Posts tagged ‘Hope’

Dear John McCain

Dear John McCain,

Tough break, old timer. I always liked the cut of your jib. But things got a little crazy and…

You got in bed with Bush. It was short, and you probably faked it, it still happened and you spent the rest of the campaign explaining it away: you had just come away from an ugly fight with Mitt, you were traveling a lot, and you needed the attention. But we all knew you could have better than that. 

The arch conservatives hoped it would lead to something meaningful, that Bush could make a man out of you, but they could see that your tryst was just that.

2000 should’ve been your year. You were strong, independent, straight talking and for a veteran politician, seemingly fresh and spry. But you were also in Rove’s sights, which led to racist vitriol spread by a prickly political operative you recently hired to help you run a respectful campaign in South Carolina.

In 2008, you came off as crazy-old-kootish, especially when it came to Iraq and Iran. Then you decided to go with Palin. She helped breathe a little air into your campaign, but ended up helping Saturday Night Live (and 30 Rock) more than anything else.

In the end, however, you lost for two reasons. The first was the economy, which seemed to go further and further down the shitter in concert with your chances of winning. The second, and more important, was your inability to convey change. You may have been a maverick, but that was during the Restoration, and now you’re a white man who is older than most vampires. You’ve worked in Washington D.C. for ever, and although you have courageously taken on your own aisle–recently, with campaign finance reform, torture, the errors of the Iraq war–you spent this campaign looking, speaking and acting like any other white old Washington D.C. partisan.

Of course, I still like you, and other Obama supporters do too (maybe more than the apathetic social conservatives who so unenthusiastically supported you). I hope you didn’t take the loss too hard, or too personally, even though it was entirely personal.

You’re concession speech was characteristically, but still inspiringly, noble and understated. You seemed genuinely proud of this country for tapping Obama, and you pledged your support for him.

Even the I’m-OK-really-but-really-totally-drunk, self-congratulatory white people in the West Village bar clapped when you left the stage, not just because of what was to come, but in appreciation of your inspiring prelude. We were drunk.

I hope this defeat hasn’t hurt you that much. If history has proven anything, it’s that you can take a lot of shit and keep going. So I hope you do keep going, and that your loss has reinvigorated the maverick in you.

Will you ask your wife if I can have $5,000,000 please? And is she wearing emerald contacts just to scare liberal children?

Love,

Ben 

November 10, 2008 at 11:37 pm Leave a comment

Life Must Go On

sderot.jpg

Gaza

 When I first heard about this blog, I didn’t believe it.

Two young men, both enmeshed in one of the world’s most bitter and intractable conflicts share a blog called gaza-sderot.blogspot.com. It was created by a Palestinian living in a refugee camp in Gaza and an Israeli living in the town of Sderot, which lies just on the Israeli side of the Gaza border.

They met a few years ago at a conference, where they discussed, well, you know, the situation.

They kept in touch and eventually started this blog, each contributing anecdotal evidence of the failure of both sides’ leaders to come to a peaceful solution.

They use pseudonyms–Peace Man and Hope Man. Peace Man is the Palestinian and Hope Man is the Israeli.

In a recent post, after a Palestinian man murdered 8 Yeshiva students in Jerusalem, Hope Man wondered:

Does it matter to the father and mother, the sister and brother, the friend and the fellow student?Less than a week ago a family of 7 was killed during an Israeli attack in Gaza. Retaliation or Terrorism? defense or offense? Does it really matter to the relatives and neighbors? To the friends and acquaintances?
2 days ago a one month year old Palestinian baby was killed in an Israeli attack. He was killed while Israel was searching for a Hamas militant. The militant was killed but how can such consequences be justified?

A few days before Hope Man’s post, during a brutal Israeli incursion into Gaza that killed over 100 people, Peace Man wrote:

Its was a bloody day in Gaza and I am sure it’s the same with my friend hope man.
I still don’t understand till now, what do they want to achieve by the continuance of violence .
Why they want to kill any chance of hope and peace ?
I wish I can get answer to my question.

Peace Man and Hope Man are both pushing for a complete cessation of violence for one month. No Qassam rockets going into Israel, no Israeli missiles or troops going into Gaza.

Please sign their petition.  www.one-month.org. It won’t stop the violence, it won’t bring peace. That’s almost besides the point. The only hope for these two men, and their compatriots, is for us to show them that we stand with them (if virtually).

A BBC correspondent asked both men if they thought that they would see a day when they could meet for a cup of coffee. Each responded that they were hopeful, despite all of the fighting, that such a day would come. Let’s hope so too.

March 12, 2008 at 1:16 pm Leave a comment


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