utah hearts president bush part 2
in the last four years i have really gotten involved in politics. what used to seem like torture during the political science unit of my ap history class in high school is now one of my favorite things to learn about. i think it hit me a few years ago that if i'm going to have to pay taxes on my hard earned money, i should very well be familiar with what goes on up on the hill.
i posted in part 1 how i got to go see president bush's arrival in utah last night. all i have been hearing about on talk radio is how many protests there were going to be in salt lake city this week - anti-bush protests, anti-war protests, pro-bush protests, support the troops protests, bring the troops home protests, some crazy guy who hired homeless people from the shelter in a "death to israel" protest (what the?!?). i'm going to go ahead and put in my two cents on the situation at hand, my own "what i think of the state of the union" speech. now, i realize that a lot of people tend to get offended when politics is the topic of conversation. but let me state here and now that this is not meant to offend or get anyone all heated up. i believe it's perfectly possible to have a friendly discussion about politics, religion and what a jackass the mayor of salt lake city is making of himself without getting into a massive fight about it. i look at the big picture when it comes to politics. i look at the situation from all sides then i come up with a conclusion - this is how i see the situation at hand. let's get it on!
now let me be clear, i do not agree with the president on everything nor do i support every major decisions he has made. as a moderate republican, i think he is the best man for the job. i really do. he does not back down from what he thinks is the best decision and that is rare in this world. for the most part, i think he has done the best job that can be done under the circumstances. i still maintain that unless you have an eye-witness account to what really goes on and you personally know what kind of intelligence is being presented, you can't really say whether going into iraq was the right thing to do or if it was a complete mistake. it's impossible for the general population to have anything better than a mildly educated guess - including myself. who can say except for the few people who are privilege to that kind of information? if we actually knew of everything that goes on in the world and how close some of it comes to happening before it is stopped, i'm sure none of us would sleep at night.
i am not a proponent of war - i don't think fighting will ever solve anything. but there are some powerful people in this world that really aren't interested in talking things out first. think about this - break the situation down to it's most basic level - answer yes or no: are the people of iraq better off now than they were when saddam was in power? the answer is yes, hands down (if you don't believe me, then you have no idea what that country was like 8 years ago). what i will never understand is that the people who consider themselves as "liberal" never stop to think about the people they are talking about and so called defending. there really is no clear reason for us to have invaded iraq - that is absolutely true. however, if this horrible war gives the people who live there a better life, even if it takes 10 more years to do it, how can that not be worth the cost? how is it okay for us, as americans, to have freedom of speech, a safe place to live, women can run for office or be any profession they choose, the military is optional rather than forced upon our young adults (no one ever talks about how being in the military is 100% optional - if you don't want to deal with the possibility of being called to active duty, by all means, don't join the danged armed forces - billy idol gets it). so what makes us so much better than them? why is it okay for us to live in a land of opportunity, but not them? why am i more worthy of an education, freedom to speak my mind, a driver's license, than THEM.
I'm tired of "us" vs. "them." i really do believe that everyone is created equal - and i am not about to perpetuate the idea that social class, religious belief, race or location on this planet makes me more worthy of basic human rights than another person who happened to be born in afghanistan or iraq or syria or sudan or anywhere else suffering from oppression by the gross misuse of power. i am no better than the women of afghanistan - so why would i ever, ever say that it's okay for us to have all these things, but not afghan women - we should leave them alone with their culture, their lifestyle, their lack of opportunity, their lack of choice, their oppression. that's their problem. now - lest i be misunderstood, i do not believe that we should trot all over the world taking over other countries and forcing them into democracy. however, if the people of iraq end up getting a better system of government in the long run, then that alone is worth it. we do not live isolated in the world anymore - this planet is rapidly shrinking. i believe in gatekeeping. it seems to be the only way right now to curb unchecked funding and support of terrorist groups. and until everyone can learn to be more tolerant of each other, this is what we have to work with.
if you think about it, it's just like that episode in little house on the prairie when laura pushes nelly olsen down a hill in a wheelchair to prove that she isn't really paralyzed after all. it may have hurt a bit, but everyone was better off after nelly flew head first into the pond by the sawmill.