Thursday, April 17, 2008

Are We Frustrated and Bitter?

I would like to add my own comment in the wake of last night's debate regarding the topic of who is frustrated and bitter in this country. Aside from Obama's remarks in San Francisco, both Democratic candidates are constantly beating this drum about how much ordinary Americans are frustrated and bitter-more specifically, how frustrated and bitter we are about the government's inability or unwillingness to help them. That may be true in regards to folks who look to the government to get through their daily lives. However, for millions of others, the frustration and bitterness comes from different reasons.

What Obama and Hillary Clinton completely ignore is the frustration and anger millions of people feel because of the intrusiveness of our government-at the local, state and national level. Most ordinary Americans are not looking to the government to lead their lives for them. On the contrary, they just want the government to get out of their way.

Yet, the Democrats have a philosophy of ever-bigger government, fed by ever-increasing taxes and regulations. Clinton and Obama will not mention those people who are frustrated by more taxes. They will not talk about those who are frustrated by more and more regulations. Whenever liberals create a new program, it follows that taxes or fees will rise. It's called "pay as you go", which sounds nice except that what it really means is that instead of getting rid of wasteful spending in other areas, Democrats just want to raise new taxes to pay for the new programs. Sadly, in the past decade or so, even Republicans have forgotten their core principles and jumped on the spending gravy train. That is why they lost Congress.

The Democrats also talk about "special interests". To them, that means oil companies, corporations, pharmaceuticals and insurance companies. Yet, they have their own special interests in the form of lawyers, unions and liberal activist groups.

Many of us are frustrated and bitter about a government that is unwilling to protect the sovereignty of our country by stopping this invasion called illegal immigration. Both parties have been guilty in this area, including John McCain.

Many of us are frustrated and bitter about seeing liberal judges give slap-on-the wrist sentences to convicted felons including child rapists. It seems that in Vermont and Massachusetts, sexual abuse of children is routinely treated as some sort of a misdemeanor.

Many of us are also upset about the decline in our culture-largely promoted by Hollywood. Yet, when we speak out about it, we are called Neanderthals.

Many of us are tired of the politics of racial identity which is leading us to a nation of separate and competing tribes. When we speak out or dare to criticize, we are labeled as racists in an effort to intimidate us into silence. Unfortunately, so many have just thrown up their hands, given up and walked away instead of contributing to a thoughtful debate.

Many of us are up to here with the political correctness that now envelopes Islam in America. As many Muslims-especially on university campuses- engage in hate-filled diatribes against Israel, Jews and America, the rest of us are called Islamophobes if we respond or even discuss Islamic terror. At the same time, we see government funds used to install foot baths in some university campuses. Many of our schools are indoctrinating our children that Islam is a "religion of peace", while at the same time, removing any mention of Christianity from the public arena.

Yes, Mr Obama and Mrs Clinton, we are frustrated and bitter.

Many in Los Angeles are frustrated and bitter that their city has literally been taken over by gangs-many of them dominated by violent illegal aliens. In spite of the recent murder of a young black (non-gang-member) high school football player by an illegal alien gang member, LA defiantly refuses to revoke or even amend Special Rule 40 that prevents cops from grabbing a known illegal alien gang member and turning him over to ICE. LA, under Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, is a sanctuary city that embraces its illegal alien population. (Villaraigosa is your national campaign co-chair, Mrs Clinton.) Taxpayers are also bitter and frustrated because their tax dollars are going to provide services for illegal aliens-in many cases, services that they, the taxpayers, cannot qualify for.

What Obama and Clinton conveniently ignore is the millions of Americans who are frustrated and bitter because government is standing in their way. It is government that is keeping millions of Americans from pursuing the American dream and moving up the economic ladder through taxation and over-regulation. It is government that interferes with the values that parents try to instill in their children. Example? Public schools that are teaching kids how to put on condoms while parents are trying to convince them not to become sexually active at an early age. Another example? How about teachers who tell their pupils that religion, especially Christianity, is all a crock-in contravention of the parents' own faith.

In truth, the only people that Obama and Clinton are addressing when they talk about bitterness and frustration are those folks who expect the government to find them a new job, educate them, heal them when they are sick, pay off their debts, provide health insurance, and a host of other things that government should not be involved in. But they ignore the people who have to pay the bills.

To Mr Obama and Mrs Clinton, I say: I don't want your help. I just want you to leave me alone.


Lance Christian Johnson said...


