Thursday, October 9, 2008

What Defines Patriotism?

Here I go, asking questions again, but everytime I listen to or read anything about Palin, my mind starts filling up with questions. I look for answers, I read, I research and while I find lots of other people's questions and concerns, I don't always find anwsers. During the VP debates last week did you really learn anything positive? I'm afraid I didn't. According to what Palin said in the debate with Joe Biden, if you’re in the middle class, in her neighborhood, it’s not patriotic to pay taxes. Say what??

Thomas Friedman of the NYT wrote a great column today about “Palin’s Kind of Patriotism” and he is surely as outraged as I am by such a statement. He writes that he wishes she had been asked: “Governor Palin, if paying taxes is not considered patriotic in your neighborhood, then who is going to pay for the body armor that will protect your son in Iraq? Who is going to pay for the bailout you endorsed? If it isn’t from tax revenues, there are only two ways to pay for those big projects – printing more money or borrowing more money. Do you think borrowing money from China is more patriotic than raising it in taxes from Americans?” That is not putting America first. That is selling America first.”

He goes on to say, that he grew up in a very middle-class family in a very middle-class suburb of Minneapolis, and his parents taught him that paying taxes, while certainly no fun, was how we paid for the police and the Army, our public universities and local schools, scientific research and Medicare for the elderly. No one said it better than Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes: “I like paying taxes. With them I buy civilization.”

I also agree with Mr. Friedman when he reminds us that our country is in serious trouble right now and like him I wonder if the people so ardently supporting Palin have any idea of just what serious trouble our country is in now?

According to him, we are in the middle of an economic perfect storm and we have no idea how much worse it is going to get. People all over the world are hoarding cash, no bank feels they can fully trust anyone they’re doing business with anywhere in the world. And it’s just the beginning.

Only good governance can save us right now and, according to Friedman, he isn’t sure that this crisis will end without every government in every major economy guaranteeing the creditworthiness of every financial institution it regulates. That may be the only way to get lending going again. Organizing something that big and complex will take some really smart governance and seasoned leadership.

It’s not even a question of whether or not John McCain has the stuff to be president, he is endangering this country by putting a total novice like Palin in a position to possibly have to steer us through the most serious economic crisis of our lives and that is total recklessness and the very opposite of conservative. Well, what about advisors? She can find those can’t she? And if they disagree, what happens then?

I also agree with Friedman when he says his biggest fear about Palin is the fact she is promoting our further dependence on oil, which means further dependence on countries like Saudi Arabia and that surely isn’t patriotic! Patriotic is offering a plan to build our economy, not by tax cuts or punching more holes in the ground, but by empowering more Americans to work in productive and innovative jobs. Friedman hasn’t heard of her having that kind of a plan. And needless to say, neither have I.


pink dogwood said...

I also grumble often to see a large chunk taken out of my paycheck - but the quote from Oliver Wendell Holmes will sure change my attitude towards it :) Great post.

lilalia said...

Like Pink Dogwood, I love the quote, I have to use it in the future. Having lived in Germany the last 25 years, I know very much about paying taxes. It is through taxes the West Germans managed to pay for the immersion of East Germany into West Germany. Can you imagine what it would be like if American had to suddenly take over a bankrupt Mexico for instance? These sort of momentous occasions (e.g. the fall of the Berlin Wall, or even the present economic crash) is not just a matter of principle or ideology, but of financial and structural support. It is a price tag on civilization... Thanks for the post.

Margie's Musings said...

I appreciate your information. Do any of you know anything about this situation?

Right now there is a combat ready unit that can be deployed WITHIN the USA. The military families have been told to start stocking up on grains, canned goods, water, dried foods, firewood and household items.

Times are getting quite scary and our government and media are not telling us the truth.

And if the military is telling its own to do that, but is not telling the general public then I think I would be calling my congressman and asking what is going on?

It is not the National Guard. It is a new combat unit that was created by the Army under orders Northern Command.

The friend that shared this with me is married to a man who is a part of the northern command.

Rain said...

I blame this attitude on Reagan. He began this mantra of government is the problem and taxes are bad. He put a disconnect between paying for something and wanting it. Republicans are still buying into it. It takes us going back and repudiating Reagan. He might've been a good politician but there is more to governing without damage than being good at getting elected.

I have heard about that military unit and have heard that Bush might declare martial law to suspend the election leading to public unrest and riots and hence the military here to keep control except the military has never been used against their own people. I had not heard about the military families being told to stock up but I have felt that need myself. The thing is Bush looks so tired, would he want to continue being president, turning it into a dictatorship?

Rain said...

I thought though that it was a brigade that had been in Iraq that was brought back. I wonder if our own soldiers would turn on us?

Sylvia K said...

In regards to Margie's comment; if you want more information you might check out

Sylvia K said...

Here is an additional website for info re: Northern Command that Linda provided.

Dianne said...

I can NOT believe how and what I am thinking! In America! In 2008!

It crosses my mind that Bush will fabricate a terror threat right before the election.

It crosses my mind that Obama will be assasinated and the civil unrest they speak of in those pages will be unearthly. And why do they (Bush and Co) think Obama might be assasinated? Because they will have something to do with it.

Maybe Palin's ease with assault weapons is what got her the 2nd spot.

I am NOT a conspiracy type and I am fiercely patriotic - that is why I question and that is why it is making me ill to have these thoughts.

Darlene said...

I never thought Ronald Reagan was a good politician. He was a grade B actor that played his best role as candidate and president. It was the men behind the scenes that pulled his strings. The same men George Bush surrounded himself with; Cheney, Wolfowitz, Rumsfeld, et. al.

I pray that Obama is not assassinated. It won't just be in the next 16 days that he is in danger; it will be his entire presidency.