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Monday, February 18, 2013

To coexist or not to coexist...

Recently I have been thinking about the conservative disdain for both political correctness and the famous (infamous?) coexist bumper sticker.

The recent Prayer Breakfast with the rising Republican rock star (or Messiah as Republicans joked about Obama?) Dr. Carson hit all those familiar high notes that energize the conservative base. Not to say that he's another Palin, but the atmosphere reminds me of the excitement after her debut (but before The Fall). I was personally a little puzzled as to why he did that speech at a Prayer Breakfast and not as a press conference, op-ed, or announcement to run for office. I had guessed these things were supposed to be about prayer and both parties coming together to share a common belief in God or something of that sort, not about "standing up to the president" and turning it into a one sided policy debate. 

But ever since I learned that that invisible organization, The Family, is responsible for these things, I think Carson's probably more in keeping with the goals of this thing than people thinking about prayer and unity and common beliefs innocently over coffee.

Speaking of him not being another Palin, something doesn't sit well with me. That violent streak as a kid where he would grab the nearest stone or brick to bash someone's head in and would have stabbed someone had it not been for the belt buckle- then he prays and suddenly the anger issues are gone. I just don't know if I buy that. Not that I don't think God has the power to do anything, but those kinds of issues usually need extensive therapy, medicine or something... Something just doesn't seem right. And the way he talks like Bush and Palin about God- in his case- grabbing him and telling him to run for President. That worries me, should he get any more involved in politics. You can then justify anything. God told me to do it. (I'm strangely reminded of N. Korea and Juche- there is no rule of law, man determines his fate) Maybe it's a lie or maybe you actually believe God wants you to bomb a country into the stone age, but that is scary to me. People like that are every bit as dangerous (or more so) as those who conservatives say are wrecking our moral fabric.

Dr. Carson's famous, viral, "bold", cure-all 2013 National Prayer Breakfast speech
Real Clear Politics on the Hannity special with Carson

And to balance out the love and excitement of that link:
Fox News loves Benjamin Carson


I found this while searching for why exactly do republicans hate political correctness. I really don't get it. It's generally about respect and righting wrongs and I've always thought those were good things. Or course, you can go overboard into the absurd, but that's true with everything. I was going to make a point about conservatives being politically correct about their own pet issues, but this guy already said it... Conservatives blame PC and moral decay, liberals say the government's talking away rights-- same muzzle, different times and views.

So the coexist bumper sticker is controversial. I didn't realize it until years after I'd seen the first one. I didn't really think about it much except in passing to say, hmm, wouldn't that be nice. When I got on Facebook, saw it being bashed and then in other places as well. I have been aware of a conservative problem with diversity in the same vein- smirking and comments dripping with disdain. Maybe the sticker is just a more recent manifestation.

I don't really know why these things are bad. Maybe I'll ask when I'm in the mood to fight or at least have some swings taken at me. Getting along with people of different faiths, opinions, and philosophies seems like a good idea, seeing as how we are all in the same country and basically have the same goals, without going into specifics that will take us into the different ways of going about it- freedom, respect, justice, career, raising a family, etc. If they think it means we have to believe all of those religions and accept them as truth, that would be a problem, but I don't see the sticker as advocating that. Like demanding you accept all planks of a political party to vote for it's candidate. I find both pretty ridiculous. Diversity is good. The more you get to know someone, the more you find similarities, the less likely you'll think about doing something mean. Maybe you are wary of Muslims until you find they have a strong faith similar in ways to yours, keep family close, and find humor in things kids and husbands do just like you. Now, you're thinking about something other than faceless people who probably "hate you for your freedom". Kind of thinking about countries and war, here, but I guess it fits for individuals. If you don't know your neighbor and they do something that annoys you, maybe you want to go yell at them or take them to court, depending on what it is. But if you talk some and know where they come from or what they are going through, there may be an explanation that would make you less likely to react like a jerk.

Anyway, that is kind of rambling, but I'm curious about people. I probably don't seem like it, because I generally don't talk. I think diversity if good whether we're talking other cultures or politics here. Why can't we just pick the best ideas and not bother with annoying baggage, party loyalty, pandering and other nonsense with political parties entail. I guess that's another post...