Guest Post – Observations on American Politics

Credit Ben FrantzDale – CC-BY-SA

Guest Post

From time to time I will be publishing posts from guest authors whose writings I think will interest people. Of course, all opinions and assertions in these posts belong solely to the authors and do not necessarily agree with mine. Please direct your praise and criticism to the author. — rjb

Today’s guest author is Laird Smith

Laird Smith

Recently, I received a picture from an American friend on Facebook which truly shocked me! I’m a centrist and it takes a great deal to jar me but this picture and caption did just that. It was a family picture of a husband and wife and three daughters aged eight, ten, and twelve. All were well dressed and smiling ear to ear. That’s not too shocking is it? It was what they were holding that jolted me. All five of them were holding semi automatic rifles slung across their chests. The daughters were each holding an AR-15 while the parents were holding firearms with much bigger stocks. I couldn’t determine exactly what kind of firearms they were but they were not hunting rifles. I thought for a moment that the family was just doing a spoof when one of the comments the pic received was, that the oldest daughter was a marksman and had won many competitions. The caption read,”repost this and watch a liberal’s head explode!” I wrote to my friend and asked him about the pic. His reply was that someday they might have to resort to defending themselves from the Democrats because the Democrats are a bunch of crazy radicals!

This is not the America that I lived and worked in for 6.5 years. The America I knew was peace loving, friendly, and exuded warmth. Americans were a people I grew to love and respect. The gun toting family picture was anything but friendly. It was downright scary! However, the picture reminded me that we Canadians have an undercurrent of hate and fear mongering swirling in our culture too. Not too long ago I was speaking to a Canadian friend on the phone, a man I respect and honour and have known for 35 years. He spoke of the American Democratic Party having members who were cannibals and have committed all kinds of atrocities to aborted fetuses. To say the least I was shocked! I asked him where he got this information and he said that radio and TV Christian preachers were saying these things and including other accusations too. At the time I found that very hard to believe. I went to the online Democratic Party statement and was unable to find anything that my phone friend was accusing them of. Then later I saw the picture of the gun toting family and read the caption, then I understood that the American Democratic Party was under fire with rumour and innuendo!

I look back to 1975, in which began my 22 year stint with what I call the Control Church(CC). The church was part of a North American wide movement of loosely affiliated groups of Christian churches of born again, Bible based, tongue talking, spirit filled, converted members, mostly youth, some who were former hippies and Jesus Freaks. This is where rumour and innuendo festered. For examples, at our church we once heard that Crest toothpaste had the sign of the devil on it, so many of us stopped using Crest. Canada Safeway grocery chain was supposed to be owned by the Mormons so we were obligated to stop patronizing Safeway. Then white bread was bad for us along with watching TV and participating in amateur sports teams. Going to university was also frowned upon, among many other leadership induced no-nos. Most accepted those leadership decisions without question, myself included.

As I look back at those formative years, I see the hands of the trusted CC leadership fully controlling our lives by allowing rumour and innuendo to infiltrate our social circles.
It looks like the same thing is happening in the CC today. Trusted Christian leadership is villainizing the American Democratic Party which in turn is creating mistrust and fear among the faithful. Similar beliefs were fostered by Hitler during his rise to power and we all know where that went. Is that where our beloved United States of America is going? Will each party villainize the other to the point where they will come to blows leading to civil war? I don’t know of anyone who wants that, but with the current river of fear and mistrust, that seems to be the direction that the nation is headed. I hope I’m wrong because I have friends and family in both camps and don’t want to see anyone hurt.

Laird Smith

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