Lady Bird and Lyndon, Pat and Dick, Betty and Gerald, Roseanne and Jimmy, Whatshername and Ronny, Barbara and George, Hillary and Bill, Laura and Junior. Not exactly a classy group. Is that the best the United States can do? Each duo had their missteps, some were monumental tumbles. The last U.S. president had trouble using the English language. Barack and Michelle did not get into academically prestigous universities because their fathers pulled strings. They EARNED their way there. And they came from circumstances that are much more akin to the average American's life. Yet they bring class personified to their positions of President and First Lady. And it shows in all things.
As we scan back in American history, people whose perspective was right-wing or conservative or fundamentalist were usually people who had a more privileged or comfortable existence. Their selfishness proclaimed conservatism at its core because they wanted things to remain just as they were: with them in their comfort zone. This meant that sharing was not at the center of their thought or living. So, what they viewed as threats to their selfish, comfortable world were: taxes, equality, help for the needy or poor or unfortunate, immigration, people whose color or ethnicity was "different," sharing, rights for everyone, guaranteed healthcare, etc. Almost an endless set of excuses were formulated to preserve the status quo at any "price." The "general welfare" was considered socialistic talk and below the favored class.
You didn't think the election of Barack Obama to the U.S. presidency got us out of the danger posed by the greed-capitalism of the Reagan-Bush era, did you? President Obama is facing a tremendous challenge to try and right the economic and political ship of state that was so pummeled by right-wing selfishness. After World War I economic disaster struck the world harshly when European and American government officials allowed banks and industry to call the shots, and government was left to try and protect the general populace. When there was an outcry in the Western World growing to give voice and relief to the common people, here is what happened...
Yes, I am aware of the Holocaust. Yes, I am aware of the pogroms. Yes, I am aware of anti-Semitism. Yes, I am aware of the death camps and forced labor. Yes, I am aware of the discrimination faced against Jews in the U.S. and elsewhere. Yes, I am aware of the horrible, ongoing rockets launched from Gaza into Israel. Yes, I am aware of the attempts by Egypt and Syria to invade Israel. Yes, I am aware of Israel's vulnerability in its area of the world. Yes, I am aware of Arab terrorism inside Israel through the years. Yes, I am aware that Israel is a democracy amid a sea of anti-democratic nations. Yes, I am aware of Hamas and Hezbollah's open challenge to Israel's very existence as a nation. And yes, I am even aware of the additional empathy and understanding I should have with a typical German name like Schultz.
What is the major reason the most militant Moslem terrorists do not want any encroachment on their carefully crafted culture? Women's rights, or in the case of the militants, lack of women's rights. The male leadership wants to hold onto their privileged place in that society. Multiple wives? Sure. And what do you think is waiting for a terrorist who bombs innocent civilians? Scores of young virgins to serve him in paradise. No schooling for women. Insistence on wearing clothing that covers their faces and bodies and allows them no individual expression. They must remain silent. No driving autos. No speaking up to their husbands. No choice in who their marriage partner will be. Subservience to their male leaders and/or to their husband. Separated in most activities from the more lenient activities of the men. This is a religion that is afraid of women. This is a religion that is weak and must show its strength through violence to anyone who challenges its practices. This is a religion that does not listen to others, but wants to force its will on others.