Monday, September 17, 2012

Rumors are flying ....

Isn't there a song by that title? I'm s sure it's about love but the rumors I'm hearing are about terror--or, more specifically, terrorists. Seems they have come across the border from Mexico by the hundreds of thousands--well, I'm sure there were indeed a lot of them--and they are planning coordinated, simultaneous attacks across the nation. Federal trooops are training the the wilds of the American West  (hmmm, wonder if they are militia?), and we are all advised to stay out of malls and churches. One person wrote on a recent listserv that the country is going to hell in a handbasket and all any of us can do is try to survive. I surely don't want to live with that philosophy, nor do I want to stay out of malls and churches--I can avoid huge public gatherings. Hey, good excuse for not going to football games.
Actually I can avoid malls without a second's hesitation, but last Sunday as I sat in church I thought about how comfortable and safe I felt in the sanctuary where I've worshipped for many years. Yes, we had a church tragedy in our city--a deranged man entered with a gun, killed and injured several before taking his own life.  But we thought it was an aberration. I think we always feel safe in our own little corner of the world. Sometimes I feel almost sad, guilty--what's the word I want?--that I am so blessed and safe while so many in the world live with horror and terror--there's that word again. George McGovern once said he was tired of wars that old men start so they can send young men to die. I would add the elderly, women, and children, for they seem to be the ones most often caught in the crossfire.
But back to those rumors. I'd like to dismiss them. I'd like to believe that our government has better intelligence in place than to allow that to happen. Nor do I believe the government knows all about this extensive plot and is keeping it secret. Have you noticed that nothing much seems to stay secret in Washington? Then again, after 9/11, we began to hear of warning signs, even outright warnings from aircraft schools and the like, that should have alerted the government and didn't. Are we better prepared today? Somewhere I've read statistics on how many terrorists plots have been foiled in this country--pretty impressive. Still those rumors, while no doubt exaggerated, are troubling. After all I have seven grandchildren, and I fervently pray that they grow up in as safe a world as I have lived in all these years. Right now, they are so well loved, so protected, so confident that the world is a good place, I don't want them to turn fearful (except, of course, of strangers offering candy or puppies).
Meantime Mr. Romney seems to step in it every time he opens his mouth, one gaffe after another. I cannot believe that anyone would believe him qualified to lead this country in this perilous times of terrorism (notice how often that word comes up), let alone vote for him. But I talked with a young woman the other day who is from Mexico and will vote for him because she doesn't believe in welfare. In Mexico they don't have welfare, and she says that makes people work. I didn't argue with her, though I could think of several arguments, primarily about the Mexican economy, because I like her a lot and because she happened to be cutting my hair at the time--didn't want to upset her. But it reminded me of the days when women were advised to vote a single issue ballot--on the right to abortion, a subject which seems to have gotten lost in recent campaign rhetoric, though it was hot for a while. Mr. Romney would like to make this election a single-issue one--about welfare and the economy, but I believe there is so much more to consider. Like international diplomacy, a front on which he has not distinguished himself. And like terrorism--there it is again--on which he spoke in haste without forethought, not a presidential quality.
I hope someone in the debates asks our two candidates what they believe about domestic terrorism and how to combat it. I'd really like to hear both sides.


Polly Iyer said...

You have a legitimate worry, Judy. I'm sure there are people planning some disaster because that's the climate in which we live. No administration could be as vigilant as we would like. It's just the cold hard fact. On another point, I'm always fascinated by people who vote their hot-button issues without realizing that they're voting against their own best interests. It's so important now to be informed. I'm afraid that's not the case.

Judy Alter said...

Thanks, Polly. I too am sure there are always people planning disasters but we have to live with some faith and without fear.
I think people who will vote for Romney on a single issue are voting their pocketbooks. That's why it's so important to get out the vote!