Saturday, November 19, 2011

The No-Bullshit Guys in Politics

I talked with my brother on Skype the other day and he asked what was going on politically/economically in France right now. I gave him a run-down - not much detail because I don't pay as much attention to French politics as American. But we shared a chuckle at the Sarkozy/Obama open mic gaffe where they trashed Netanyahu and my brother said, "I always liked Netanyahu. He's a no-bullshit guy."

Well, I had to disagree, since I'm hating on all the pro war-with-Iran, pro Likud, pro settlements, anti-Palestinian crap that the GOP dishes out (and up until recently, what Dennis Ross and the great American-Israel lobby AIPAC has been advising Obama) and the fact that the crazy religious right in America think that they have to be "Israel's friend" so they can be guaranteed a seat when Jesus makes his second coming and hands Israel back to the Christians. Grrrrrrr. And all the bullshit about "poor Israel... such a tiny country, surrounded by a giant Arab world that wants to completely destroy them... They need our help and weapons and lots of foreign aid!" makes my head explode. Israel is probably sitting on enough nuclear warheads, murderous white phosphorous (that we sold them) and other weapons to completely destroy the Middle East. They also require ALL Israeli adult citizens (men and women) to serve in the military, so they have a ready-made army.

Poor Israel, my ass. (Enter anti-Semitic accusations, stage, er, right)

But what got me thinking was my brother's comment, "no-bullshit guy." This is an American trope, an image of a straight talkin' guy who's direct, succinct, tells it like it is, says what he means and means what he says, doesn't waste your time or his on frivolous conversation, speaks no platitudes, never sugar coats anything, doesn't see gray - just black and white, etc. This kind of guy is revered, he's refreshing. I get it. My brother owns a metals fabrication and construction company. I grew up in the construction industry. It's full of no-bullshit guys. Shit either fits or it doesn't. Buildings either stand or they don't.

Then I thought of Dick Cheney, the ultimate no-bullshit guy. It was his no-bullshit delivery of his neoconservative stance that made me curious about him. I wanted to know why he thought his world view was the only world view. He said it with such force, he must be right. Right?

I thought of another neoconservative, John Bolton. He was openly hating on the UN while he was the US's UN appointee. These guys don't hide themselves. You can go to the PNAC website (Project for A New American Century) and read all about why they wanted to take down Saddam Hussein way back when Clinton was president and why they believe that America must control the Middle East to secure our gas/oil resources. And in line with those beliefs, they all want war with Iran now. Because, of course, Iraq was such a great success.

I like no-bullshit guys too. But no-bullshit guys can be mistaken. Just because somebody can speak clearly and state their position intelligently and with extreme conviction doesn't mean they're right. A good example is my friend Sandee, a former Republican politician, who has always had the knack for making statements with such conviction that you have a tendency to believe her. But one time, after having some cocktails, we walked out to our cars and I noticed that she had mistakenly picked up my car keys off the bar table so I picked up hers and didn't say anything. We arrived at our cars, jabbering away as always, and she started to try to open her car door using my keys. I interrupted her and said, "Sandee, those are my car keys." "No they're not." she said, as she continued to talk and fail at opening her door. "Yes, they are." "No they're not." "Yes they are." "Oh, they aren't my keys. Oh. Ha!"

The many times that she categorically denied the fact that she was trying to use my keys to open her car door made me want to believe her, even though I was standing there holding her keys.

Neocons are no-bullshit guys. They firmly believed that we had to attack Iraq and they still believe that Iraq was a success. They firmly believe we have to attack Iran too. They're eloquent. They have high-level degrees from prestigious universities. They speak with conviction. It's not propaganda to sway the ignorant masses. They don't give a shit about the ignorant masses. They have an agenda and they are going to implement it. Period.

But they're fucking wrong. Don't be misled. They are holding your keys, remember that.

P.S. - The ideal no-bullshit woman doesn't exist. Because women, and their positions, are supposed to be less-than. They are supposed to start every sentence with a qualifier, "I don't know everything there is to know about this, but...". If women are direct and succinct, they're ball busters. Oh, and they're probably gay.

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