Google+ is my home page, but I am getting so sick of it right now. For some reason I have been receiving a lot of updates from “conservative” organizations. I’m not quite sure why. I’m about as much of a lefty as it gets, and if my feed has anything to do with what I click on, something is not right in Denmark. (Denmark is not quite as left as I am, but it’s a typical socialist European country. In fact, if someone offered me a job there, I would be happy to relocate. It would get me away from the rednecks here.)
How unpatriotic, you say? Not at all. America has been taken over by reactionaries and bigots who claim they want to take America back. Really, they mean they want to reclaim America, but if we take them literally, what do they want to take America back to? Pre-1968 civil rights? Pre-womens’ vote, pre-abolition? They just want to TAKE America.
Now I’m over-reacting. NOT!
Most of today’s hoohah was about President Obamas talk of an executive order limiting (very slightly … minutely) access to the purchase of guns by requiring a few sellers to do background checks on purchasers. If you asked me, I would start by requiring all purchasers of firearms to go on a gun safety course like they do in Canada. Then I would ban assault-style weapons, then high-caliber, and ultimately all weapons. Yes, I would repeal the second amendment (and I would do it sensibly over a decade, with gun-amnesties where owners could sell back their guns.)
I lived for over 20 years in a country (UK) where guns (other than hunting weapons, which must be kept in a locked cabinet when not in use) were banned (in 1994 after Dunblane). The UK has less than 7% per capita gun-related homicides than the US. Only specially-trained police carry guns, and they are in the minority. Gun advocates howl that it is the most violent country on Earth, due to knife violence. Frankly, I felt a lot safer there than I do here. (No idiot mass killings.)
Back to Google+. First to chime in was the NRA. “Guns don’t kill, people do.” Let’s get the facts straight. People kill using guns … should we just outlaw people? If people are the problem, dammit, ban them. Then the rednecks all chimed in. “Hand’s off our guns. Impeach Obama.” (At least have the courtesy and patriotism to call him by his rightfully-elected title: President Obama.)
He’s overstepping his powers and side-stepping Congress.
Actually, his powers include executive orders. And he has issued fewer than your beloved President GW Bush or Ronald Reagan, in fact fewer per year than any president since Grover Cleveland. As for side-stepping Congress, that is one of the purposes of executive orders. If something needs to be done and Congress is too inept to act, that is where the President should step in. The Republican-led Congress has not passed any laws to lower gun-violence or fix the illegal immigrant issue. (Frankly, illegal immigration has decreased since President Obama took office. Some pundits have even said it is under control.)
Then Fox News waded in, and I heard more of the same, but that’s where the real wackos raised their ugly heads. “Obama is a muslim!” Firstly, who fucking cares? He is actually Christian, but we won’t go there. Where I would rather go is that even if he were Muslim, he could still be President. We live in a pluralist society. All races, sexes, and religions are allowed to be President. Read the damn Constitution. “No religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or Public Trust under the United States.”
Oops I forgot. The rednecks only read the parts they like in the way they like them. We are free from a state-organized religion. It doesn’t even ensure that we are Christian country. “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof: …”
The Declaration of Independence (not our Constitution) mentions a creator. “Under God” didn’t make it into the pledge of allegiance until the 20th Century, and “In God we trust” didn’t become our motto until 1956. The old one was much better: E pluribus unum. (Out of many, one.)
Still, Donald Trump leads the polls to be the GOP candidate … with his wall and his exclusion of Muslims from the US, and his Muslim register. Sounds like bigotry, to me. He’s playing on the fears of Americans just like a certain German leader did in the 1930s. (Wonder who that could be?) Trump will also countermand the EO that President Obama is signing. That’s counterproductive, although it does “take America back.”
The last thing we want is a bigot or a religious zealot in the Presidency.
So here I am ranting. In fact, this ranting is patriotic. I want the USA to be the best country it can be, faithful to a true reading of its Constitution in the spirit of the intentions of its founders: a pluralist society, where the state protects the general welfare of its citizens, enacts laws (through compromise) that ensure justice, and provide for the common defense. It’s all right there in the Preamble, folks. (And the right to tax and spend to accomplish the above goals appears not long after that.) The right to bear arms or form a militia doesn’t even make it in until the Amendments (Bill of Rights).
And let’s not forget about domestic tranquility. (If you comment, I will censor anything abusive, but not necessarily opinions that disagree. This is my house.)