Saturday, June 6, 2009


This week, two events happened almost simultaneously.

First, Osama Bin Laden released another tape, accusing President Obama of "sowing the seeds of hatred" around the world.

And second, my husband received an email.

Ha! You probably thought I was going to talk about the president's speech in Egypt, and how he is clearly reaching out to the Muslim world and making Bin Laden's vitriole sound ridiculous, unlike another president whose endless, bumbling saber-rattling made even some Americans think about releasing tapes of their own.

Nope. That would be too easy. Let's talk about my husband's email instead.

The email was supposedly from a Chrysler dealer in Michigan, whose franchise has been terminated. I am always suspicious about this type of email, mostly because they tend to be very well written. Let's face it, there are not that many eloquent writers among the average supposed American car dealers, or soldiers supposedly stationed in Iraq, or businessmen supposedly going out of business because they are being taxed to death by Barney Frank and Chris Dodd.

But my husband has received forwarded emails from all these and more. All very well written.

Anyway, let's assume it really was a car dealer writing. Fine. The email was complaining about Obama taking over GM and Chrysler, which I suppose is true. I don't think his ambition is really to run a couple of over-sized, out-dated car companies, but in an attempt to save their butts, the government did take them over.

The dealer was upset about losing his franchise. Fine. Totally understandable. He stands to lose a great deal of money. But if the "free market" had its way, GM and Chrysler would already be under. So the result would have been the same. At least the way it all unfolded, he should have had some inkling that trouble was on the horizon. I mean, he should have been running a clearance sale for months, right?

Ok. Now we get into the ranting part. The email ended by comparing the government's take-over of Chrysler with the Nazi's "Crystal Night," a violent pogrom against Jews in which glass was shattered, synagogues were destroyed, homes were ransacked and thousands of men, women and children were arrested and deported to concentration camps.

The comparison, to me, is not only offensive - it is dangerous.

The conservative fringe-ers love to insinuate that Obama is a communist, a fascist, a radical Muslim, a Nazi, or even the anti-Christ. They don't usually use those words. But the insinuation is there. And their eloquent emails, editorials and "news" stories have the power to inflame and convince otherwise sane, compassionate people.

Think about it. If Americans read these emails and get all up in arms and react with the outrage that was exactly the author's intent, we are validating Osama bin Laden's words.

We are making it perfectly reasonable for young, impressionable middle-eastern men to consider becoming martyrs. After all, if we think our country is The Great Satan, why shouldn't they?

We are "emboldening the enemy" as someone whose middle name begins with W used to say.

We are missing a chance to lead the world (including our own wonderful-but-not-perfect country) in a new, better direction.

Let's not miss it. Please.



  1. Lesley,
    I guess we just have to face the fact that some people are just too dim-witted to see anything but their own narrow point of view -
    even when it means missing out on the chance for the USA to gain back our respect and dignity.

    I know very little about the Muslim world but I am mature enough to recognize a radical from a peaceful follower of Islam. Our president knows that too and he is so right to mend the fences that the Bushites destroyed.

    The idiots that challenge this philosophy would rather have another 911 just to prove themselves right. They will never see it any other way. So I have given up trying to figure them out.

    As for me I am happy with the direction our country is taking abroad. And it was about time GM and Chrysler had a reality check. Too bad the gov't had to be the imposer but hey maybe the IRS will give us some rebates on some new vehicles. LOL

  2. Bravo! I can't believe how many 'intelligent' people form their opinions based on forwarded e-mails! I am quite hopeful about the 'new W'!

  3. Happy Birthday! Ok i seriously doubt that it's your birthday, but i got you a present anyway. check me blog

  4. Rae: I agree about the 'reality check' for GM and Chrysler. I know people who still say "They should have just let them go under." Really? Let em die? In the middle of a global financial meltdown? argh. There's just no reasoning with some people.

    Lily: I keep telling my husband I'm going to write one of those emails and have him send it to just one friend. I wanna see how long it takes for him to get it back from all his other friends! haha

    AtomBomb: Well, it's not my birthday but you have my attention!