Sunday, June 01, 2008

Ten Stupid Reasons to not Vote for Barack Obama

Hello everyone!

These days, it's really easy to compile a list of reasons to vote for someone. It's also easy to compile a list of reasons to not vote for someone. But I've discovered it's a bit challenging to compile a list of stupid reasons to not vote for someone! Yet that's what I did. So without any further ado, here is my list of 10 stupid reasons to not vote for Barack Obama:

Reason #1: He's a Muslim!

No he's not. But the bigger question is "So what if he was?" The assumption here is that Muslim=evil or Islam=terrorist.

I won't even get into whether or not Islam is evil because it's a stupid argument. If you think the whole religion is any more evil than any other religion, or that its followers are inherently evil, then you're blinded by your beliefs and are incapable of rational thought, and you might as well stop reading this. I'm sorry, but this whole "My God is better than yours argument" is idiotic, and it only leads to lots of dead people. You can believe all you want, but you don't know, and so it's stupid to argue about it. Even stupider is to make blanket statements about all the followers of a particular religion, especially when your religion has no shortage of skeletons in its closet. This is why I'm fanatically agnostic.

As far as equating Islam to terrorism, that's a fair comparison, but only if you ignore all the non-Muslim terrorists in recent history, such as the IRA, abortion clinic bombers, Timothy McVeigh, so-called eco-terrorists, Ted Kaczynski, the CIA, the Chinese government, the Soviets, etc.

But then there's the whole illogic of equating the actions of a few to an entire religion.

I know some people would say that there are more than a few. Well, think about this for a moment. There are about 1.5 billion Muslims worldwide, give or take a few hundred million. That's 1,500,000,000 people. Compare that with the population of Phoenix, AZ, which is about 1.5 million, or 1,500,000 people. If there were 1.5 million Muslim terrorists worldwide (there is no way to come up with a number, but still, this is an insanely huge number, and I really doubt it's anywhere near this high under most definitions), that would still only be 1 of every 1,000 Muslims, or less than 0.1%. Put it this way: it's about 1,000 miles from Chicago to Denver. Only one mile would be the "terrorist mile". So it's hardly fair to assume every follower of Islam is a terrorist, unless you're an ignorant, reactionary idiot.

Now, that's not to say that 1.5 million terrorists couldn't cause a whole lot of damage (and they aren't, which is why I think this number is way too high). But if you had to fight them, wouldn't you rather have the other 1,498,500,000 on your side?

Moreover, the definition of terrorist is so vague that anyone can be called a terrorist. I'm sure I could be called one simply for writing this blog. But don't worry, you're reading it, so that makes you a terrorist, too.

Regardless, none of this has anything to do with Barack Obama, so let's move on.

Reason #2: He was raised in a Muslim terrorist madrassa!

Wrong again. I've already talked about the Muslim-terrorist claim. As for the bogus madrassa claim, my guess is that a vast majority of people who keep repeating this have no idea what a madrassa is. I didn't until I first heard this.

I suppose "madrassa" is a scary foreign-sounding word to some. But really, madrassa (madrasah) is simply the Arabic word for school. But I could see how people who are afraid of foreign-sounding words that they don't understand would also be afraid of school, or at least education.

But I guess if you're a complete moron, you can buy the line of reasoning that forty years ago, some grade school teachers somewhere in Indonesia concocted this great plan to select one of their students to be a sort of Manchurian Candidate who would one day become President of the United States so that he could singlehandedly destroy the whole country and convert us, as well as the whole Western World, into a bunch of freedom-hating Muslims. You'd also have to believe that they then thought, "You know, this plan is too easy. Instead of having a white guy with a name like John Smith, let's choose a black man named Barack Hussein Obama! They'll never suspect him!"

Of course, this also supposes that our country is so fragile that one guy can tear it all apart without any trouble. I guess if you have a low enough opinion of this country, you might think that. But that would mean you hate America.

Now I know some people might ask, "Hey, isn't one guy singlehandedly destroying this country right now?" No, he isn't. He has had lots of help.

Anyway, let's move on to reason #3.

Reason #3a: But he's Muslim! Look at his middle name: Hussein! What does that tell you?

