Hey Rusty. I am an old friend of Sara’s. Her first best friend actually. From many moons ago. although we’ve been emailing again recently. I actually met you once in Fayetteville. I just have a quick question. are you a liberal. And if so, how do you rationalize that? Not meaning any animocity here, just wondering. From my Christian point of view i am interested. I’d appreciate a responce as i’m sure you are busy with apartment stuff and whatnot. Thanks–Bethany
I am not sure I understand what you are saying Rusty. The Presidnet doesn’t protect us. The people of the armed forces protect us, and even more often then them is you local police force, and fire fighters. They protect you every day.
What I mean is they protect you more directly, where the aremed forces protect us indrectly (this is the case most of the time). When it comes to participation, local events are much more important than state, national, or global.
Hey, nice to see you around these parts. To answer your question I don’t think I’m either a liberal or a conservative, or maybe I’m both. I guess it depends on the issue. And my feeling on the issue of national security is that Bush has made the nation less secure rather than more secure. I don’t think Christianity has anything to do with which side of the political line you should be on. There are arguments to be made for Christ being a democrat, a republican, a socialist, a monarchist, an anarchist, and a bunch of others.
In the end, you’re right about who is truly protecting us. However, I’m convinced that the actions Bush is taking and continues to take (both in word and action) are eroding the general national security. Not because the armor on the tanks is rusting but because the number of people who are directing their anger towards the United States continues to increase. A critical mass of people who hate us will cause problems.
If he was protecting me then he would have been there by my side at JFK last Thursday, finding me Dr Pepper or even a Cherry Coke while I waited over 12 hours for my plane. Interestingly enough I got through security in less than two minutes…
Comment by a random John — August 14, 2006 @ 7:59 pm
So Rusty, I’m interested…What is it you think we should be doing in response to the Muslim Terrorist threat?
I know what I would do. I would just outlaw air-travel whatsoever. It’s just way too dangerous anymore. We need to go back to just cars, trains, and boats. Now, I know what you’re thinking, “But can’t the terrorists just blow these things up as well?” Too which I would reply, “Probably.”
This might be the reason why I have not left home in almost 5 years.
That’s a good question and the answer is I don’t know. But invading (the non-threatening) Iraq under false pretenses sure isn’t the right answer. I don’t claim to be an expert on the subject but my observations have been that Bush has done more to erode our relationship with the Muslim world than he’s done to build it.
‘AN utter jackass’. Rusty, if you are going to mock the man, at least learn proper grammatical rules lest you start to sound like him.
You know, I’ve asked just about every democrat I know what they would have done with Iraq and I have yet to get an answer that, at least in my opinion, is practical, if I get an answer at all.
So let me ask you Rusty: given the history with Iraq, its past malevolent behavior towards its neighbors, its WMD ambitions, the broken UN resolutions, the inspectors kicked out and our inability to know of its current WMD plans, its harboring of terrorists, and the risks to us post 9/11, what would you do, besides mock Bush of course?
Even your boy, John Kerry, said in ’98 that Saddam was a threat and he would go in and take him out, even if that meant defying the UN and (God forbid) the French. Sentiments echoed by Clinton and Gore as well.
Your sophomoric sound bites don’t help. Be a man. It’s easy to criticize. Solving real problems is harder.
I don’t want to turn this into a political blog but I just have to respond.
Past malevolence: Invasion and war with Iran, invasion of Kuwait–you remember those right? All of its neighbors felt so threatened by Saddam that even Syria joined us in pushing him out of Kuwait.
WMD ambitions. Nuclear reactor in the 80′s that Israel took out (Some how I don’t think the second most oil rich country in the world needs a nuclear power plant for its energy needs). Biological weapons used on the Kurds and the Iranians. If you read the reports from the last 3 years (yes, I’m afraid you will have to go beyond CBS news) you will see that we have found many violations to the agreements to the cease fire signed in ’91. Were they nuclear warheads? Of course not, but that is exactly my point: WE DID NOT KNOW! Given 9/11, it would not seem prudent to sit around and find out, especially given Hussein’s history.
Harboring of terrorists: Like Abu Nidal and the disparate documented meetings with Al Qaeda.
Risks: Just because Iraq had never attacked us directly, does that mean they never would or would not aid terrorists? Are you implying there was NO risk. Is your world really that black and white?
So I assume your answer to my question to Rusty is that you would have left Iraq alone. BTW, thanks for explaining the ‘problem with politics’. It’s much clearer now for me.
I originally wrote \”a complete jackass\” but changed the word to \”utter\” and forgot to add the n to the a. Yes, I speaked it wrong.
Regarding the politics of the mideast, I think Tim pretty well summed up my feelings. I loathe, loathe, loathe the \”if you\’re not with Bush you love Kerry\” mentality. Why am I not allowed to disagree with both? Why am I not allowed to say \”I don\’t have a solution but I surely don\’t agree with what you\’re doing.\”?
