A Hollywood Republican

This blog is for an open discussion on politics. My views will be to the right as will be most of the posters. But, we are willing to post alternative viewpoints as lons as they are well thought out. I started this in response to the Obama election and will continue it as long as it feeds a need.

May 5, 2009

Dissolve the Union, Say it Aint So!

Two nights ago, I was lying in bed reading the “New Yorker.” I know it is a very liberal periodical, but usually I like to learn both sides of issues. I, not like many people in the political spectrum, listen to both sides equally and make my opinion based upon a fair sampling of the material. It is one of the reasons I started this column. I want to give both sides a place to voice their opinions.

There is one weekly column in the “New Yorker” called The Talk of the Town. It is a column that expresses the editorial content of the periodical and also various tidbits about New York and what is current in the “Big Apple.” Last week there was a section of the column called “So Long, Pardner” (sic) in which, Hendrik Hertzberg made a case for the dissolution of the United States.

As I was reading this, I got angrier with each passing paragraph. Isn’t this what the Civil War was fought over approximately 150 years ago? Where have we come? Are the “red” and “blue” states so difference and distinct now that a portion of the electorate believes they should be split in two? Abe Lincoln would be turning over in his grave. After all, wasn’t he the man who saved the Union, as well as, the Civil War’s last casualty? I really hope we aren’t heading in the direction that Mr. Hertzberg advocates!

During the “tea parties” on April 15, the governor of Texas, Rick Perry, stated, “My hope is that America, and Washington in particular, pays attention. We’ve got a great Union. There’s absolutely no reason to dissolve it. But if Washington continues to thumb their nose at the American people, who knows what might come out of that.” Mr. Hertzberg decided that this quote was a good starting point for an article about the dissolution of the United States and a good time to voice his opinion that dissolution of it might be a good thing. How could he take this comment from the Texas governor more than the light hearted comment it was meant to be?

In the article, Hertzberg continues, “But, if the numbers mount, (in favor of secession) might it not be better for all concerned if we just let Texas – and, by extension, any other parts of the old Confederacy that wish to accompany it--- go?” He then goes on to state the benefits of secession stating that “a more intimately sized Congress would briskly enact sensible gun control, universal health insurance, and ample support for the arts, the humanities and the sciences.” “The (Con)Federated States meanwhile, could get on with the business of protecting the sanctity of marriage, mandating organized prayer sessions and the teaching of creationism in schools, and giving the theory that eliminating taxes increases government revenues a fair test” And, also it could make abortion illegal.

Mr. Hertzberg is clearly taking the position that most liberals seem to be taking these days: If you don’t agree with us, leave. We don’t need you anyway. And, for the most part we don’t want to hear your opinions either.

This is also the case with the recent debacle over the comments made by Miss California in the Miss USA pageant. The girl chose to be honest and voice her opinion on gay marriage. She could have taken the easier way out and given the politically correct answer, but she was honest. What happened next was deplorable. The poor woman was raked over the coals by the lunatic that is Perez Hilton. I am truly happy that he has taken the brunt of the criticism, both from the gay and straight lobby, over this situation. The way he treated this girl is a disgrace and should not be tolerated. If she has any legal right of redress, she should take it.

This also addresses the issue of Arlen Spector. He has left the Republican Party and is now a Democrat. Why? In all reality I say good riddance, but giving breath to the other side, his reason for leaving the Republican Party is that he believes his views on a few issues have made his election as a Republican impossible in the next election. He truly believed that he could not get the nomination of his own party because he disagreed with the majority of the party on a few “social” issues. Have we taken away his right to speak or have we voiced our opinion against him by telling him that he is no longer really a Republican?

What has happened to open debate in this country? Is every area of the media now taking sides one way or the other? Do Chris Mathews or Keith Olbermann even try to show non-bias. Is the same true of any of the pundits on the other side? However, to give the conservative commentators a bit of a break, they don’t attempt to be journalists. They are one sided and argue that one side exclusively. They are the conservative equivalent of Michael Moore. They have an opinion and they state it. I have no problem with this. Just don’t try to pass yourself off as a journalist when you are in reality, a pundit.

The problem I have is that the supposed journalists are not even attempting to be journalists. The New York Times is blatantly liberal and doesn’t even try to hide it. Isn’t the Times supposed to be the best newspaper in the world. It was when I was a child. Now, it is the equivalent of the National Enquirer, “all the news that fits its audience and opinions.” The other side is completely ignored and not even given a forum. Sean Hannity has taken to calling it “The New York Obama Times.”

