My Inlaws Are Hannitized!
In no way did I ever plan on writing a follow up post to the exceptionally well received "My Mother Is A Hypocrite", but Thanksgiving weekend created just such inspiration.
I've been quite surprised over the past three years at the amazing transformation my in laws have made politically. When I first met them in the early 1990's they were left leaning Democrats. In 2002 my mother-n-law was quite surprised and taken aback when I suggested that if she was so upset that her elderly neighbor had to choose between medicine and food, that maybe she could cut back on the new cherry cabinets and Bosch dishwasher for her kitchen and help out. "What!", she exclaimed, "I can't pay for everyone's medicine." She believed in healthcare for all, paid by all.
Fair enough, I can understand the socialist mindset disguised as a Democrat. But then something very surprising happened - Obama got elected. And while I won't slap a racist title on my in laws, lets just say they are VERY CONSERVATIVE today. In fact, Michelle Bachmann is their choice for President.
And when I say "in-laws", I'm not just talking about my mother/father-n-laws, I'm talking about my sister-n-law who lives next door to them - whom I used to get into lots of political discussions/arguments, only to find out she knew next to nothing about American/World history or how our gov't works and just gave up on.
Before I go further into this story, let me add that if I called my inlaws DittoHeads or Hannitized, they would argue vehemently that they do not like Rush or Sean.
So there I am on Thanksgiving weekend, having dinner and discussing politics with a bunch of people who HATED my ideas ten and twenty years ago, who are literally agreeing with most everything I'm saying. Some fair arguments about Ron Paul were made, like most Americans aren't ready for the radical financial changes. I'm keeping my mouth shut about Michelle Bachmann, whom I know is dead in the current nomination process, so I'd rather concentrate my efforts on making them Paulites then belittling the stupidity of Bachmann.
Then the H-Bomb is dropped - "I could NEVER vote for Ron Paul because he said we should be friends with Iran." I had to correct this false statement by making the subtle but important change that he said he thinks we should hold out the hand of friendship which is not the same thing as becoming chummy buddies.
The other anti-Paul statements came fast and furious:
"Ron Paul is naive if he lets Iran get a nuclear weapon."
"They (Iran) will bring the weapon on a boat and blow up some American city."
Surprisingly there were a few areas of agreement:
"America can not police the world."
"America is not completely free of blame in the Middle East."
But esssentially it came down to one thing: "Moslems are bad, they want to kill us, and while we're Tea Party Constitutionalists, our founding fathers didn't have to deal with terrorism."
This is when I knew the debate was mine and the tensions with my inlaws will only get worse the next time we meet. "I refuse to believe that 200 years ago we would ignore our Constitution if our capital was burned and our people threatened by an outside force?", I responded - knowing FULL WELL they lacked any historical knowledge and would fall right into my trap. "Well" came the obvious response "we'll never know what they would have done."
"Actually we do know, because it DID happen. And not only DID it happen, the people who did it to us are considered our strongest ally today. So maybe holding out the hand of friendship and TRADE isn't such a bad political philosophy after all."
That's when I just shut my mouth and let them stew on it. I'm certain the next time I see them over Christmas, I'll hear something like "Well the British didn't hate us because we're free or because their religion told them to kill us." To which the obvous response will be "They just hated us then, no reason, just irrational hatred."
I didn't write this post to simply articulate an argument I had with my inlaws, I wrote it as a reminder, that even liberals, Democrats, Independents, Conservatives, etc. can so easily fall into the trap that fear (false or real) can make us irrational. No one wants a nuclear bomb dropped on an American city, but what is the solution - to start a pre-emptive war with Iran even if they are using such a weapon for defense. Do we honestly believe that a religous theocracy will watch their entire country get wiped out for trying to nuke Israel, knowing Israel has a nuclear response that would wipe them off the map?
Or they will give the weapon to a terrorist group believing we couldn't trace the weapon back to them, especially if the terrorist plot was uncovered and foiled?
Doesn't it amaze you how North Korea went from the "Axis of Evil" to "North Who?" - only AFTER they got a nuclear weapon. I honestly believe a nuclear weapon in Iran would be used to defend Iran from a belligerent U.S.A. rather than as a terrorist weapon against the U.S.A. And if I'm wrong, then we're still in the EXACT situation today in regards to a terrorist group getting their hands on a Pakistani nuclear bomb.