Monday, October 25, 2010

With charity for none, with malice toward all who are different...

With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations. Abraham Lincoln, 2nd inaugural address.

You guys just don't get it. My objection to the piece is this:

Hall hits every one of the touchstones of white supremacy. He attacks African-Americans, who he claims are lazy and stupid. He attacks Latinos, who he says are criminals and welfare recipients. He attacks Muslims, who he says are murderers. He attacks scientists who study global warming because he says they suppress debate. He attacks Democrats because they caused the financial meltdown and the mortgage crisis.

In brief, Hall strikes a strong chord with Republicans because he names nearly every prejudice they have and says he shares them. Every one of his statements is false, every one of them is inflammatory.

I published the letter that Hall sent me that explains what was wrong about my original post. I don't see that it alters the original thrust of my post, which was to show that he was lying when he said he couldn't retire. For example, he says he doesn't get social security or Medicare. But he is definitely qualified for them and could use their income to retire. I'm glad to know that he doesn't have military benefits or benefits from the Massachusetts Senate. He reaffirms for me that it is not personal poverty that prevents him from retiring, but personal choices that have nothing to do with African-Americans, illegal immigrants, or global warming.

Hall has a degenerative disease and supports his adult daughter in a separate household. He will definitely retire when his disease prevents him from working. At that time his medical bills will be covered by Medicare and part of his living expenses will be covered by Social Security. In addition he has an IRA and he owns at least one house.

Contrast that with the situation of my friend, Lee, who has only a high-school teacher's pension and a small house in a rural area of California. Lee believed that Hall shared the same problems as he does, but Hall was lying. By Lee's standards, Hall is well-off. He has been earning a good income at steady jobs for 40 years.

Instead of considering himself well-off, Hall pretends he is persecuted, and names all the groups that he believes should be persecuted instead of him. His anger at these people show he is perfectly willing to do that.

We will not be able to solve the problems of this country by blaming the victims of failed social policies, or by pretending that global warming will go away if we ignore it. We will not be able to confront an inconvenient truth if we turn to Fox News for comfortable falsehoods.

Instead of stoking the fears of his fellow true-believers, Hall should be seeking solutions that are acceptable to all. He and the rest of the Republican Party are using fear and hatred to splinter our country and make us unable to work together for the future.

No comments: