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Reflections on Red and Blue America: A Poem and a Debate

May 7, 2004

Part II (archived broadcast )
Debate with Jeff Meredith, Young America’s Foundation
Conservatives love America like Mommy or Daddy,
Unconditionally, right or wrong.
Liberals love America like Husband or Wife.
An object of affection and, sometimes, disappointment.

Conservatives love their country
Like they love God.
America is all perfect, all powerful.
Conservatives must constantly reference “God.”
Cling to “God” on our money, in our Pledge of Allegiance.
The Word makes it true.
To suggest that America is not perfect is to suggest God is not perfect.
It is heresy. It must be rooted out.
Whatever is, is right.
Liberals love their country
Like they love God
As a source of comfort and strength.
America is not perfect and all powerful.
God is not perfect and not all powerful.
Liberals struggle with a perfect God.
How can God be perfect when there is so much suffering in the world?
How can America be perfect if its faults and failures are plain to see?
Whatever is, can be made better.
To a conservative, a Republican President —
Like the Pope of Catholic doctrine – is infallible.
He never makes mistakes.
God chose him.
And God doesn’t make mistakes.
It does not matter that the American People elected someone else.
The Supreme Court follows God’s Will.
God trumps democracy.
“We have no God but America and Bush is his prophet.”
To a liberal, leaders make mistakes.
Like a husband or wife.
Love, yes, but watch carefully with open eyes
Because trust flows from respect.
Work to keep the marriage strong, but sue for divorce, if you must.
Don’t love America, right or wrong.
Love America because it is right.
When it is right.
When it lives up to its promise of liberty and justice for all.
Conservatives believe in easy choices.
Guns and butter.
“Buy now, pay later.”
War and prosperity.
You don’t like Saddam, remove him.
America, like God, is all-powerful.
Liberal democracy will spring up in Iraq without irony
Like fallow soil just waiting to be plowed.
“They will greet us with flowers and candy.”
Liberals believe in tough choices.
Sacrifice tax cuts to preserve social security.
If you go to war in Iraq,
You will divert troops from capturing Bin Laden
You will allow nuclear weapons in North Korea. And Iran.
If God cannot do it all,
Then America cannot do it all,
Even with a draft.
Why does the world hate us so?
Conservative leaders believe in two Americas:
They don’t have to fight wars. We do.
They don’t have to pay taxes. We do.
They don’t have to struggle to get jobs. We do.
They don’t get punished for using drugs. We do.
They have deferments and loopholes and daddy’s friends and lawyers.
We do not.
Liberals believe in one America.
One law, one rule should apply to all.
Rich and poor, Black and White
Those who fight wars, pay taxes,
Struggle to get jobs, and are punished for using drugs
Are the real Americans.
God’s suffering servants.
Conservatives believe the Constitution is perfect,
Because it reflects majority American values.
Because the Founders themselves were perfect.
Liberals believe the Constitution is perfect,
Because it protects minority American freedoms.
Because it can be amended.
Conservatives will fight and risk death for their country.
Witness hero John McCain.
Liberals will fight and risk death for their country.
Witness hero John Kerry.
Do liberals love their country more than conservatives
Because they risk ridicule and shame?
Because they rise up to criticize their country when it is wrong?
Witness hero John Kerry.

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  • Igor April 22, 2007 11:51 am

    Blessed children be not ashamed
    of your spiritual wounds.
    Rather than hide them;
    take a good look,
    that you may be healed
    from the delusion
    that focuses on surface scars
    that conceal a deeper beauty within.
    Be courageous;
    for time is not your medicine.
    Face your character defects.
    Stand naked;
    and let God be your doctor.
    Know He is not angry,
    but forgiving and merciful
    and all-loving,
    capable of living within you,
    making all miracles possible.
    Hell is the ego thinking
    you can’t escape your past mistakes;
    but the realization of eternal essence
    lifts you out of those fires.
    Open to God that Spirit may enter deeply
    into causal levels of consciousness,
    making your fear melt away
    and exposing patterns of behavior
    that hold you back
    from revealing your true hearts.

  • Black and blue heart April 22, 2007 10:25 am

    Where is Loyalty
    yeah, whatever.

  • Black and blue butterfly April 22, 2007 9:05 am

    Where is Loyalty?
    What do you trust
    in the game of life,
    of give and take
    and shake and bake,
    a pretty face, the proper words,
    a song and dance,
    An act of God
    rolling dice
    against crappy odds
    for outside chance
    to break the bank,
    Knowing all along,
    the house rules
    over the luck of fools
    flushed away with vain intention
    following advice of rooting yeah-sayers,
    down the drain
    with ego’s pain
    of mocking social convention?
    Who do you trust
    in the moment of truth
    with no time to spare
    in the shadow of death
    up against the wall
    everything at stake
    with one phone-call,
    no room for mistake,
    Or placid excuse
    inside sickly smile
    of empty condolence,
    as much betrayal
    as steak knives stuck in the back,
    thrown from ulterior motives
    of capricious hearts,
    spanning adoration to crucifixion,
    While loyalty sprouts
    as an unconditional intangible
    through unspoken spontaneous deeds
    that bare the core of faithful souls
    to the critical mass of innocence,
    purely strong,
    independent of recognitional needs?

  • tone at&t wireless April 22, 2007 1:37 am

    Can I reference this page on my own blog?

  • tone at&t wireless April 22, 2007 1:37 am

    Can I reference this page on my own blog?