But I just can\’t believe that Iraq was a threat. There are too many other things going on in the world to think that Iraq was the best place to defend America. North Korea is and always was clearly a MUCH, MUCH, MUCH greater threat than Iraq. Why didn\’t/don\’t we invade them? And Iran?
My overall point is that the Muslim world has a greater animosity towards the United States now than ever. Sure we\’ve helped a bunch of people in Iraq (also killed a bunch of people), but the overall Muslim world has been emboldened in their hatred for us. That makes us less safe, not more.
Stan, would you say that we are more safe now or less?
I just wish that the Democrats had been in the White House from 00-03. Given their voting and their attitudes at the time of the initial invasion, they most likely would have gone in. Then we could have blamed it all on them.
The Florida counting mishap in the 00 election seems to be the luckiest thing that’s ever happened to the Dem. party.
Comment by Eric Russell — August 15, 2006 @ 6:11 pm
Very true, Eric. Very true.
“Just because Iraq had never attacked us directly, does that mean they never would or would not aid terrorists?”
So now we are invading countries based upon the ability to foresee the future a la “Minority Report”?
“Are you implying there was NO risk. Is your world really that black and white?”
Not enough to justify the loss of thousands of troops and tens of thousands of civilians.
I don’t mind so much that this blog has turned political. Actually, you appear astonished that it has, Rusty. What did you imagine you’d get w/ a title like this: I’m Just Glad We Have Bush To Protect Us–I know, I can’t even type that without laughing. For me, it’s interesting to see where some of you sit relative to discussions such as national security, our president, etc.
This Church can surely move forward w/ members belonging to various parties and various positions along the political continuum. Faith in very fundamental things determines one’s activity in the LDS Church and development in the Gospel.
I’ve been suprised how progressive or liberal the discussions can become at the site, condering the extremely conservative nature of the LDS Church. For example, members of our church overwhelmingly (still) support Pres. Bush. Yet, you would not realize that if you only knew members of our faith from this site. Most LDS people would not say “he’s an utter jacka*#,” now would they?
Rusty (and Tim), one of my points is you are not in the mainstream of LDS political thought. I’m not saying the mainstream is correct. I’m just saying you are not w/ them. You may enjoy this. I have no idea how you came to think the way you do about things politically. But, just know most LDS folks don’t share your sentiments.
Everyone has a different story about the evolution of his/her political philosophy. I’d be curious about yours. Spokane is a fairly conservative place. New York City is not. I’m interested to know not only how NYC has progressively or otherwise affected your feelings relative to the Republican Party, but also how it’s helped shape some of your positions (as I’ve read some of your other threads) you’ve discussed earlier. Many of these positions you take are neither as conservative as many others, let’s say “more average” LDS people, might articulate.
I’m inviting you, Rusty, to go on record about your transition to the “enlightened” side. I’m assuming your arrival to where you sit now was a gradual one. You were born into a home that most likely worshipped Ronald Reagan and despised Carter and Clinton. Most LDS homes were and are still that way. So, what makes you special sufficient to talk smack about Bush and appear like so many flaming liberals most LDS people agree to disagree with?
That is, how did you come to see things (political and religious perspectives) as you do? You most likely started out nearly as conservative as the average LDS person. I’m a little more progressive than my parents, but not by too much. Yet, I’m nowhere near you on most of the subjects I’ve read.
Hearing your conversion story away from the right (or even far right) to your current spot would provide the background to understand why it is you take the positions you do–usually a distance away from the mainstream (usually very conservate) LDS position.
Good old Senator Hruska’s prayer has been answered. We have in the White House a mediocrity, a man who shouldn’t have been elected the dogcatcher of Harris County, Texas. He and the unspeakably unprincipled Congress have tossed fiscal conservatism out with the day old sushi, resulting in the largest peacetime increases in the budget deficit ever. And, to insure future insolvency, they enacted the medicare drug bill, an unspeakable mess.
About the only thing Bush has got right is appointing Roberts and Alito to the Supreme Court. And remember, Alito only came after Bush showed how completely clueless he is by appointing Harriet Miers–again, qualified only to be the dogcatcher’s lawyer.
And then there’s the utter mess that Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld made of Iraq. Have those idiots never read a book? Didn’t they know that Iraq was a fractious mess of a country, kept from flying apart into ethnic and religious wars by the iron fist of Saddam Hussein and his Baath party? Did they really think that we could take the lid off that witches’ cauldron and peace would break out?
Bush et al. have shamed our country. And they’ve shamed the principles of the Republican party. They deserve to enjoy the same reputation among future Republicans that Roger Taney and James Buchanan have among Democrats–put their skeletons in the closet and lock the door!
A fair question. I’m afraid, however, that you’ll find that my answer is less interesting than you seem to be hoping for.
There are a couple things I need to clarify though. First of all, when you say “enlightened” I hope you mean that in the sense that everyone thinks they’re enlightened no matter where they stand, not in the sense that for some reason the liberals consider themselves enlightened and the conservatives don’t. Because I don’t consider myself either one or the other I just consider my views (and always have regardless of where I’ve stood) as enlightened. Doesn’t everyone?
