Monday, August 02, 2010

An Uncomfortable Fit

One of my frustrations about politics is that I don't fit in either camp. Oh I know the righties think I am a far left commie sympathizer, but the truth is I get as irked with the left at times as I do the right-- well maybe not quite but close. I get angry when I see either side telling part of the story to get their points across (like just about anything from the Wall Street Journal).

I see the problems in this country as very complex and none of the easy answers from either side are probably totally right. It's likely a combination of solutions that we need and some come from the right and some from the left.

While I am more sympathetic to the goals of the left, I also find sometimes their posts to drive me up a wall which is why I don't read many political blogs on either side. I recently saw a blogger, who is a very nice lady, I like her a lot, writing (among other things) about how disgusted she was that Sheriff Arpaio, from Maricopa County in Arizona, makes the inmates in his jails wear pink underwear. She and her readers were horrified, horrified, I tell you! Wasn't that a violation of civil rights?

Although I didn't say anything and just left the blog until another topic comes up, if she hadn't been such a nice person, I'd probably have asked-- do you have any idea what those people are there for, how hard it is to keep order in a jail, how important it is that they not feel more macho for going to jail but see it instead as a career dead-end where when they get out they will want to change their ways to avoid prison next time? No, she doesn't see that and I don't get why she finds pink underwear sadistic. Bush can teach her a few things about what sadistic really is. Arpaio is simply doing a nasty job that most couldn't even do. He doesn't want jail to be fun. She would think it should be? She wants them leaving there thinking they are the toughest dog in the whole damned town?

Then there are the ones (mostly from the left) who have determined that all police officers are just waiting for a chance to abuse people. Where the heck did that come from? If lefties have so little respect for law enforcement officers, I think they need to worry about it for a lot more than Arizona's currently on hold law. My experience with police officers has generally been pretty good. They are the ones we count on to go in when the rest of us run out. I am not sure who these people know where they see them as closet racists waiting for an opportunity to nail innocent people with great glee.

Adding to my mystification was Chris Matthews saying how dangerous it would be for police officers to be required to stop cars they thought were acting suspiciously as they might be filled with smugglers who would blast them away. His suggestion was if they stop someone who looked mean and illegal that they quickly let them go. Huh?!!

I am still so shocked by that that it's hard to find words (but you know I will try). Did he think that police officers don't face this situation regularly? That every time they make a traffic stop they don't know if it might be somebody out of their mind and with a gun? In our state most traffic stops ended up being two cars until fairly recently and why do you think that was? But not according to Matthews because if they think they are mean, they should send them on their way with a big smile. What exactly is law enforcement about?

The lefties are cheering the judge who stopped Arizona's law and although I think the law or something like it is needed (remember it's only checking citizenship after someone has been stopped for a legitimate reason like say speeding and then-- here's the part the left doesn't like-- doing something about it), I also think it was good to put it on hold until it has been decided in the courts. Yes, I know the right and left wings of the legal system will see it differently but that's the price we pay for our current political divide. Hopefully when it gets to the Supreme Court, they will apply the Constitution to it. We'll see...

That writer from Austin put it pretty well for how I feel about the immigration situation right now. Yes, he's from another border state. They are the ones who I think have the most right to be debating this rather than those far removed from the workers or the problems-- or worse, those who have personally profited from keeping this exactly as it is.

When I read stories like this: Another shootout just south of the border I am mad that those so against Arizona's law cannot see that the rippling effect from it is hurting people besides their delicate sensibilities, injuries that go beyond sanctimonious talk of rights. Rights? You have to be kidding. What we owe those, who came here illegally (this does not include tourists or those with work visas) and those who smuggle them in, is to treat them humanely. They are not citizens and should not have the rights of citizens-- but in many areas they do and are angry that that right is being threatened.

That's where lefties leave me and think how horrible I sound. Well I think something has to be done! How can lefties not realize WE have responsibility for what is happening on both sides of the border due to our ignoring the issues for so long. This is very scary and the fact that it is barely south of the border should not reassure anybody who lives north of it. Stop it now or it will be up here too.

This can be fixed by some specific actions like giving working permits, green cards that are difficult to forge, to those who are employed in the United States and have an employer willing to vouch for the job they have been doing. It can be fixed by providing a path to citizenship for anybody who has steadily worked here 10 years and has a record to show they have stayed out of trouble with the law. It can be fixed by rigid rules for employers where they pay a tough penalty if they hire illegals without those cards. It can be fixed by showing we mean the border is a border and we strongly enforce entry here to only be  with permission-- and show we can do that before I'd favor amnesty.  Keep in mind if they can smuggle up hundreds of pounds of marijuana, they can also smuggle up bombs.

For seasonal workers, we could issue seasonal cards. The smuggling situation with drugs, which is leading to all these murders in Mexico, can be helped by legalizing marijuana up here, license and tax it, thereby cutting down some on the smugglers' profits. It can be helped by Americans making sure they do not employ anybody here illegally even if they think the government won't catch them-- same with using illegal drugs. The problem is so many do not want it fixed!

It's not like immigration issues are the only ones that irk me right now but that's probably enough rant for one day... I need to go start a painting...


Robert the Skeptic said...

The immigration issue is complex, and it is difficult to sometimes sort out the fact from the fiction. Some would have us believe that illegal aliens are mostly a crime issue when in fact most really do NOT want to attract attention to themselves; they are here for economic reasons.

Targeting employers who employ illegals seems like a good strategy. However many of these "employers" are contractors in construction, landscape or other day labor. They cruise places where day laborers hang out and pay them by the job. Often there is no record of the transaction. Illegal immigrants, illegal employers - bad combination.

I would say that I lean moderately Left as well. My good buddy was very active in the local Democratic party but left out of frustration - too hard line left. He kept trying to say that you govern from the "middle"; that if you push a hard left agenda, you alienate moderaters = voters! They wouldn't listen so he parted company.

I used to be Republican back in the 1980's but the party left me. There were statesmen back then, like Mark Hatfield. Men like him are a rare breed in the GOP now. My father would not recognize the party were he alive to day.

I was an Obama supporter myself; I must confess that I am somewhat disappointed now.

Rain said...

Hatfield was a good man and voted his conscience whether it was popular or not. We need more like that but seem to have less :(

I have been a registered Democrat all along but have voted for those in both parties in the past (so far no third party candidates though). It seems that is harder and harder to do as partisan issues become the only things that matter.

wally said...

I've always thought of myself as a conservative, but the conservatives I know would not count me among their number. I would vote for a Republican candidate if that party still stood for balanced budgets and fiscal responsibility, but I'm afraid the GOP has been hijacked by the exteme right. I'm a registered Democrat, but they no longer even pretend to be the champions of the working class. They've sold themselves to the lowest bidder. So, I call myself a radical middle of the roader.