As stated earlier, the left refuses to listen to the other side and simply states we have the power, if you don’t like it leave. America is a great country and always will be a great country. We are the only true superpower left in the world and that is because we all are Americans; we think alike, we behave alike and hopefully, we love our country equally. The Baptists in the south and the Atheists in New York are all Americans. The farmers in the mid-west and the bankers on Wall Street are all Americans. The industrialists in the north and the Hollywood Moguls in California are all Americans. Even though we have our different opinions, religions and way of life, we are always Americans first.

I remember reading an article many years ago about why Federalism works in the United States but doesn’t really work anywhere else except in a handful of countries. The article stated that when somebody asks an American overseas, where they are from, the answer is always “I’m an American.” Citizens of the old Yugoslavia, never said Yugoslavia, they always said Serbian, Croatian or Bosnian. The same is true in many other Federalist governments that fall apart. We are always Americans first and Californians, Texans or New Yorkers second.

The article in the New Yorker about secession should be called for what it really is, the opinion of one angry person who cannot tolerate anyone who disagrees with him. Thank God he is in the minority. Hopefully, he will stay that way.

On another issue completely, I will now take a position on something that I have ignored for a long time: gay marriage. A reader of mine, whom I will not identify for fear or reprisal from his/her friends, came up with a solution that I believe will work and will not anger the majority. Let us take marriage away from the government completely. Marriage in all its sanctity and history shall be a religious union only. If a religious organization wants to marry only men and women, so be it. This fits the liberal position of separation of church and state and should also protect the churches that refuse to perform gay marriages.

If, on the other hand, a gay couple wants to tie the knot, it shall be at the governmental level as a “civil union.” This would also go for heterosexual couples. The state shall preside over all civil unions. The will regulate them, tax them and decide how they should be ended. States, and/or government will no longer have any power over the word marriage and its implications. This solution should satisfy the gay marriage proponents because they will be treated equally with non-gays. Religion is not the states concern and marriage will no longer be the states concern.

In closing, I would like to state that I have a strong love for this country and I hope that many members of the Democratic Party feel the same way. I am sorry that there are people out there that cannot tolerate anyone that disagree with them. America is great because we have always had the ability to have an open debate. Let’s not ever take that away, especially by the Democrats’ demand to bring back the Fairness Doctrine which is anything but…..

©2009 by Frank T. DeMartini. All rights reserved. Permission to copy will be freely granted upon request.

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Blogger michaeldsellers said...

Great blog, Frank. I think this raises some interesting issues that those of us on both sides of the blue-red divide can appreciate. There were a number of things to comment in -- too many. I'll deal with this one: " We are the only true superpower left in the world and that is because we all are Americans; we think alike, we behave alike and hopefully, we love our country equally. The Baptists in the south and the Atheists in New York are all Americans. The farmers in the mid-west and the bankers on Wall Street are all Americans. The industrialists in the north and the Hollywood Moguls in California are all Americans. Even though we have our different opinions, religions and way of life, we are always Americans first." In an ironic way, this sounds like a conservative's restatement of Barack Obama's famous lines from the 2004 convention speech that launched him: It's worth reading and remembering his words too: "Well, I say to them tonight, there is not a liberal America and a conservative America -- there is the United States of America. There is not a Black America and a White America and Latino America and Asian America -- there’s the United States of America. The pundits, the pundits like to slice-and-dice our country into Red States and Blue States; Red States for Republicans, Blue States for Democrats. But I’ve got news for them, too. We worship an "awesome God" in the Blue States, and we don’t like federal agents poking around in our libraries in the Red States. We coach Little League in the Blue States and yes, we’ve got some gay friends in the Red States. There are patriots who opposed the war in Iraq and there are patriots who supported the war in Iraq. We are one people, all of us pledging allegiance to the stars and stripes, all of us defending the United States of America."

My question or thought is this. As a liberal I feel that at their core, liberals are essentially tolerant of diversity and other views. It's embedded in our DNA. Conservatives? I remember a time when it was possible to be a "fiscal conservative", for example, but a social liberal.(I was one, circas 1988). But that seems to have evaporated. Modern day conservatives -- to my liberal brain -- seem to be hardwired to be intolerant, to believe it's "my way or the highway", to lack the capacity to empathize with, and hence understand, other views. Am I wrong? Your post has renewed a sense of hope that perhaps I've got it wrong...perhaps there are conservatives who can approach a divisive social issue such as gay marriage with a reasoned, enlightened approach such as the one you've suggested.

