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I Need DU Help for an Upcoming Argument with my Rethug Stepmom

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Dbdmjs1022 Donating Member (369 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-15-08 09:43 PM
Original message
I Need DU Help for an Upcoming Argument with my Rethug Stepmom
So I went to the Orioles game today for Father's Day with my dad, stepmom, and sister. It was a good time, a fun, game, and we went for dinner afterwards. Now I know that my dad and stepmom are both Republican, and we're usually are pretty civil in our discussions, especially when it comes to my dad. But ever since my sis and I began openly and vigorously supporting Barack Obama, it definitely has seemed to irk both of them a bit, my stepmom and particular. And I got a preview of how the upcoming election season is gonna go at dinner after the game.

Now lemme preface this by saying I love all of my parents, Mom, Dad, and Stepmom. They're all amazing people. But my stepmom is one of those people who adamantly believes she is right and refuses to believe otherwise unless absolutely, 100% proven wrong. So as the conversation turned to politics, she said that she felt weird because she felt that Hillary was the best suited of the 3 final candidates (she hates the Clintons with a passion). She said this is because she is "the evil we know" and McCain and Obama are both "scary." Here's the interesting part: I asked why she considered Obama to be scary and her response was "because he is against everything that your life is based on." The broadness of the statement took me back a bit. While I was considering my retort, we were interrupted by a couple of her friends from work who randomly showed up at the restaurant. By the time they finished talking the subject was dropped (which is good, cause my dad was beginning to look worried that his Father's Day was about to be ruined haha). But with election day still 5 months away, I know it'll come up again and I want to be prepared.

So my question to you guys is, what do you think she meant by Obama being "against everything your life was based on"? I assume she meant economically, as she's actually not all that far right on ethical issues, but I don't know for sure. Now I know Obama's policies pretty well, but I'll admit I don't know his stance on every single subject. Is there actually something behind this argument, or is she just talking out of her ass. For reference, our family is middle class, maybe slightly leaning upwards but not by much. My sis and I live with my mom, who makes about $60,000 a year, in a suburban area. I just graduated from a good liberal arts college and am on the hunt for a job and an apartment, and my sis just finished her first year at a different one. But if it wasn't for loans and scholarships, it's doubtful we could've gone there.We both went to private Catholic grade and high schools. I don't know how much my dad and stepmom make, but I'm sure they each make more than what my mom does, maybe considerably. But they certainly don't make 6 figures each or anything like that. They live in their own house, again in a suburban area.

So looking at that story, I don't see anything that would be negatively effected by an Obama presidency. The only thing I can possibly think is that my dad and stepmom just barely fall into the bracket of the Bush tax cuts, but I don't think they make that much even combined. So I'm stumped here, and I need help from my fellow DUers in the form of

1. Is there anything at all to her statement at all that I should know of, so I'm not blindsided? Any Obama policy that could negatively effect a family in our situation?

and

2. Any ideas for a counter-argument I can throw back at her if she uses that line again.

Thanks guys!
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babylonsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-15-08 09:50 PM
Response to Original message
1. Wow. "He is against everything your life is based on."
What would that be? Having a good education, having integrity, and hope that our world can actually improve from the past 8 years? I have no idea, but will be interested in any suppositions.
Maybe her republicanism is showing and she must support the rethug regardless? And why is McCain an unknown to her while Clinton isn't? Is she politically aware at all?
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Dbdmjs1022 Donating Member (369 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-15-08 09:54 PM
Response to Reply #1
4. She's quite aware. She just feels that McCain is "useless", which I suppose is a plus.
Another gem from this conversation: "I feel bad for people voting for the first time this election, cause they don't really have a choice. Both candidates are totally useless."
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Cha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-15-08 10:22 PM
Response to Reply #4
12. Sorry, she knows so little about this and thinks
Edited on Sun Jun-15-08 10:23 PM by zidzi
she knows it all.

Edit~What does she think of the War On Iraq? 'Cause that's always been my main issue.
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sellitman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-15-08 10:00 PM
Response to Reply #1
6. "Politically aware" means different things to different people.
To a Repiggy it may mean listening to ole Rushbo. To DUers it mean an actual education. Huge difference.
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and-justice-for-all Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-16-08 04:00 AM
Response to Reply #1
26. That is comment caught my attention too...
REALLY?? EVERYTHING, she says. Now, just how did that come to her and who has been feeding her that nonsense?

Obama may not be 100% of everything 'I' want, but it is not only about ME, it is about US. Obama is 100x better than the last 8 years of hell we have had.