...and...

Reason #3b: But he's Muslim! Look at his last name: Obama! You know, it sounds like Osama! What does that tell you?

Nothing. Neither tells me anything. And it shouldn't tell anyone else anything, either. Shall we play, "What's in a name?"
  • Joseph Lieberman and Joseph Biden would be horrible choices for president because their name is Joseph, and we all know Joseph Stalin was one of the most brutal dictators in history. Therefore, Lieberman and Biden would become dictators if elected president.
  • John McCain, John F. Kennedy, John Adams, John Quincy Adams, John Tyler, John Edwards, John Kerry, John Negroponte, Andrew Johnson, Lyndon B. Johnson, John Lennon, Johnny Carson, Johnny Cash, Johnny Rotten, Johnny Walker, John Deere, Elton John, Johnson & Johnson, Trapper John, MD, Johns Hopkins, and Olivia Newton-John are all unqualified to be president because they all have "John" as part of their name. Who can forget another "John", John Wilkes Booth, who assassinated Abraham Lincoln. You wouldn't want to vote for someone with connections to a notorious assassin, would you?
  • Hillary Clinton is out of the question, too. Look at her initials: H.C. You know who else had H.C. in his initials? H.C.M., aka Ho Chi Minh, that's who. And Rodham? That's like Rodman, as in Dennis Rodman, the cross-dressing basketball player. And if that weren't enough, "Hillary" starts with an "H", and so does "Hitler". That would make her a cross-dressing, VietCong, Nazi secret agent! Well, your secret is out, Hitlery Nguyen Rodman Clinton!
Reason #4: Obama associates with people who hate America! That means he hates America!

Oh, brother. I have friends who used to do a lot of meth. Does that mean I used to do a lot of meth? I have friends who are gay. Does that mean I'm gay? I have friends who have been in jail. Does that make me a criminal? I associate with many women. Does that make me a woman?

Note: I'm not equating being gay and/or being a woman to doing a lot of meth and/or being a criminal. They're just all things I can't say about myself.

Then there's the whole exaggeration or complete misrepresentation of what was said in the first place. Here's a good comparison of the sound bites and the context of what Jeremiah Wright said. I mean really, he never said anything that was untrue. But I guess a loud, angry black man is too scary to some people. We can also get into whether or not the guy truly hates America, but then we'd have to look at his military service history in Vietnam and how he attended to Lyndon B. Johnson after the president had surgery, and that wouldn't make for a good sound clip.

At the same time as all of this, John McCain was endorsed by John Hagee, a guy who essentially said that New Orleans got what it deserved in Hurricane Katrina because of gays. I guess "God damn New Orleans" is OK, but "God damn America" is not. Either way, hardly anyone is saying McCain is unfit to be president because he sought out Hagee's endorsement, though that could be because there are plenty of other reasons McCain is unfit to be president.

Or there's Pat Robertson, a guy who agreed with another nutcase, Jerry Falwell, when two days after 9/11 he said, "I really believe that the pagans and the abortionists and the feminists and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People for the American Way, all of them who try to secularize America...I point the thing in their face and say you helped this happen." Robertson also called for Hugo Chavez's assassination. He endorsed Rudy Giuliani, but nobody blamed Giuliani for it.

These televangelist types are doing a great job at arguing for a separation of church and state, though I doubt that's what they have in mind.

Reason #5: But Rev. Wright is his "spiritual adviser"!

In order to believe this means anything, one must first have to be so ignorant to not know what the word "adviser" means. The word adviser means, "One who advises, or one who gives advice." It does not mean, "One who brainwashes." I can understand why there would be a mix up since it does involve religion, an institution whose leaders have been known from time to time to try to brainwash its followers.

Nevertheless, the idea that Obama naturally agrees with everything Jeremiah Wright says is bunk, especially given that Obama has clearly on a number of occasions come out and said he disagreed with many of the things Wright said.

None of this matters anymore, anyhow, since Obama left his church this weekend.

Reason #6: Obama doesn't put his hand on his heart during the National Anthem and refuses to say the Pledge of Allegiance!

Sigh.

