Guest Blogger: Nathan Richardson

Nathan is the big brother I never had. He teases me mercilessly, is often quite insensitive to my fragile ego, and has never given me a compliment without a caveat. He drives me insane quite a bit of the time. I have hit him more then once. But one thing I (or anyone) could never accuse him of would be being passive or ill-informed. Nathan is nothing if not a deep thinker. He's Dr. Nathan in fact, a professor at BGSU. He has lived abroad with his family and has established a global perspective because of that. He is incredibly interested in people, their point of view and how they came to it. He had a Libertarian over to dinner last night. The only thing he is closed minded to is the fact that it is possible that I am not a completely rubbish runner just because I listen to an iPod whilst running and do not run 6 min miles as he does.

Nathan also feels pretty strongly about his duty to improve his community and the world around him. He has taken on re-organizing our local soccer club, despite the fact that it rocked the boat in our community considerably. It was not always fun for him, but he believed in the cause and he believed he had a duty to see it through in order to make our community better and serve the little soccer players within it as best he could.
All this to say, Nathan does not talk the talk at the expense of walking the walk. He talks a lot. He also walks a lot (he has spent the last two full days canvassing door to door in a neighbouring community, talking to people and really, honestly seeking to understand them.) He has a lot of faith in the goodness of humanity. He regrets most right now that so many people are so afraid. He does not think elections should be decided on the basis of unfounded, irrational fear. Neither do I.

Ladies and Gentleman, I give you Nathan Richardson.

“Bad poetry is always sincere.” –Oscar Wilde

How many of you in the past month have received a terribly earnest e-mail warning you of the horrors that are to come if one Barack Hussein Obama is elected president?

Me? Plenty. Always from my most well-meaning aunts and fellow congregates at the local chapel. They love me. They wish to save us all from the evils that are to come. I thank them. And I quickly read, delete, and make no reply. They mean well and there´s rarely any point in getting into it with them.

But. . . three days before the general election I have alas decided that enough is enough. To quote some amigos of mine: ¡Basta!


Basta, because a touching testimonial from an Iraq veteran does not a war explain, nor an international political dynamic address.

Basta, because an expletive-filled warning from Lee Iacoca about the state of our country´s politics and the threat of a socialist president doesn´t form a single coherent argument. Heck, it isn´t even from Lee Iacoca.

Basta, because Obama is not a Muslim.

Basta, because Obama is not a terrorist.

Basta, because William Ayers is and has been for the last two decades an elementary school education specialist and a distinguished one at that, and the fact that he is appointed in a completely transparent manner by a democratically elected mayor to serve on an advisory board with someone who will someday run for president of the United States does not make that someone a terrorist.

Basta, because the very attempt to stretch that association into a question of who´s-hanging-out-with-whom is absolutely absurd, and probably unethical and immoral.

Basta, because even if Obama were a Muslim, who cares?

Basta, because even if I were a Mormon would I want to marry both your daughters? Or slaughter you the next time you vacationed in Mountain Meadows, Utah.

Basta, because this is America.

Basta, because who cares if his name is Hussein?

Basta, because it´s like fearing an Iraqi whose long-lost American dad happened to name him Bob.

Basta, because your flag and a country music soundtrack in the background may bring tears to my eyes and a flutter to my heart, but it DOESN´T EXPLAIN A THING ABOUT THE COMPLEX ISSUES FACING THIS NATION AND THIS WORLD.

Basta, because Obama isn´t a socialist.

Basta, because McCain himself confessed on national television that Obama is not a socialist.

Basta, because if what George W. Bush did with our country´s banking system last month isn´t as “socialist” as this country has gotten in our lifetime, I don´t know what is.

Basta, because most of us don´t even know what socialism is.

Basta, because if we did, most of us wouldn´t really mind.

Basta, because you too know someone creepy with views that are even repugnant.

Basta, because if the Clinton campaign, the McCain campaign, the RNC, and the world´s media haven´t found out yet just what Obama is hiding, it means that he´s hiding nothing.

Basta, because a vote for Obama is not a vote to slaughter the unborn.

Basta, because that issue, as with a whole host of others, is complex and politically manipulated by both sides.

Basta, because politics is what politics is and it requires compromise and deals, and money, and friends, and if that bothers you then maybe you´d be better off living in a monarchy or a dictatorship, because democracies or democratic Republics (whatever) require POLITICS.