Rethugs are selvish, greedy fascist.
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Nitrogenica Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-15-08 09:54 PM
Response to Original message
2. She meant he's very Liberal. Extreme Liberal bashing is the norm on the right.
We're all on the same boat, and they might just be starting to realize Liberal Democrats are not just going to go away.

There is a strength in our numbers, so they either need to figure out what it's like to seek what Liberals and Conservatives have in common, or keep pretending Liberals are only a small minority.

The politics of what we have in common is our future. Just ask any millennial.
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Cleita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-15-08 09:54 PM
Response to Original message
3. I hate to throw racism out there
but it seems racist to me. Years ago when we elected a black mayor in my city, people said the same thing. They liked the guy but seemed fearful that their segregated neighborhoods, churches and schools would be invaded by (horrors!) African Americans. I would try to find out why she feels threatened.
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nankerphelge Donating Member (995 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-15-08 09:54 PM
Response to Original message
5. You said all that needs to be said with this statement...
Edited on Sun Jun-15-08 09:55 PM by nankerphelge
"my stepmom is one of those people who adamantly believes she is right and refuses to believe otherwise unless absolutely, 100% proven wrong." The people that are still driving around with W stickers on their car have no ability to think critically. Therefore, they default to the easy solution, i.e., W (and what will soon be McCain) is right and everything that contradicts this is wrong regardless of the facts. I doubt she has any basis for her statement about Obama other than this mentality and the Fox News talking point of the day (HE DIDN'T HAVE ON A LAPEL FLAG PIN!) There was actually an interesting book that talked about the psychology behind this phenomenon out a couple years ago... wish I could remember the name/author.
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baldguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-15-08 10:03 PM
Response to Original message
7. "...against everything that your life is based on."
Like DEFENDING the Constitution instead of shredding it? Like making sure we go to war as a LAST resort rather than the first? Like supporting policies that UNITE OUR FRIENDS and DIVIDE OUR ENEMIES instead of the other way around?

Seems the GOP is REALLY "against everything that your life is based on."

The GOP is intent on destroying the middle class. The GOP is responsible for shipping jobs overseas. The GOP is responsible for $4+ per gal gas. The GOP is responsible for poisoned air, poisoned water, poisoned food, poisoned consumer products, etc. The GOP is responsible for higher state & local taxes. The GOP is responsible for the mortgage crisis. The GOP is responsible for allowing America to be attacked by terrorists. The GOP is responsible for 10,000+ American deaths, and 1,000,000+ Iraqi deaths.

The Democratic Party - and Barack Obama - ISN'T.

There are only three reasons to vote against Obama: racism, extreme wealth, or plain stupidity. Which catagory does step-mom fall into?
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
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FrenchieCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-15-08 10:07 PM
Response to Original message
8. Since you have 5 months, I suggest that you ask her again at some point......
because the problem is that what she said was so vague until it is impossible to understand her meaning....which may have been exactly how she wanted it.

Maybe she doesn't know what your life is based on; integrity, inspiration, and the American Dream. Maybe she thinks your life is based on war, bankrupt ideas and the Bank of China. :shrug:

I always tell the Republicans that I speak to who act "scared" of Barack ....that if they are afraid of terrorists attacking our country, destroying our financial centers, attacking our pentagon, taking away our civil rights and privacy, starting a war unprovoked, our dollar in free fall, gas prices skyrocketing, and the United States being owned by the Bank of China and multinational Corporations, they should know that in fact, what they most fear has already happened. The only problem is that it had nothing to do with Barack Obama.
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Cha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-15-08 10:26 PM
Response to Reply #8
14. Good retort..
"I always tell the Republicans that I speak to who act "scared" of Barack ....that if they are afraid of terrorists attacking our country, destroying our financial centers, attacking our pentagon, taking away our civil rights and privacy, starting a war unprovoked, our dollar in free fall, gas prices skyrocketing, and the United States being owned by the Bank of China and multinational Corporations, they should know that in fact, what they most fear has already happened. The only problem is that it had nothing to do with Barack Obama."
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DeeDeeNY Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-15-08 10:09 PM
Response to Original message
9. Try this if she says he's too liberal
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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-15-08 10:16 PM
Response to Original message
10. He went to Catholic school
You went to Catholic school. He went to college on scholarship, you went to college on scholarship.

