As I told a friend earlier today, I don’t agree with Obama’s politics, but I am aware of and happy for the historic nature of his election. He’s also my president and I want him to be successful. His success comes, however, first at understanding that just under half of the nation did not support or believe in his politics and he needs to bridge that divide. That includes understanding by his supporters that this isn’t a referendum or mandate. This is a presidency over a fairly divided nation. Hate and ignorance comes in many forms. It’s more than racially or culturally motivated.

I’ve seen a good deal of name calling and statements like “taking back my country” and “finally proud of being an American, again”.  I’ve read people I respect calling Joe “the plumber” a douche-bag because he voiced his (when asked by the media) about Obama on Israel.  I’m ashamed of the hatred and class warfare. Try to remember the media machines and campaigns jumped on this guy. Obama came to his neighborhood. He didn’t go searching out Obama. Calling someone a “douche-bag” because he asked questions he felt were important to him of someone running to be HIS president… Oh, I guess if it’s meant humorously, it’s ok to attack someone.

But here’s the deal, Obama is questionable on his support of Israel.  You need to apply the same “question our leader” tactics people applied to Bush on Obama on topics he has not clearly voiced his opinion. Calling someone a douche for doing that is “unAmerican”. That’s not only his right, but our job as citizens.

I mean, that’s the point of America… being able to freely question our leaders and government. That’s how we became America. We didn’t want to be ruled or taxed by a government which did not have our best interests at heart. We felt it was our right to be able to question our government and demand that they represent what we care about. And we didn’t start out caring about everyone.  Poor, women and people of color were nothing more than property.  People fought those ideas and changed them over long, hard years (and still continues).  

Calling this guy names because you don’t agree with him is just wrong. Argue with him. Argue your point, but going after him personally is just sad.

People have said:

Calling somebody a douche is one of the most American things one can do.

It’s also especially American to have zero idea as to what you’re talking about and to insist that you’re right because “Jesus says so.” <name removed>’s a pretty shitty American in that regard.

I have no doubt about how “American” I feel my acquaintance is.  He came to this nation, worked his ass off to receive his citizenship and is vocal about his beliefs.  But, we should debate ideas and not attack people. It’s what we mostly criticize our politicians for doing and we should lead by example. Calling someone a douche isn’t American. It’s a waste of energy, weak and takes away from the disagreement of the ideas. It allows no progress to be made in proving a point, changing opinions or closing a divide. 

Criticizing someone because of their faith, race or political party is pretty much of the same level and something Americans have lost their life to stop. And I’m not talking about Iraq. I’m talking about the Revolutionary War, Civil War, the Suffrage Movement and the Civil Rights movement. Attack, the idea, not the person. That’s how change happens. Haven’t you been listening for the last year?