And finally, basta, basta, y basta, because forwarding on fear-mongering e-mails does a terrible disservice to the democratic process. Indeed, dare I say that spreading such silliness as if it were somehow important is downright unpatriotic? Well, if patriotism is actually a productive attitude and activity towards the current and future well-being of one´s country (as opposed to some emotional nostalgia for flags, songs, and heroes past), then I do dare.

So, this election season, how about we base our vote in reality. How about we open our eyes, ears, mind, and heart to what the candidates actually have to say? How about we let them speak for themselves and judge accordingly? How about we judge the candidates on the content of their character and ideas, and not on the color of their skin, the strangeness of their name, or the rumors that others spread about them?

Wouldn´t that be true, honest patriotism? Wouldn´t that be a real love of country?

For the next three days, can´t we all just make a little effort to lift ourselves from the internet e-mail gutter? Can´t we?

But enough with the rhetorical questions. Basta. No more inquiries. Just commands.

So here goes: In the next three days, whatever your political preferences, let´s spread knowledge, not rumor.

Pass it on (e-mail anyone?)


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Susan Hancock said...

I had been guided to your blog by my daughter Leah earlier this week. I enjoyed your blog on being Mormon and a Democrat. It was very eloquent and well-spoken. Thanks for the time you took to explain your views.

Now Nathan, you too have done a wonderful job also. Yes, three more days, and I hope that Obama will give me a good reason to head up to Washington DC in early January!!

Thanks for the wise counsel.

Steve said...

While Nathan is correct in stating that William Ayers has been a teacher of education for 20 years, he has been a terrorist for 40 years. Just because he hasn't killed anyone or blown up any buildings lately, that doesn't change the character or the snake. Now he takes the subtle approach of poisoning the minds of America's youth with his radical philosophies.

Obama's former spiritual mentor, Rev. Wright is a proponent of black liberation theology an extension of liberation theology, which was a radical socialist theology developed by Latin American terrorist and radical Catholic priest in the 60's. The pope worked hard to expunge these elements from the Catholic priesthood, but the damage was already done.

Obama's mentor (as proclaimed by Obama himself), Frank Marshall Davis, has been a lifelong member of the American Communist party. Professor Gerald Horne, a contributing editor of the Communist Party journal Political Affairs, talked about the significance of Obama and Davis's relationship during a speech last March at a Communist Party reception held at the Tamiment Library at New York University.

When I think about Obama, I remember the old saw: If one walks like a duck, talks like a duck and is always seen the company of ducks, one can only assume that he's a duck.

Will the world end if Obama is elected? Probably not, and if it does, he probably won't have much to do with it. Will America change? Very likely. Will it change for the better? The jury is out, but I am doubtful. I don't think he has any sinister plans for America, but I do believe he has some really bad plans (i.e. - taxes, redistribution of wealth, etc.). All I really know for sure is that I have suddenly been redefined as wealthy, which I am not all of those who know me can vouch for that fact.

Jules said...

I <3 Nathan Richardson.

And I miss him.

And his wife.

And you, K.

And I guess Aaron, too.

Stay strong, my fellow Mo-Dems.

Shona said...

Thanks Nathan

I agree. Enough of this knee jerk, closed minded, lemming like behaviour. What is it about politics that turns generally intelligent people into frightened sheep ?

Thalia said...

LOVE THIS!!! Mormons for Obama!!

Kirsty said...

Steve when and where were you redefined as wealthy? I must have missed that.
You might want to visit (or any other major news-source about that)

Kirsty said...

Re: your duck comment. Funny but I see Obama in the company of Warren Buffet, Joe Biden and endorsed by the likes of Colin Powell.I have yet to see him walk like or amongst any terrorists

I prefer to rely more heavily on what I see with my own eyes and not with what I hear through rumour and conjecture and conspiracy theory emails. I have seen with my own eyes (as have we all) McCain behave in such a way (volatile, angry, immature and easily flustered)that makes me think he is very unsuitable to be prez and I have seen with my own eyes him make decisions which appear to show extremely poor judgement (Sarah Palin being one of them).

I have seen with my own eyes Obama make one sound decision after enough regarding his campaign, I have not seen him lose his temper once (and heaven knows he's not a saint but I consider anyone with that level of self control to be a pretty superior human being). He surrounds himself with smart people who I respect. And that, I have seen with my own eyes.