This is based on one photo that appeared in Time magazine. Here's video of the "offending" incident:



So instead of putting his hand on his heart, he sings along. What an America-hater! Too bad he didn't sing louder in order to drown out that awful-sounding woman with a microphone.

Was he "supposed to" put his hand over his heart? According to USflag.org (yes, there is such a site):
During rendition of the national anthem when the flag is displayed, all present except those in uniform should stand at attention facing the flag with the right hand over the heart. Men not in uniform should remove their headdress with their right hand and hold it at the left shoulder, the hand being over the heart.
Well, there you go. Since they didn't remove their "headdress", I say they're all guilty of hating America. Except Hillary and that other woman as the rule apparently only applies to men.

Oh, and here's some video that I copied and pasted from snopes.com of Obama leading the Pledge of Allegiance in the Senate. Notice the hand over heart:





Ah, but who cares about the truth when there are plenty of half-truths to go around?

Reason #7: Obama clearly hates America. This is why he refuses to wear a flag pin!

Good! The flag pin was most likely made in China!

Frankly, I think we've had way too much of this bogus, superficial patriotism and not enough real concern and care for this country. Anyone can wear a pin or put a magnetic ribbon on an SUV (one of the most unintentionally ironic statements a person can make), but instead of hollow gestures, maybe we should try doing something that actually helps the country, such as providing health care, working to pay off our national debt, or simply not fighting unnecessary wars.

Reason #8: Michelle Obama clearly hates America. She said she was proud of America "for the first time." I've always been proud of America!

Really? You've always been proud of America? Were you proud when we were committing genocide against native people? Were you proud when slavery was legal and blacks were considered 3/5 of a person for congressional representational purposes? Were you proud when we had segregation? How about when we passed the Chinese Exclusion Act? Or when we interned Japanese-Americans during World War II? What about when we dropped two nuclear bombs (the only country to ever do so) on Japan, or when we firebombed and leveled German cities? Were you proud of that? Or does that not count because it was a long time ago?

How about more recently? Are you proud that we started detaining prisoners Soviet-style: overseas, indefinitely, and without charging them with a crime? Are you proud when thousands of people were dying in New Orleans during Katrina while the president laughed and strummed a guitar? How about when the previous president was impeached because he lied about having receiving sex? Or how about when the two presidents before him authorized arming Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden?

Maybe you should be proud of the fact that our country has the highest incarceration rate in the world, higher even than the Soviet Union in 1979.

Mentioning any of this does not mean a person hates the America. Nor does it mean that a person is not proud. But if we ever want this country to get better, we first have to come to terms with the fact that we're not perfect. If this country were a person, it would be a John Wayne-type character, strutting around completely oblivious to its faults, which everyone else can clearly see.

No, it's not hate if you believe the country can do better and expect it to do so.

Reason #9: He has no foreign policy experience!

Well, how well do people with foreign policy experience stack up?

Dick Cheney: Assistant to the President and then White House Chief of Staff under Ford, five terms as US Representative At-Large from Wyoming, House Minority Whip, Secretary of Defense under Bush I, Chairman of the Board and CEO of Halliburton, Vice President under Bush II, shot a guy in the face.

Donald Rumsfeld: Four terms as US Representative from Illinois's 13th district, Director of the United States Office of Economic Opportunity under Nixon, White House Chief of Staff and then US Secretary of Defense under Ford, Special Envoy to the Middle East under Reagan, Secretary of Defense again under Bush II, Architect of the Iraq Quagmire, used a machine to sign letters of condolences to families of soldiers killed in said quagmire, resigned in disgrace in 2006.

John McCain: Two terms as US Representative from Arizona's 1st district, elected four times as US Senator from Arizona, doesn't know the difference between Sunni and Shia, thinks Iran is harboring and training al Qaeda (hint: they're not).

Hillary Clinton: Former First Lady, twice elected as US Senator from New York, imagined gunfire during visit to Bosnia. Oh wait, maybe she didn't imagine it:



Anyway, with these kinds of results from experienced people, I'll think I'll take my chances with the new guy.

Reason #10: We don't know anything about him!

Two words: Goo-gle!

Well, I hope you find this list of reasons not to vote for Obama useful in your voting decisions. Vote early and often!

Rob

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