THE BLOG

America First: Tensions, Conflicts and Politics of Elections

10/15/2012 12:34 pm ET | Updated Dec 15, 2012
  • Mike Ghouse Speaker, thinker, writer, pluralist, activist

Tensions among friends come and go, but around elections, it's red alert.

This time of the year we are likely to tick off family members and friends because we differ in our political perspectives. Sometimes we are belligerent and push others to see our point of view as the right view, without giving them the same courtesy. Our intolerance can push us to declare the other to be wrong, dead wrong. We forget that the others can make the same declaration about us.

The most enduring value in life is our relationship, which nurtures and coddles us. That is what friends are for; to build each other. We cannot afford to let Romney or Obama pit one against the other. It would be dumb thing to give them the power to affect our relationships with family, friends and acquaintances.

We may have to guard ourselves from slipping into this abyss.

We have to learn to listen to other opinions without an ounce of disrespect. If we respect our own opinions, then most likely we will respect other opinions to be as legitimate as ours; we don't have to agree, but acknowledge the difference.

Is our friendship based on agreeing on all issues -- are we not individuals? Don't we have a unique thumbprint, eye print, DNA, taste buds and religion buds? Why can't we have political buds?

We have to boldly express what we believe, but must also be open to seeing a different point of view.

I have several friends and each one differs, and I am glad we all differ; that is the only way we can learn about the whole truth than getting stuck in partialities.

Here are my political buds, and I welcome your message:

I am a Republican and will remain one. I just want to assert that what you see in the GOP is not the whole truth. A majority of Republicans are moderates, and it seems that they don't speak out and condemn the wrong statements made by the apparent leadership, but in reality, they do speak out with their ballot.

The party has mercilessly dumped men and women like Gingrich, Santorum, Bachmann and Cain who espoused an exclusive ideology; believe me they would have never made it -- that is my faith in humanity. George Bush was an anomaly; personally he was a great man, but as a president, it was not him -- he was a puppet of Cheney.

Romney progressed to the nomination because he remained a moderate and did not make splashing news, but when all others were rejected, he started pandering to the ones who supported the others to gain additional support, and I lost him there.

Romney is a good business man, he will make good profits for the investors and will show results for this quarter, but governance of people is not a business. It is not about profits for this quarter, it is a long haul thing. I am glad President Obama was in charge then and did the right thing by saving the auto industry.

Romney has not matured in his convictions; he is in the experimentation stage, trying to see which statement will work. He has two different views, a private view that he shares with the ones who give him money, and the public view that gives the appearance of inclusiveness. How deep is either view? God only knows. I don't know which Romney I will get at the end. Even the GOP is not sure; if Romney can be consistent with his message, maybe I will see a new and improved Romney.

Obama did mess up, his focus should have been job creation first, and then health care. He did not recognize the statehood for Palestinians -- that was something good for Israelis and the Palestinians. He failed them both. Other than that, he has been right on most of the things.

Let me give the reasons why I am voting for Obama. I believe I can count on him to stand firmly on issues giving stability to America for four more years. I know his policies will benefit a majority of Americans, and the rich will certainly benefit from the trickle up prosperity. I am glad Obama is not itching to go to war with Iran, which will mess us up for a long time to come; the average American is better off today than four years ago when the economy was on a free fall -- it's getting better now for the average American.

I know Obama is going to keep everything intact; he will not turn things upside down. Women can continue to feel secure, he will not repeal the Equal Pay Act, not repel equal insurance premiums for men and women, and will not repeal Roe v. Wade, will not do a flip on "Don't ask, don't tell", and he will keep the veterans' benefits intact -- it is not an entitlement, it is what they have earned and deserved for serving our nation. He will not annul the marriages between two people of the same sex, and I know the religious freedom will remain intact and best of all, Big Bird will be alive.

We cannot let NPR die -- that is the only truthful, unbiased source of news Americans have; most others are opinions of Fox and MSNBC and we need them all. Obama will keep America stable and move us forward, where as my fellow Republican will turn everything upside down. We don't know his positions now -- what will happen if he acts from the seat of his pants?

To my fellow Republicans, let's put America first, party next.

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