Find the things you have in common and keep steering her in that direction. She'll never change her mind on the basic belief that they did it all themselves, and anybody who advocates help is lazy.
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taught_me_patience Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-16-08 03:07 AM
Response to Reply #10
25. Punahou is not a catholic school
It is a secular non-denominational protestant. I'm an alumni of punahou.
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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-16-08 10:26 AM
Response to Reply #25
30. I wasn't referring to Punahou n/t
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Cha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-15-08 10:21 PM
Response to Original message
11. I was shocked too the other week when
a customer at the co-op I hadn't seen in while asked me how I was doing and I thought it was safe to say.."great, summer feels like it's here and Obama is our candidate". She made a face and I said.."what's wrong?"

She said, "he's evil, I support ron paul"! Me, "oh yeah, have you seen Obama's speech that he gave at an anti-war rally in Oct, 2002 that was so prescient it listed all the things that actually happened including it being a karl rove political war?".."How evil is that?!"

She started stammering a little and saying ron paul was against the war, too. JEEZE. I had to go do something else but she came up to me a lttle while later and said she may have misspoke. I said..Obama's not evil and you'll find that out when he becomes Prez.

There's so much misinformation going around..I'm glad Obama Team has that Rapid Response site going on. I think possibly your step mom is misinformed.
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Mayberry Machiavelli Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-15-08 10:25 PM
Response to Original message
13. Sadly, she might be one of the many who believe he is a secret Muslim.
Go to the http://fighthesmears.com site to read up on rebuttals to all this.

That's my read on the specific phrase she used.
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jwirr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-15-08 10:28 PM
Response to Original message
15. Are you sure she is not one of the people who believe he is a Muslim?
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sakura Donating Member (660 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-15-08 10:47 PM
Response to Original message
16. Have you ever changed her mind?
I think this is an important question to ask, if only for your own peace of mind. You wrote that she won't change her mind unless proven 100% incorrect. Does this apply to politics? If there's the tiniest possibility that you can change her mind, go for it. But if not, why bother? How will the three of you benefit?

Assuming that possibility exists, it would be worthwhile to find out what she meant by her statement "because he is against everything that your life is based on." This seems to be an emotionally charged statement, and one that is full of fear. You can't reason someone out of a position they didn't reason themselves into. Politics has a huge emotional component (as GD-P so beautifully illustrated), and I think the proportion of this component varies for a lot of people. Fear, in particular, is a debilitating emotion. It cuts off the capacity to reason, and this, I think, is why the Bush admin wielded it like a sword.

The way to deal with this type of emotionally-based position is to make it personal, so that positive emotions are involved and displace the fear. Reason alone probably won't be enough. Another poster suggested linking Obama's experiences to your own-- Catholic school, college scholarship, etc. Great idea. Are there any similarities to her own experiences?
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Cha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-15-08 11:05 PM
Response to Original message
17. I just found this on DU..and thought of your situation..
DeepModem Mom (1000+ posts) Fri Jun-13-08 07:20 PM
Original message
Media Matters: Media suggest Obama "is different, isn't like you, isn't on your side"
Media Matters for America: Fri, Jun 13, 2008
"Media Matters"; by Jamison Foser
E. D. Hill has company

When Fox News anchor E. D. Hill suggested that Barack and Michelle Obama may have engaged in a "terrorist fist jab" at a recent campaign event, condemnation (and mockery) of Hill's comments was swift, and forced her to offer an on-air quasi-apology. While Hill's apology was unusual (though not unprecedented -- just a few weeks ago, a Fox analyst apologized for joking about assassinating Obama), her original comments were sadly typical of the media's treatment of Obama. Since he began running for president, news reports have relentlessly suggested that Obama is different; that he isn't like you; that he isn't on your side. Sometimes, like Hill's "terrorist fist jab" comment, those suggestions have been obvious, and clearly offensive. Other times, they have been comparatively subtle and seemingly pointless -- Chris Matthews' deep concern with Barack Obama's decision to order orange juice in a diner and what it says about his ability to connect with "regular people," for example. But they have two things in common: They portray Obama as weird -- un-American, even -- and they do so based on little more than the fevered imaginations of some journalists and the vicious lies of right-wing partisans....