But I fear that your voice is not that of the main thrust of conservatives. I don't think Rush Limbaugh would approve of you're spirit of tolerance. But I'm glad you put it out there. Seriously.!

May 5, 2009 at 7:00 PM  
Anonymous Christoher Holmes said...

Thanks Frank and Michael Sellers for your thoughts. I avoided things political much of my younger years, although I do relate to the Winston Churchill quote, which I can only paraphrase at his point: "If you're 20 an not liberal, you have no heart, if you're 40 and not a conservative, you have no brain." Close enough, I hope. I still adhere to the ideal that all people should be entitled to live life in a dignified manner. This is something NO government can guarantee. Only our individual actions collectively will make this happen.

Americans presently have a credit card mentality about their "wants." Maybe, just maybe, all these years of "free" TV has affected our collective thinking to the point that "we feel we deserve everything that we see and want regardless of the cost."

For the Gay marriage issue, I hope there's a way to find the dignity I think all people are entitled to pursue without erasing thousands of years of the man and woman history.

Also, wasn't Texas a country (unlike other states) before it was a state? Watch out if TX did break away from the union. It's got a long oil history and could (and would) find advanced methods to viably drill in the gulf. I think they have no state income taxes as well, huh? As militaristic as TX is thought to be, they probably would benefit from being under the protective umbrella of the U.S. defense system, as also benefits Canada. It's tempting, huh?

Keep bringing it Frank, make us think.

May 5, 2009 at 7:42 PM  
Anonymous George Wolke said...

Hi Frank -

Thanks for a great article!!!! For the most part, I agree with everything your wrote. I do take exception to this passage:

"As stated earlier, the left refuses to listen to the other side and simply states we have the power, if you don’t like it leave..."

Frank, where were you living between 2000 and 2008? Do you really believe that the right was LISTENING to anyone during that time? I think not. The fact of the matter is that the election is over, and the Democrats have a solid majority in the House and almost a fillabuster-proof majority in the Senate. In President Obama, we have a leader who has demonstrated his willingness to listen to all sides before making a decision. The problem is that the Republican party REFUSES to participate in the process. To me their tactic is clear, run the clock out, pray to God that Obama's policy changes fail, and hope narrow the gap during the mid-term elections.
For many years I did consider myself a Republican. In good faith though, I can't see this continuing. How the party of Lincoln could have fallen so far, so fast, is beyond me. But it has happened. If there were any real leaders left in this shallow shell of a party, they would strive to work with the President to solve some of the real issues, rather than running the clock out.

May 6, 2009 at 3:51 AM  
Anonymous Ira Schwartz said...

The United States of America. That says it all. Foreigners should say those words and immediately understand who we are. Above all else we ARE the United States(even Texas with it's asshole governer). We can use words like "I hate you" when refering to each other or "Your a total schmuck" or worse but let someone threaten us as a whole and we are, for the most part, able to put those differences aside for our greater good. Other countries can't understand that and constantly underestimate our abilities (Japan, Germany, France, England the list goes on). We are unique, only ancient Rome even came close and we ARE the only real super power left. And as a Super Power we need to look forward but keep an eye to the past. History tells it all. Just ask the Greeks, Romans and English about it. They were all in the same position we are today and they managed to miss the signs. They all thought they knew what was best for everyone and tried to impose their beliefs on the world. They failed to listen to the voices that started softly but ended in angry screams. We are at those crossroads today. Voices all over the world are speaking. Some soft others loud. We need to listen and understand. They're telling us what's best for them..we need to listen. Democracy in the middle east is a joke. The people don't want it...we need to listen. It's their country. The governments in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan are all going to fall once we remove our military. That is a fact that will happen unless we listen. And we need to start listening right now because the the hour glass is running out of sand very quickly. The only real question is do we want these people to be our friends or our enemies. I think we need more friends. Good column Frank.

May 7, 2009 at 10:42 AM  
Anonymous Berez Obama said...

Well Frank, after reading your most recent blogpost, It’s hard to say what’s more striking about it; how amazingly uninformed you are or how breathtakingly pompous. It’s almost too much for one person to process. You say that you “USUALLY like to learn both sides of issues.” Well that would be laudable were it not for the fact that every reasonable person ALWAYS likes to get both sides of an issue. Your aforementioned proclamation is akin to a small child saying that they USUALLY like to wipe their behind after they go to the potty. It’s an all or nothing proposition, Buddy.