Like Nathan says, he has been under intense scrutiny and "they" (incl.the almighty and ever so unbiased Fox news) have not yet dug up anything that would implicate him directly in ANYTHING remotely terrorist in nature.

To use a Nathanism, "Dude!" you hang with me sometimes, I think we are friends, we are associated through church, soccer and facebook :D does that mean you are a Democrat?! Or that you hope one day to gain world domination through force as I do?!

Anonymous said...

Reply to Steve:
I'm trying to understand how William Ayers has been a terrorist for 40 years. What does that mean for me and you and every one else who has ever committed some illegal or immoral act in our lifetimes? If what we were once defines us for the rest of our life, no matter what else we do or become, then heaven help us all. Literally.

Kirsty said...

If that is what it does mean Nathan, then it can't help but bring the Keating Five to mind

Steve said...

Kirsty, when Barrack said that the level of taxation was lowered to $200K from the original $250 and Joe Biden said that the was $150K and then Gov. Richardson lowered it to $120K and in one of Barrack's real votes of substance, he voted to tax folks at the $42K level, somewhere before the $42K Mary and I became rich. So, does it matter what factcheck says? I don't think so, because the truth can not be known...

BTW, I never said that Obama was a terrorist. I said William Ayers was a terrorist. I would never associate with a terrorist. I don't trust anyone who does; it shows a certain lack of judgment.

Nathan, if you are going to overlook all of a candidates associations, then it means nothing to you. Most of us are not holding ourselves out as The One. So our, foibles and indiscretions do not have a profound effect on our society, as a whole. However, when one had numerous connections with Socialist organizations and leaders and has maintained those connections down to the present day, one has to wonder where the true allegiance of the man lies.

Did McCain have a tangential connection with the Keating 5, which he quickly severed and condemned when there activities came to light? Yes.

But, we must put all of those things on the scales and see how they balance out in the end. John McCain has served his country with distinction for 45 years. Has he made mistakes? Undoubtedly. Is he the better choice? Also, undoubtedly.

Do I think that he will is Satan or his spawn? Not really, he just seems like a reasonable nice guy (perhaps, a tad arrogant), who is a Socialist. If I wanted to live in a socialist country, I would have moved to England or Sweden a long time ago.

Hasn't this been fun, though? What are we going to do after Tuesday? If there's a 582 vote margin in Ohio or Florida, maybe we'll get another couple weeks of grousing out of it...

Nancy said...

It's mostly comedy with a little drama....

Nancy said...

hey, don't you mormons take comments from canada???

just testing - perhaps it's just the link I posted that got vetoed

or else I will slink away feeling foolish after the 10-minute posting delay...

Kirsty said...

Hey Nancy, the comment box is cutting it off, email me and I shall try to post it again

nyn said...

This too is very helpful and enlightening. I truly appreciate your continuous striving to help educate voters. Well done :)

Kallie said...

Nathan and Kirsty. We agree.

Ryan and Kallie

Soxy Pirate said...

To Steve et. al.

I often hear the troubling argument that Obama's "questionable associations" are indicative of his "poor judgment", but most people, including John McCain and Sarah Palin, are not brave enough to take that one step further and tell us exactly what that means.

I may exercise poor judgment when I get a double cheeseburger at Burger King instead of the Whopper, but what does this say about my judgment, besides "it's poor"?

I agree that Obama has exercised poor judgment in his life, even with some of his associations...but why on earth should that matter to me any more than if he roots for the White Sox when I root for the Red Sox?

If you are going to introduce the doubt, at least see it through. What should Obama's "questionable associations" tell us about his judgment, other than that it's poor? What exactly are the likely adverse effects on his leadership ability and what are the policy implications of this poor judgment?

If there are none, or if they are minimal, I really just don't care.

I don't just say this in defense of Obama, for I don't care about McCain's past associations, questionable though they may be.

Except for one...he has been "pallin' around" with the greatest war criminal of the 21st century for the past 8 years, and his worldview, leadership ability, and policies are clearly affected by his relationship with this man.

He has voted with him over 90% of the time. That's a truly "questionable relationship" that indicates seriously poor judgment that has dire consequences on the nation and the world.

If I thought that a vote for Obama was a vote for Bill Ayers or Jeremiah Wright, I would not vote for him. But I see no reason to believe that it will.

