Oval Office, I have to admit that I have liked a fair amount of what I've seen of our new President. Words are cheap, and politicians are good at saying things people want to hear. At the same time, we need this presidency to be successful, and he can't succeed without our support. So while I'll be quick to point out everything that I see him do wrong, I'll also try my hardest to point out everything that I see him do right. I saw him talking to Matt Lauer just before the Superbowl, and he looked, unlike candidate Obama, like a man with humor and compassion and an appreciation for the humanity of the people that make up this country. He was funny and self-deprecating and seemingly unscripted. That man will have my support for as long as he occupies the White House. When he stops being that man, I'll stop supporting him.

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