Republicans have never been especially good at nuance. “Dead or alive.” “With us or against us.” etc. But the fact that it seemed to escape you that this was not a serious screed, but a somewhat tongue-in-cheek hypothesis and extrapolation, is awesome. Hertzberg was not actually supporting the idea of secession, he was just having a little fun with the idea and giving a thinking person something to ponder. So you Frank, are off the hook.

Whatever Hertzberg’s motivation was, Gov. Perry’s absurd comments were not “lighthearted” as you suggested. Perhaps you should watch them on youtube so you can actually hear his tone and take in the context. It was a craven, self-serving and pre-meditated attempt to galvanize support amongst a very particular and important part of the state electorate.

When you say, “Isn’t this what the Civil War was fought over approximately 150 years ago?” The answer is no. Not even close, Frank. There were a number of reasons for the Civil War, but a black guy being elected president and planning on raising the highest tax bracket from 36% to 39.6% wasn’t one of them. Just for instance, Eli Whitney’s invention of the cotton gin that for all intents and purposes turned the South into a one crop economy and as a consequence made them dependent on cheap (free) labor; an issue that would then dove-tail seamlessly into the issue of abolition. And abolition would have left the agrarian economies of the southern states destitute. There were also serious issues pertaining to Nullification, the Missouri Compromise, The Compromise of 1850, The Dred Scot Case The Fugitive Slave Act, etc. But I don’t want to confuse you with a bunch of pesky facts. I mean Jesus, Frank Where the fuck did you learn about American history?! From a placemat at Denny’s while enjoying a Rooty-Tooty Fresh & Fruity breakfast? And by the way, if Lincoln was going to “roll over in his grave,” it would probably be due to the fact that something as antediluvian as a secession movement started almost immediately after the first African-American is inaugurated President.

The author of the article is NOT “clearly taking the position that most liberals seem to be taking these days: If you don’t agree with us, leave.” In fact he’s doing nothing of the sort. He is merely illustrating how each of these newly formed federations would look based on their own self-described ideologies. It seems you are almost embarrassed by his description of the “Red” Federation when he wasn’t even being slightly derisive. Gay marriage bans, abolished income tax, teaching creationism, school prayer, outlawing abortion. These are not pejoratives. These are the planks of the platform of your party. Own it, Man! The self-loathing is palpable.

Frank, you make so many absurd assertions in this post it is exhausting keeping up with them. But I’ll try:
As far as Miss California goes, I’m not so sure how taking a position favored by 60% of Americans was brave, but it was the best thing that ever happened to her, as she is now a household name. I mean can you even tell me the name of the girl who won? Didn’t think so. But don’t feel bad, neither can anyone else. And it wasn’t her position on gay marriage that hurt Miss “Opposite Marriage”, it was the fact that she sounded like an illiterate, 10 year-old when she tried to express it. And as far as “the right of legal redress goes,” do you mean she should seek a redress of her grievances? If you do, that would require proving damages. Seeing as though this “victim” will have speaking engagements from now til the end of time, I will wish her “Good luck with that.” And she should put that douche bag Perez Hilton on her Christmas card list.

As far as the “liberal bias” of the N.Y. Times goes, are you referring to the straight reporting or the op-ed pages? Given the fact that you chose to quote a buffoon like Sean Hannity would lead me to believe that you don’t know the difference. I mean, seriously, are people like David Brooks and Bill Safire not conservative enough for you? I guess compared to current party leaders like Sarah Palin and Rush Limbaugh, they must look like pinkos.

As far as FoxNews goes, their commentators are biased and it was a business decision by Rupert Murdoch. A brilliant one. Direct your news coverage to a specific and previously ignored demographic. And now MSNBC is doing the same thing, but on the left. And CNN is getting left in the dust. It’s all about money. Nothing more and nothing less. If your bio is accurate I would imagine you must know something about that.

Now Frank I can’t do this forever, so I will just leave you with a bit of advice. You don’t seem like the brightest guy in the world, so you probably either bullied or Mr. Maggoed your way into whatever success you’re enjoying. If I were you, I would try to keep a lower profile and not draw the kind of attention to yourself that will make it easier for your peers to see that the emperor has no clothes. If I may quote the aforementioned Abraham Lincoln, “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.” You seem like the kind of guy who loves to hear himself talk, and while this is certainly your right, I would make one request: Stop using the world as a Dutch oven for your brain farts. Your friend, Berez Obama

PS if it’s any consolation, your opinion on gay marriage is right on the money.

May 13, 2009 at 12:54 AM  

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