***

Washington Post reporter Jonathan Weisman responded to a question referencing the possibility of "Osama blowing up the Sears Tower" by writing, "How about Obama blowing up the Sears Tower! I never liked that building anyway." Weisman did add, "Just kidding, folks." Another washingtonpost.com reader later followed up: "Um, did you really just joke about Obama blowing up the Sears Tower, or were you thinking Osama, but wrote Obama? Either way, not funny." Weisman wasn't the first reporter to use the "just kidding" defense after inappropriately and baselessly linking Obama to a controversial figure. CNN commentator Jeff Greenfield (now with CBS) compared Obama's tendency to wear shirts with open collars to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's preferred style of dress. When criticized by, among others, Columbia Journalism Review, Greenfield claimed he had been kidding, that he meant the commentary as a "patently absurd parody of muddled political thinking" and lashed out at his critics.

But humor (if you can call it that) doesn't excuse making comments like this -- indeed, it makes it more likely that the public will remember and internalize the comparisons, and that the caricatures will take hold.

Media figures also often portray Obama as un-American or unpatriotic. Dick Morris says that "the question that plagues Obama is ... Is he pro-American?" and that the presidential election hinges on whether "we believe" Obama is "sort of a sleeper agent who really doesn't believe in our system." Investor's Business Daily asks, "Would Obama put African tribal or family interests ahead of U.S. interests?" On Fox & Friends, host Steve Doocy says Obama has "patriotism problems." MSNBC's Chris Matthews thinks "it's a hard thing for someone like Barack Obama" to express a "gut sense of Americanism" and describes Obama as "almost Third World in his sort of presentation." Jonah Goldberg falsely claims Obama "dodges the word and concept of patriotism." And countless news reports -- not just in the right-wing media -- have obsessed over the fact that Obama often does not wear a flag pin (Fox News' Sean Hannity particularly loves this line of attack -- despite the fact that Hannity himself often appears on television without such a pin) or have passed along ridiculous claims about Obama and the Pledge of Allegiance, as CBS News and The Washington Post (among others) have done.

Countless news reports have directly suggested Obama is secretly a Muslim, while others uncritically report the allegation without bothering to make clear that it is false....

***

Matthews frequently claims that Obama is not a "regular" person -- and that his supporters aren't "regular people," either, as I explained last week....


....(J)ournalists need to do more than understand the intent and effect of false rumors pushed by the right. They need to understand how their own reporting and commentary have similar effects, regardless of their intent. They need to understand that they have a responsibility that goes beyond being careful not to spread (intentionally or otherwise) these bogus right-wing themes; they also have a responsibility to aggressively report the truth. There is a broad smear campaign being waged against Barack Obama, and it is long past time for the media to expose and debunk those smears, not play into them.

http://mediamatters.org/items/200806130006?f=h_latest

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
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babylonsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-15-08 11:14 PM
Response to Reply #17
18. That just makes me sad. nt
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Cha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-15-08 11:32 PM
Response to Reply #18
19. I know..it's what we've come
to expect over the years and the media is not going to let Obama win without a fight.

"Obama believes the consequence of consolidation has been less diversity, less local news and the parroting of stories across multiple outlets. That, he said, needs to change.

In other words, the media is on notice: The potential new sheriff is in town, and he believes theres plenty of cleaning up to do."


http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
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FrenchieCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-15-08 11:41 PM
Response to Original message
20. Send these links to your Stepmother
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TexanDem Donating Member (786 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-16-08 12:05 AM
Response to Original message
21. Here's my guess from having a whole lot of Republican friends & family... >>
Living in Texas, it seems I'm the outcast politically speaking. But be that as it may - most of the Republicans I know (probably all more in your mother-in-law's age group than yours - I'm guessing) are against a Dem candidate because of value things such as abortion, gay rights, prayer in school, government handouts to people who can work for it (the old pull yourself up by the bootstrap mentality), efforts to take "God" out of the pledge, "handing everything over to the illegals," -- these things seem to go against their moral fiber. I really don't think it's racial. It could have something to do with his "Muslim" name -- just about all the Republicans I know, that bothers them. They still worry about him not saying the pledge. And they still bring up Wright and the 20-years bit. So, that's my guess where she's at.
There's not much you can do to convince them otherwise, at least that I've found, and I've tried everything I know. I do try to weed out the false things, like the pledge and the "Muslim," and make comparisons to Wright with radical evangelists, but all the rest is still there. The approach I'm trying now is saying, "Look, you don't have to be a Democrat to support him. Many, many Republicans are moving over to support him because McCain is so bad. They know they will never agree 100% with any one candidate. They'll never give up their party, they're just realizing that Obama is trying to unite us all, bring Dems and Republicans together and has even said he will almost surely have a few Republicans in his cabinet."
Otherwise, my advice is to be gentle, and don't push. It's not worth the friction in the family. Many in my circle, we have to just avoid the topic of politics-- and usually religion, too. Their couple of votes won't mean he'll lose.
Good luck
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lxlxlxl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-16-08 12:17 AM
Response to Original message
22. Yeah that is a pretty broad based attack point that doesnt really leave...
anything to respond to substantively.

