Friday, October 24, 2008

Curt Dale deserves our pity, not our anger

Submitted to the Highlands Ranch Herald on October 20.
Some of your readers have been pretty vocal recently about how upset they are with columnist Curt Dale. I used to feel that way, too, but now I just feel sorry for him. It must be very scary for folks like Curt nowadays. They have been living inside the house of cards that the GOP leadership, the corporate media, and the right wing noise machine have been building for the past thirty years or so. Now that house is collapsing all around them and they don't know what to do.

Folks like Curt preached the gospel of pre-emptive war, free markets, deregulation, and low income taxes on the rich. Unfortunately for all of us, that gospel has led to a $12 trillion national debt (around $40,000 for every man, woman, and child in the U.S.), nationalization of major U.S. banks, a stock market crash, the worst disparity between rich and poor since the Great Depression, torture of foreign captives in U.S. custody, and over 80% of Americans who say that the U.S. is on the wrong track.

Of course, folks like Curt (Sarah Palin, for example) would never admit that there is ever anything wrong with the U.S., at least not long as there is a Republican president. They seemed to think that there was plenty wrong when Bill Clinton was president, and I am sure that they will think there is plenty wrong should Barack Obama become the next president. I feel sorry for folks like Curt, though. It must be pretty painful to have that big log in your eye while you are so busy pointing out flaws in others.

With such a mess in plain sight of everyone, folks like Curt are searching frantically for someone to blame. They blame the Democrats in Congress, even thought the GOP controlled the House and the Senate from 1994 until 2006, when the seeds for much of what is wrong today with our country were sown. They blame Barack Obama, even though George Bush has been the president for most of the last eight years. They blame poor folks and middle class folks who fought to achieve the American dream of home ownership, even while they were being cheated by smiling men in silk suits.

I have never understood why folks like Curt fear people like me so much. I have been married to the same woman for over thirty years. I have three great adult daughters. I had my first paying job at age five and I have been working ever since. I went to college and got a good education. I go to church almost every week. I pay my bills and my taxes. I volunteer in my community and I give to charity. And, yes, I am a life-long Democrat. I suspect it's that last one that folks like Curt don't like. Why is that exactly? We Democrats honor the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. We defend the U.S. against all enemies, both foreign and domestic. Folks like Curt do those things, too. So, where does the fear and hatred come from?

Somewhere along the line the GOP elites decided that they could acquire and maintain power by dehumanizing people like me. Once you start seeing people with different beliefs and opinions as less than human, you don't have to feel bad when you treat them with contempt and disrespect and hatred. Once you see someone as less than human, it is easy to believe that they are completely different from you. It is an easy step from there to fear and hatred of someone just because they are "different," and folks like Curt take that step every day. The problem gets worse because, even though Jesus tells us to turn the other cheek, people like me react to being constantly dehumanized. Because we are human, we get frustrated, we get angry, and we learn to fear and hate folks like Curt in return.

Sarah Palin has said that she expects to see Jesus walking on Earth in her lifetime. The problem for her and for folks like Curt is that they won't recognize Him when Jesus finally does show up and reminds them of His words from Matthew 25: "I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me." Yes, I feel sorry for folks like Curt. I sure wouldn't want to one of them and have to answer those charges truthfully. What will they say? They are sorry, but they thought He was talking about tax cuts for the rich and tax breaks for big oil companies? My guess is that argument won't get them very far.

Folks like Curt have been deliberately and systematically led astray by GOP elites who have no qualms about doing whatever it takes to further their own twisted agendas. Folks like Curt are a bit like those brainwashed American soldiers from the movie "The Manchurian Candidate." They have been force fed lies and propaganda for so long that they are quite incapable of recognizing the truth, even when it hits them over the head with a baseball bat. So, my advice to the readers who are angered and offended by Curt Dale is this. Don't attack Curt, because he is just doing what the GOP elites have programmed him to do. He doesn't deserve your anger. He only deserves your pity.


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10:22 PM  

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