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FreeMarkets (92.34)

My Inlaws Are Hannitized!

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December 05, 2011 – Comments (7)

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.

7 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On December 05, 2011 at 1:08 PM, wolfman225 (63.43) wrote:

Generally agree, except on two points.  1) Kim Jong Il, nutty little pot-bellied dictator that he is/was, nonetheless didn't seek the extermination that would surely follow any use of a nuke.  The North Korean desire for a nuke was more for "status", being able to say they were a player in world affairs, rather than any real fear of being attacked by the south.

2) Achmadinejad, on the other hand, has repeatedly stated his objective is to wipe Israel from the map and drive the Jews into the sea.  He has also stated his belief that it is his duty to prepare the way for the emergence of the "12th Imam" and the coming Global Jihad.  Iran has been a supporter of terrorist organizations for decades.  If he supports and promotes the viewpoint that suicide attacks against "infidels" are furthering the religion of Islam and pleasing to Allah, I find it hard to believe he would balk at launching a nuke attack on Israel if he believed it would bring about the arrival of the 12th Imam, global jihad, and the eventual world rule of Islam.  In fact, I think he'd look forward to it, believing his God would reward him with riches and virgins in heaven.

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#2) On December 05, 2011 at 1:53 PM, FreeMarkets (92.34) wrote:

Achmadinejad is not the ruler of Iran, with power firmly in the hands of the Ayatollah.

But if you're right about #2, then the question is "What is the appropriate response?"  Is it invasion, a military strike?  Would doing that make us safer?

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#3) On December 05, 2011 at 2:11 PM, wolfman225 (63.43) wrote:

An invasion would be counter-productive, although a military strike could become necessary if it becomes clear that Iran has indeed lied about it's goals and is beginning to produce and stockpile nuclear weapons.  My first impulse would be to work behind the scenes covertly with Netanyahu and Israeli Intelligence to hinder, where possible, Iran's nuclear program.  It's entirely possible that's already being done.

I think that one thing our Middle Eastern policy is missing is clarity.  We should make our support and protection of Israel unequivocal.  The worst thing we could ever do is to appear irresolute in our commitment to our allies, as that will only embolden other regimes to act aggressively toward the US, Israel, our other allies in the regions, and each other. 

Everyone knows that the US holds the essence of military might of the UN.  If the threat of consequence is not believable, any "resolution" by the United Nations--even assuming we could get China and Russia to cooperate--will be ignored.

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#4) On December 05, 2011 at 2:25 PM, wolfman225 (63.43) wrote:

"Peace Through Strength"

It's not just some relic from the Reagan era.  Peace does not come from appeasement.  That will only encourage more and greater demands.  If we wish to remain unmolested, we need to make it clear that 1) we have no desire to take over any other country and will not institute military actions unless they demonstrate an active desire to harm us, our allies, or our citizens abroad and 2) if we find it necessary, such military action will be pursued as it always should be: with the full intention of the defeat of our adversaries, in the shortest time possible.

This, of course, would be contrary to the left's demand that any military action be "proportionate" to the abilities of those on the other side.  That's ridiculous.  If you are going to go to war, go to war.  The best way to limit casualties and collateral damage is to commit 100% to ending the conflict as soon as possible.  Half measures meant to "persuade" the opposition to come to the table to negotiate only prolong conflicts.  Peace comes after a winner is decided, not until.

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#5) On December 05, 2011 at 3:07 PM, PeteysTired (< 20) wrote:

I think Israel is more than capable of "protecting" itself. 

We need to stop giving "hush" money to all these dictator/rulers.  RP is right.  There is nothing wrong with extending a hand of friendship while holding your club in the other hand.  Seemed to sort of work with Russia.

FreeMarkets...you provide great thought provoking stuff.  Keep up the good work.

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#6) On December 06, 2011 at 10:55 AM, awallejr (83.90) wrote:

They just hated us then, no reason, just irrational hatred."

I assume you are referring to the War of 1812.  That war had nothing to do with hatred by the British against the US, mostly it had to do with the anger of the Americans against the British for boarding our ships and forcing Americans to serve on theirs during the Napoleonic wars and trade interference.

I have no problem with the concept of trying peaceful resolutions before military ones, but I have no delusions about Achmadinejad who has made his views quite clear.  You don't think Bin Laden would have loved a nuclear weapon to set off in NYC or DC?

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#7) On December 06, 2011 at 1:54 PM, catoismymotor (27.10) wrote:

Free,

Thank you for writing about your Thanksgiving experience. Sometimes sharing holiday stories can help ease the writer's pain as well as the reader's. Shared experiences help sooth the wounds.

If you wanted to you could chalk up the Revolutionary War and The War of 1812 as a Church of England jihad against the infidel USA. Don't give up on me. Take a minute to see where I am going with this: The ruling monach of the UK is the head of the Church of England. A vast majority of those living in the UK were members of this state controlled church. When King George III started using force against the USA to preserve or take back what he thought was his by devine right he was using his two fold authority as the head of state and church to persuade his subjects to take up arms for him, in the name of God.

 

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