I'm with you on about 75% of this, but I think that you're leaving some stuff out. Isn't it safe to say that a lot of people are also bitter about this war in Iraq? We have over 4000 dead and little to show for it. (And please, don't give me the line about how we're "winning" there now. It would be comical if so many people weren't still dying over there.) Considering the polls that show that the majority of Americans are against it, I think that's a pretty big issue to leave out - especially considering that our Vice President responds to this with a "So?"

I also don't know where you're getting this thing about how public school teachers are saying that Christianity is a crock? I mean, I'm sure it's happened, but you make it sound like it's standard operating procedure. I have yet to meet a tacher who does this. You know how I feel about religion, and I know that my religious students wouldn't say that I share those attitudes in the classroom. That sounds a bit too much like the influence of the yellow journalism of O'Reilly/Hannity/etc. It's a pretty bold statement to make without any substantial proof.

As for teaching kids how to put on condoms, we've gone over this before that the parents have every right to take their kids out of class for those instructions. Many of them even exercise it.

As for the "decline of our culture," do you realize that every generation has said the same thing? I'm not saying that you have no point with that, but I think that we'll get along just fine. Shoot, my students just read about the Scottsboro trials - are you trying to tell me that we're worse off than we were back then?

Ingrid said...

Gary, I understand and agree with your frustration. I just wonder? Weren't the Republicans in charge the last eight (seven) years?

Gary Fouse said...


That is correct, and that is why they lost Congress in 2006-because they forgot what they were elected to do. They became part of the problem. Most of the things I mentioned are the work of liberals/Democrats, but no thoughtful conservative would excuse what the Republicans have done-or failed to do. In many ways, Bush and McCain have disappointred conservatives.

Gary Fouse said...

Bu Lance, you have to admit that schools and (especially)universities are infested with liberal activists who see it as their mission to mold young people to adhere to their (teachers') beliefs. Not all, of course, but way too many.

Decline of our culture? Well, my parents thought something was wrong when I listened to Little Richard, but when you see beatings by teenagers on YouTube, Girls Gone Wild and all that, it has gone much farther.

And if you don't like Iraq, I'm afraid we ain't seen nothin' yet. It's only going to get worse with Islamic terrorism-no matter what we do in Iraq.

Lance Christian Johnson said...

I suppose that there might be some "liberal activists" in the universities, but I also see a lot of right-wing activists in the media who like to turn molehills into mountains so they can get their audience all worked up.

I mean, if I wanted to cherry-pick random incidents, I could say that our public schools are filled with right-wingers who tell students that their opinions are "stupid" and tell them things that are factually incorrect in order to promote a conservative agenda. Why? Because there is a teacher at my school who does this. Still, it would be pretty disingenuous to make it sound like this was a typical sort of thing that happens, wouldn't it?

As for the YouTube videos and "Girls Gone Wild" it's not like kids have never been violent and/or sexual before. Nowadays, you just hear about it more! Shoot, I seem to recall reading recently that teenage violence is actually DOWN in this country. This would not surprise me though, as I know in the early part of this decade violent crime went down while the reporting of it went UP!

Don't get me wrong though. I'm not trying to say that those things represent a serious problem with our society and that we shouldn't do anything about them. But EVERY generation sees what's going on and says that it's worse than what happened before. Personally, I spend far too much time in the past with the literature that I cover to believe this. While our present day society certainly has its ills, we don't have many of the same ones that we had before. Shoot, I know you don't like the democratic candidates, but you have to admit that it shows something when a black man and a woman actually have a decent shot at being President!

As for Islamic extremism, I'm not quite sure what crystal ball you're using there, but only time will tell. The point is that there is a problem with Muslim extremists, and this war in Iraq hasn't addressed the actual issue. After all, we didn't go in there to find Muslim extremists in the first place, but we sure have our hands full of them now, don't we?

Gary Fouse said...

Right-wingers in the media? All they have is talk radio and Fox News. Most of the newspapers are on the left.

What gives the righany edge in the media is that talk radio is mnostly conservative and Fox News is number one in the ratings. But the mainstream media is dominated by the left.

Conservatives in the universities are a rare breed as will be shown by Ben Stein's up and coming movie "Expelled".

You point out that a black man and a woman are contending for the pres. nomination. Do you not think that argues against all the talk about American being a "racist and sexist country"?

As for Iraq, it wasn't surprising that the Muslim fighers would flock to Iraq to fight the US military there. But they came to America for 9-11 before we ever went to Iraq. Point is, no matter what we do or don't do in the ME, the crazies want to kill us and take over our civilization.

