Thursday, February 16, 2006

Idealistic Youth or Pessimistic Past?

Last week I sent a letter to the local newspaper back home in response to a writer from the previous week. The letter which prompted my response was "Bush by the numbers," and, as somebody else pointed out in their own response to the letter, the writer touched on a multitude of topics (I think it was close to 35) by pointing out the 'numbers.' He pointed to death toll, the price of the war, how much debt we are in etc. etc.
I modified my response slightly to make it less applicable to a particular situation and more of a sweeping, 'evergreen' column and I submitted it as this week's Picket column. So, for your reading enjoyment, here it is:
When I started writing this column, I was told that my focus should be on world politics. To date, I have remained true to my pledge: thus far, I’ve covered the riots in Paris, the election of Hamas, NSA wiretaps and the Nobel Prize which was awarded to the IAEA in 2005. This week, however, I’d like to briefly touch on a few things which may not lie in the realm of ‘US Foreign Policy.’

Since his election, I have heard our President called a liar, a murderer, a loser, a cheat, and an enemy of the environment, amongst other things. When I hear these things, I just say to myself, “When are Bush opponents going to accept that he is the leader of the United States and start treating him with some respect.”

The entire political left has got to accept Bush, or at the very least understand that he’ll be here for two more years and the only way to accomplish anything is to work with him. The President has asked that we stop divisive rhetoric and attempt to work together for the greater good. Yet we still find ourselves reading anti-Bush ‘blah.’ We see various democrats call the President a liar. We watch the democrats (led by Hillary Clinton) stand up and applaud their inaction on the issue of repairing (or even to examining) Social Security last year, and we see the majority of democrats do nothing but “Bush-bash.” I, for one, am tired of it.

I am by no means advocating that the left just ‘lie down’ and ‘be silent,’ but instead of such insistent complaints, could they offer alternative ideas? While the Founding Fathers may not have anticipated a two party system, there is little doubt that it has served our nation well. Today, though, it seems that one party is offering up improvement plans (Republicans) while the other party (Democrats) moans and complains, yet offers no plan of their own.
In opposing the president, democrats and other opponents like to point to statistics. They point to how many soldiers have been killed in the war on terror. They point to how much money the US has spent on defending the home land. They complain about the budget. Bush opponents like to throw out numbers. Yet in their analysis, they some how forget two numbers which I see as vital to understanding why Bush has taken the approach he has:

Number murdered by Islamic extremists on 9/11: Approximately 3,000.
Number of terrorist attacks on American soil since 9/11: 0.

It seems to me that these are numbers we ought to be examining with the same zeal that is used in examining anything that might prove politically damaging for Bush or the republicans. It is imperative that we, the American people, remember what the duty of the president is: protect the American people. Bush has had overwhelming success in fulfilling this job requirement and should be applauded for such diligent work.
I encourage others to follow the president’s lead. George Bush is the president and will be for two more years. Let’s stop the name calling, stop the bullying, and stop the mudslinging. Let’s abandon partisan rhetoric and division and move forward for a bright and secure future.
A former teacher and long time friend of the family replied to my letter. He said that it was idealistic and represented a 'youthful view' (or some such wording). I haven't read the entire letter yet, I have only been able to get highlights from friends who've read the letter. I have a feeling their summary is pretty close.
I don't feel like I am idealistic in wanting idiotic attacks on the president based solely on partisan division to come to a halt. I also do not attribute my views to my youth. I realize that at 20 years of age I am not to be taken serious, yet I don't understand why. I feel like at 20 I am still as (if not more) knowledgable then many persons twice my age. Is it that I am an 'idealistic youth' or that he, like so many of our political leaders--especially those on the left of the isle--is a member of the 'pessimistic past?' At what point in one's life does it become acceptable to share ideas on politics and be taken seriously? 50? 60? I don't know how old Ted Kennedy is, but I don't take anything he says seriously and he's much older than I. If somebody can answer this, please post and let me know...


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