A vote for John McCain, however, is a vote for George W. Bush. If that doesn't give you pause, you're either very, very slow or living in denial.

Nancy said...

I just wanted to add: I think Nathan's hot!


Scott Fuhriman said...

This post was sent to me by Ryan and Kallie. I hope it's ok if I comment.
Nathan, I agree with everything you said, and I want to thank you for saying it. Your post was amazing.
Steve, I also really respect what you're saying. I don't think you fall into the category of people that Nathan is describing in his e-mails who forward bogus e-mails that are intended to simply scare or incite people. You seem to have really researched what you're talking about and you have legitimate reasons why you're not voting for Obama. I, and it seems many others who have commented, do not agree with those reasons, but that doesn't mean they aren't legitimate reasons to you and you have every right to allow whatever decisions or associations Obama has or had to affect your decision.
My biggest problem with this whole election is not that there are people who disagree with me, but that there are people who disagree with me and when asked why, they either have no idea, or they feel they are obligated by their religion to disagree with me, or they just regurgitate some of the hateful and slimy viral e-mails they've recieved from their friends and family. E-mails that they have made ZERO effort to verify. E-mails that somehow make them feel better about the rushed and prejudiced decision they had already come to about Obama.
Steve, again, I appreciate the effort you seem to have put in to forming your opinions. I whole-heartedly disagree with all of them, but at least there is substance.

Kirsty said...

Since you have redefined the term "Socialist", you make it difficult or impossible, really, to have meaningful conversation on this topic. We have to at least be using the same vocabulary.

One can't discuss the shades of blue in the sky with someone who insists that the sky is in fact, red.

Again, that term has been thrown about quite a bit these last few weeks without much regard at all for what it actually means.

Kirsty said...

Soxy-"he has been "pallin' around" with the greatest war criminal of the 21st century for the past 8 years, and his worldview, leadership ability, and policies are clearly affected by his relationship with this man."

*What more needs to be said? Really?!
Indeed, indeed. Quite.

Scott-"but that there are people who disagree with me and when asked why, they either have no idea, or they feel they are obligated by their religion to disagree with me, or they just regurgitate some of the hateful and slimy viral e-mails they've recieved from their friends and family. E-mails that they have made ZERO effort to verify. E-mails that somehow make them feel better about the rushed and prejudiced decision they had already come to about Obama"

*The zero effort to verify (when it is really SO easy to do) is irresponsible, and I believe it actually lacks integrity to send something that slanders the character of a fellow human and being (Brothers and Sisters, Children of God anyone??) without making any kind of effort to find out whether such vicious GOSSIP is true. It brings to mind that classic Mormonad with the oily hands. Gossip-Don't pass it on.

The part about being obligated by religion to disagree and regurgitating I find similarly mindless and distasteful. But the lack of fact checking-I consider just plain dishonest.

Thanks for commenting! Any friend of the Brownes....Hope you will be back.

Kirsty said...

Nathan, thank you for adding to Nathan's already massive ego :P Nathan is the husband of my sainted friend Amy. Sorry!

Kirsty said...

Erk that would be to you, Nancy :D

Jen Lynn said...

See, the thing with this whole election thing is that I can't stand the contention. But, I can deal with this discussion. It's not hateful. It's educational. And even though you didn't like my comment the other day, I appreciate what you guys are doing. It makes me want to go vote.

Also, the 16 page manifesto that was sent to me from my uncle "from america in 2012" made me want to puke! And vote for Obama.

Thanks Nathan and Kirsty.

Kirsty said...

Jenn which comment? I didn't get a comment from you?? A few people have mentioned posting comments (including Nathan) which have not been showing up!!) Post again, post again!
Thanks for posting today :D

Kirsty said...

PSA: I have not rejected any comments for either this post or the Mormon Democrat post. If your comment did not show up, please know it was not because I rejected it, and feel free to email it to me, or to repost it. We want to hear what you have to say!

Jen Lynn said...

I just posted something about how I liked reading your POV for your issues and was surprised that you stopped without mention of Prop. 8. I was discussing it last week with all of my "no on 8" brothers.

Kirsty said...

Since you asked Jen Lynn.

I also greatly appreciate how it was put by Claire here

The Primary song, "Jesus said love everyone, treat them kindly too, when your heart is filled with love, others will love you." is stuck in my head.

ANH said...

Awesome and still, totally relevant!