Secondly, I have no beef with the Republican party. I have a beef with many of those within it (as well as many within the Democratic party). I don’t follow politics enough to know the “Republican stance” on such and such issue. In fact, I’ve often been confused when I find out that such and such is the Democrat way of thinking rather than the Republican. I try to look at the issue, hear the perspectives and decide what I think at that point. In fact, in my perfect political world there wouldn’t be parties at all, just opinions on issues. I’m sure that’s some naive thing that political analysts have long since thrown over their shoulder as an inferior or flawed way of seeing things but I don’t really care. It’s the way I currently see things right now. Hopefully my perspective will evolve.
Thirdly, you don’t have to be a liberal to disagree with Bush. Unless only 30% of America (or whatever his approval ratings are at right now) is conservative it looks like it’s possible to have a general conservative viewpoint and still think he’s a moron and has made some dumb decisions. The problem is when his supporters write off everyone that disagrees with him as liberals. I think it is possible to both hate Bush but be a Republican.
So to answer your inquiry, yes, I grew up conservative and my change has been gradual though (again) I wouldn’t consider myself a liberal either. I voted for Bush in 2000. I didn’t vote for president in 2004. I trusted him in 2000, he made decisions I disagreed with, he lost that trust, therefore I didn’t continue to support him. It’s quite simple actually.
How it happened, I don’t know. I think life experience had a big part in it, being outside the bubble. Seeing the diversity of opinion and experience. Also a big part of it was the discussions we’d have in my design classes at BYU when we’d discuss politics, art, culture, sustainability, architecture, Design (with a capital ‘D’), etc. These things have all helped me ask better questions, helped me admit that I really don’t know too much, and helped me see that there is good and bad in almost everything.
Oh, and I watch the Daily Show and Colbert Report which are both very good at pointing out the absurdity in politics.
But Fritz, if you want to know where I am politically you’re going to have to be specific, we’re going to have to talk topics. And in the past five or so years I’ve been on the opposite side of the table as Bush on almost every topic. That’s why I think he’s a jackass.
Regarding my religious movement, that’s a topic for another day. But the answer has a heavy dose of the Spirit.
Iraq is one of those issues that I’ve stopped debating with others. It is far too emotional, on both sides, to have a satisfying and logical debate. I will make one final point, however. You are offended by the association with Clinton and Kerry, yet the association is logically made because you echo their current positions. Positions which they have come to after all the facts are known and when it is politically expedient for them to do so. Yet I bring up their past positions because when they essentially had the same knowledge about the issue as Bush, they said they would have done the same things as he did.
OK, one more point. I encourage diversity of thought and appreciate alternative points of view, especially in the church. I think that if the church, just like blacks were to diversify themselves politically, it would introduce more intellectual rigor into our thought, making us personally better off. We would also get more for our votes. As it is, the mormon and black votes are ‘in the bag’, therefore politicians need do nothing to get them.
But the thing I find harmful to this country, is all the post mortem whining about Iraq. Yeah the administration could do a better job over there. We didn’t find WMD, Al Qaeda was not heavily associated with Hussein, blah, blah, blah. The fact is we are there and Al Qaeda is there now. What is the right course of action NOW? Its OK to say that we should stay until Iraq is stable even though you didn’t think we should ever have gone in to start with.
I agree with your last paragraph whole-heartedly, Stan. Complaining about our involvement in the war doesn’t solve anything.
I do take issue with the idea that I should be associated with Kerry, Clinton, etc. They are simply using the lack of success in the war to gain votes. Had the war gone smoothly, they would be trumping about how they supported it in the first place.
I am a conservative on just about every issue, but I can’t continue to support this administration after the countless blunders that they have made. Like, Rusty, actually exactly like Rusty, I voted for Bush in 2000 and couldn’t bring myself to vote for anyone in 2004. I don’t really see myself voting for a Democrat in the near future, but I’m not all that pleased with how the Republican party has acted during the past several years they’ve been in control. It’s an absolute mess.
I too look forward to this administrations departure. I don’t have enough historical perspective to know if it is possible but I have hope that this country can move beyond the Bush and Clinton dynasties, that the political divide will become less acidic, and we can talk and act like rational human beings (again?).
Along with being rational human beings we also need to be moral human beings. With our society’s current ‘rush to be non-judgmental’ we have become a ‘non-discerning’ people. We seem to be losing our ability to recognize evil when it needs to recognized. I think this is one of the causes of much political confusion. Where is Capt. Moroni when you need him?
I have been watching Mitt for awhile too. I’ve liked what I have seen but want to see more. I can hardly wait for some debates to see what he has to say and how he says it. Plus, its always exciting to see a latter-day saint in the national spotlight.
I don’t see how you can say that being a Christian dosen’t affect what your politial views are..the issues man, c’mon. Abortion, I know that this is an easy one but it’s so clear. Gay lifestyle and marriage, the bible clearly speaks against these things.