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Alliance vs. FriendshipKenneth G. Ramey Salem-News.com
A focus on faith and religion from a Salem-News.com writer who was raised during the Great Depression.
(PASO ROBLES, Calif.) - The definitions are important in understanding the fundamental difference between how Conservatives and Liberals view the world.
An alliance is an association of groups, people, or nations who agree to cooperate to achieve a common goal. [the key words are “agree to cooperate”]. They don’t always.
Friendship is a relationship between people, organizations, or countries that is characterized by mutual assistance, approval, and support [the key word here is “characterized”]. Friends don’t let friends drive drunk, for example.
An alliance is equivalent to a committee, friendship to a mutual admiration society. Conservatives think of the committee as being under the direction of the U.S., a construction Geo. W. Bush [and the Far Right] choose to push as the “decider.” It hasn’t always gone over well with other committee members. Liberals are more inclined to feel they are dealing with equals,
It may have been better if Barack Obama, during his recent trip abroad, had spoken less of allies and more of the friends of the U.S. Still, in his tentative position, it is understandable why he didn‘t. At this stage of the game impression is more important than words, and from all appearances he came off well... It is only natural that McCain and the conservative media would fault him.
Their method deserves some attention; for they criticize Obama by questioning why he did not do as they would have done. McCain has said he believes in peace though power, and it is the refrain of all confirmed conservatives who are unwilling that the U. S. should relinquish its supposed position of primacy and join the ranks of equals. They are the traditionalists, the “worthy bearers” of givens passed down through generations from respected elders. Evangelicals, acting as surrogates, pretend to know God’s will, but cannot. Yet their delivery is so paternal and ancestral as to convince the susceptible of truths more conjectural than valid, and whose purpose is to dominate our minds.
The problem is that by allowing conservatives to act as they do, everyone else is relegated to the “dog’s berth.” If they [or we] do not bend to the will of the master he may punish us, as happened in Iraq and against out Freedoms. Following the Cold War, Vladimir Putin felt Russia would be treated as an equal, but Bush disappointed him when he neglected to tell Putin of his plan to install anti-ballistic missile-sites in Europe.
North Korea and Iran were ignored too until through diplomacy, Korea settled for a treat, When it destroyed its nuclear facility Bush also removed it from his list as a terrorist state. Iran is stubborn, but Obama has the right idea, diplomacy as an indication of friendship that might yet settle differences and eliminate a presumed nuclear threat.
Yet, the Conservative Right, wanting always to be the boss rather than a friend, faults Obama for his good judgment because it does not correspond with its aggressive will. When will they learn that respect and sincere friendship can do more-for-less than the belief in “peace through power” however, and wherever it is exercised?
Kenneth G. Ramey was a 79-year old "writer without a Website" who is generating excellent, provocative articles on the subject of religion. We are pleased that Ken's "lone wolf" presence as a writer in the world is being replaced by a spot on our team of writers at Salem-News.com. Raised in Minnesota and California during the dark years of the Great American Depression, Ken is well suited to talk about the powerful forces in the world that give all of us hope and tragedy and everything in between.
The youngest of four boys raised by mother alone during the depression, his family was on welfare for 9+ years. During and after high school, he worked as an iceman, then drove a beverage truck in San Francisco and Contra Costa counties. At 27, Ken went to work for a bank as an Installment loan man in branches before moving to Administration. In 1971 he left the banking industry and went to college at Glendale Junior College before transferring to San Francisco State Uuniversity. Ken graduated in 1975, and also had three years of Post-Grad study. Ken lives in beautiful Paso Robles, California with his wife. They have a wonderful facility that they built from scratch. You can write to Ken at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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