Good luck...it sounds like she already made up her mind. You might be better off trying to explain where the conservatives and bushes have gone wrong...
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AlCzervik Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-16-08 12:26 AM
Response to Original message
23. What's her life based on? Has she been your step mom for a really long time?
Does she live your life?
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intaglio Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-16-08 02:53 AM
Response to Original message
24. I think it is just a broad brush thing
She doesn't like him and cannot put it into words.

Try and find out what she thinks she means and it will probably revolve round the Rev'd Wright, Islaamic fantasies and "big government". The actual problem is that Obama is different; he is not white, he is not from the mainstream, he is not a recognised name and he can seem "too good to be true". Big arguments won't win out - go gently
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Norrin Radd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-16-08 06:57 AM
Response to Original message
27. Just gloat, "Ha ha! Your guy is going to lose like so much Bob Dole!"
"Sucks to be you! The Hope Train is leaving the station."

You can't reason with willful ignorance.
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rucky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-16-08 07:26 AM
Response to Original message
28. No counter-arguement. She needs to explain herself.
because she's mischaracterizing YOU and HIM.
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MiniMe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-16-08 07:38 AM
Response to Original message
29. Does she agree with how the country has been going for the last 7.5 years?
That would be a good place to start. If she thinks the last 7.5 years have been fine and dandy and Bush is a great President, there is no hope. She has swallowed a big dose of the Koolaid.

I think she is watching too much Faux News, if you can steer her to Olberman instead of O'Lielly, you have a chance.
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Vinca Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-16-08 11:14 AM
Response to Original message
31. I can't imagine what your stepmother was referring to.
If you ever find out, please let us know. Obama wants everyone to have a good education, a decent paying job, a safe place to live, adequate healthcare and an opportunity to retire someday with dignity. Oh, wait, as I write a thought occurred to me. I bet she's bought into the right wing Muslim talking point. It sounds like a religious reference.
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PoliticalAmazon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-16-08 11:34 AM
Response to Original message
32. With broad statements like this, it's best to ask for a description of what is meant....
Mind reading during a hotly contested political contest, especially if it's a relative, is always dangerous and very often inaccurate.

Once you have specifics, then respectfully say why you believe the way you do about the issue.

Personally, I don't discuss politics with people I care for if they have different opinions during a political race. I can't see any profit in it.
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DangerDave921 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-16-08 11:49 AM
Response to Original message
33. Your Youth
Some older folks think that because you're young with no real life experienece, no job, no adult responsibilities, that you don't understand the issues confronting our nation. And I agree to an extent. Myself at age 22 is not the person I am now at 41 with two kids, a career, a mortgage, etc. I used to be more of a flame-throwing liberal. Now I'm more of a mainstream Dem who still wants lower taxes, likes capitalism, and likes free markets. And I'm not all that gung-ho about universal healthcare to be honest.

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Sadie4629 Donating Member (919 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-16-08 02:59 PM
Response to Original message
34. About taxes . . .
We are about as middle class as they come. My husband has a white collar job (he's an accountant,) makes a fair, but not huge salary, I stayed home with the kids. Under Clinton's tax plan, our taxes went up. Under Bush's, they went down. True fact.

My husband--who leans to the right on economic issues--says that NHC will cause our taxes to increase astronomically. Instead of the couple hundred per month that we now pay in premium, we can expect to pay substantially more in taxes to fund everyone else's healthcare.

You are very, very young. I am guessing that you really don't know that much about your parents' tax situation. You probably also don't know the feeling that comes with watching your paycheck dwindle after FICA, federal taxes, state taxes, etc.

Maybe this is the kind of thing your stepmom is referring to.
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kenny blankenship Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-16-08 03:19 PM
Response to Original message
35. "As far as I know" Senator Obama does not oppose the Krebs Cycle
Back when I thought he was opposed to everything your life was based on, I wouldn't vote for him either. But over time, I have become more acquainted with his views and theoretical background. I am confident that he accepts the reality of glycolysis and cellular respiration. I am somewhat troubled though by his admitted past history with adenosine triphosphate. Sometimes I worry: is America really ready for a President who would admit to being dependent on adenosine triphosphate?

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