Lance Christian Johnson said...


Please, please, PLEASE tell me that you're not giving ANY credence to the movie Expelled. That movie has absolutely nothing to do with conservatives versus liberals - it's about fantasy versus reality, and Ben Stein is on the side of fantasy. (No, not because he believes in God, but because he believes that it has anything to do with science.)

Intelligent Design is not science and for the film to posit that it has its place in the science classroom is to completely misunderstand the basic principles of science in the first place. And yeah, I've read plenty on this issue. If you've checked out my blog lately, you can see that I've written about it at length.

And did I say that America is a racist and sexist country? Hardly. I mean, racism and sexism are still major problems, but my point was just that for everything you name about our society getting worse, I can name something about it getting better.

I'm still skeptical about the whole "liberal media" thing. The media is corporate and will do whatever it can to get ratings and make money. If that means siding with the left on some issues, then that's what they'll do.

Gary Fouse said...


Neither you nor I have seen the movie since it hasn't yet come out. Let's both reserve judgement.

Thre was a recent poll among journalists as to their political leanings. Some 80% identified themselves as Democrats. I would say that sounds like an accurate poll. Just tune in to the major networks and read the major newspapers.

Lance Christian Johnson said...

Gary, in this case, I honestly don't need to see it. The very premise of it is ludicrous. If they were making a movie about how people at NASA were losing their jobs because they insisted that the movie was made out of green cheese, and the movie took a pro-green cheese stance, I wouldn't need to see it either. If scientists are losing their jobs because they want to talk about ID without actually providing any evidence for it, then they DESERVE to lose their jobs.

I've seen the preview, and the sheer fact that Ben Stein describes evolution as being "random" shows that he doesn't have even the most basic grasp of it. I also saw him on O'Reilly, and he made even more statements that were patently false.

Besides, have you heard about the Dover trial? ID had its day in court and failed...miserably. And no accusations of "activist" judges hold any water, as the judge was a church-going Christian Republican. (Many of the witnesses against ID were Christian as well. The media wants to frame this as a Christian versus atheist issue, which it isn't.)

Gary Fouse said...

I think Stein is referring to university science professors who lose their jobs.

I don't know about the Dover trial.

Bottom line- neither of us really knows what is behind this world of ours. We won't know for sure until we die. (Actually if you're right, we won't know anything. We'll just be dead.)

If ID is the truth, could evolution be part of the ID? Just a question.

Gary Fouse said...


One thing I forgot to mention. If you have a conservative teacher in your school who is preaching his beliefs in the classroom, I think that is wrong as well. The only caveat I have to that is that I think it is entirely fitting and proper to teach kids that America is a great and noble country which they should give their allegiance to-in spite of its failings. (For example, we should and have to teach about slavery etc.)

Lance Christian Johnson said...

Here's the thing, Gary; I have no problem with ID as a philosophy. If you see the universe as being so complex that an "intelligent designer" had to put things (possibly including evolution) into motion, then I have no problem with that and I would not argue with you.

The problem is, that notion is not a scientific one. In science, you don't get to say, "Well, we don't know what happened, so some supernatural thing did it." You have to end with "We don't know, but we'll look for evidence to find out." Trying to say ID is science though is like bringing a catcher's mitt to a basketball game then complaining that you have a different way of playing basketball.

So yeah, you very well might be right, but what you say is not a scientific proposition. This is why there are plenty of Christians who are also strongly opposed to the notion of ID. They agree with you, but they don't want that taught in a science classroom. And yeah, if teachers get fired for suggesting otherwise then they do deserve to lose their jobs.

I feel that what Ben Stein is doing is morally repugnant. He's capitalizing on the general ignorance of most people and trying to show a controversy within the scientific community that simply doesn't exist. Of course, there will always be a few voices who will go against the majority, but these lone voices have offered absolutely no evidence, no research, no experiments to prove their claims. What's more, ID is not falsifiable, which evolution and every legitimate field of science is.

I really recommend reading up on the Dover trial. It'll make you wonder why anybody's even arguing this anymore.

As for teaching that America is a great nation, I think it's best just to teach them the facts and let them make up their minds. I realize that's impossible though, as even I have said a few rah-rah pro-America things in my room as well (like when I taught them about the current dictators of the world).

And I figured that you would be opposed to what this guy is doing. You encourage civilized discourse - this guy does not.