Friday, December 19, 2014
Community Blog

NO To Omnibus

by UniteBlue on December 12, 2014

JR Gaillot


Is that the image you want to wake up to again? Housing market crashes even further, all your savings and retirement wiped out. This is what we are facing again with the new Omnibus bill.

The White House has signaled a willingness to sign the new Omnibus bill. Why? To avoid a government shutdown. Last year when the Republicans shut the government down over Obamacare, it was a miserable attempt to deny Americans a right to healthcare. This time the same Republicans and, by extension, Wall Street, want their friends – the rich and powerful like the Koch brothers – to get even richer. They want to gamble, but with our money not theirs, and they are going to place bets that the economy will crash. When it does, they will be the winners, not us, at our expense.

We have a huge problem in America; the income gap is greater today than at any point in our history. The middle class is disappearing before our eyes – we are disappearing, women still make less than men, and college education costs a fortune. When someone does manage to graduate from college, they are in so much debt that the majority of their income (if they are lucky enough to get a well-paying job) is spent paying back student loans (loans that cannot be added to bankruptcy declarations). The final outcome is that the standard of living for their families is much lower.

This spending bill must not pass. This is a call to action!

We cannot afford to let Wall Street banks run our lives again; we trusted them before and we ended up with record foreclosures and retirement losses. We are just beginning to recover. Not a single banker went to jail because of the 2008 crash. Let’s join Senators Warren and Sanders in calling for this bill to change. Let’s hold the Republicans accountable.

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Thank you, #UniteBlue.

by UniteBlue on November 5, 2014

Thank you for fighting. Thank you for voting. We know you worked hard, and we expect you feel disappointed. Take a few seconds.

Now shake it off. That’s all you get. We have work to do.

Republicans aren’t waiting — they are already planning how to destroy President Obama’s legacy. They are already plotting ways to cripple Obamacare and testing excuses to justify impeachment. We must respond with greater unity and resolve.

As President Obama said, “If you turn away now — if you buy into the cynicism that the change we fought for isn’t possible, well, change will not happen. If you give up on the idea that your voice can make a difference, then other voices will fill the void.”

Let’s be clear: we didn’t lose the Senate because Republicans have better ideas or because they’re appealing to more voters.

We always knew 2014 would be an uphill battle. Only 40% of eligible voters turnout for midterms, 21 out of 36 seats up for grabs were held by Democrats, and those seats were won during President Obama’s surge in 2008.

2016 looks completely different. Over 60% of eligible voters turnout for general elections, 24 out of 33 seats up for grabs are held by Republicans, and those seats were won during the Tea Party’s surge in 2010.

Mark my words: Democrats will win back control of the Senate in 2016.

In the meantime, the GOP is facing a daunting challenge that could wreck their chances of keeping the House of Representatives and winning the White House: they have to govern. Republicans cannot continue to cripple Congress then blame Democrats. Unfortunately for them, Republicans also cannot control the nihilistic, extremist wing of their party, and will undoubtedly anger mainstream voters with their radical policies.

UniteBlue will be there to hold them accountable. We’ll be there to protect Obamacare, women’s rights and voting rights. We’ll be there to reduce gun violence, climate change and the corrupting influence of money in politics. We’ll be there to push for immigration reform, a living wage, and veterans benefits.

After all, last night’s elections showed we’re on the right side of the issues. Just look at the ballot measures that passed. Deep-red states such as Arkansas and Nebraska voted to raise the minimum wage. North Dakota and Colorado rejected personhood amendments. Washington state expanded background checks. When progressive positions stood on their own, they were embraced every time.

There’s plenty more good news that pundits won’t be talking about. Pennsylvania dumped Tom Corbett, the first governor to ever lose re-election in the state’s history. Scott Brown was rejected, again, and now we’re wondering what state he’ll try next. Minority turnout in Georgia reached record-breaking levels, a promising step towards turning that state blue. Women also have over 100 seats in the House for the first time in history.

Those are promising steps forward, but we must remember that politics is about more than any single election. It’s a fight for the soul of our country. We know that change takes patience, but we also know that “change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.”

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Democrats need to #OccupyTheNarrative

by UniteBlue on November 5, 2014

The Patriotic Liberal


Republicans have been successful at occupying the political narrative of the country since Ronald Reagan was elected in 1980. Democrats need to learn to #OccupyTheNarrative just as effectively if they want to have more electoral success. Democrats can do well in presidential elections due to demographics, but the left needs more unified messaging if we want to win more Congressional, state, and local elections — including midterms.

Put 10 elected Democratic leaders in a room and you will hear 20 different policy positions. Put 10 elected Republicans in a room and you will hear ONE ideology. Republicans know ideology and values are more important than policies when it comes to winning elections. Democrats do not.

More Americans agree with Democrats than Republicans on most policy issues, but Republicans still win many elections. One reason for this is that many Americans believe Democrats do not have the same values as them, even when they agree with their policies. Many more do not know Democrats want the same policies as they want, because Democrats are ineffective at communicating their policy positions. This is because Democrats do not connect their policy positions with their values. Democrats are not packaging their policies in an overall ideological context that voters are connecting with emotionally.

Republicans have been communicating one consistent ideology for over 30 years. Democrats have not. Republicans have been connecting emotionally with their base through this ideology and through common values. Democrats have not.

This has also allowed Republicans to define Democrats as something they are not, because the Democratic image is more emotionally vague. Republicans have the Conservative Entertainment Complex to get their message out. Hate Radio, the Misinformation Web, and Faux News are all powerful. The false talking points put out by the Right Wing through the Conservative Entertainment Complex sound “truthy” to their base because they connect with the ideology the right has been crafting for over 30 years. What they hear does not have to be true, it only has to sound true.

Republicans are much better at lying than Democrats are at telling the truth.

Democrats need to unify their messaging around a shared ideology that makes an emotional connection to their base. Democrats need to consistenly use the same talking points to reinforce this messaging. Democrats need to connect their values to their policies. Get on the same page Dems! A unified message that connects with values wins.

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Limbaugh Bullies #StopRush

by UniteBlue on September 24, 2014

Terrified after losing over 3,170 sponsors and watching his ratings drop like a rock, Rush Limbaugh is lashing out at the #StopRush movement. Rush is now paying his PR firm to harass, intimidate and smear activists disgusted by his bigotry, homophobia and misogyny.

Last night, Rush Limbaugh “exposed” #StopRush in a long, impressively inaccurate post on his website. He released the names and locations of several activists in an attempt to bully them into silence. Posting personal information on private citizens is truly disgusting, even for Rush. Luckily, most of it was completely wrong.

Rush thinks he can distract, divide and discredit his opposition — and his lies are endless.

Rush Limbaugh specifically claimed that “secret software from UniteBlue allows #StopRush to send automated Tweets without any human interaction.” That was certainly news to us. We don’t have secret software, or automate any accounts. It seems Rush decided to just make things up as he goes.. though that shouldn’t be surprising.

UniteBlue is not officially affiliated with StopRush, or any other group, but many of our members overlap and we will not stand by quietly as proud progressives are smeared. Twitter’s political power rests partly in the ability to confront the powerful without intimidation or fear of retribution.

We won’t let Rush Limbaugh bully the Left. He awakened a sleeping giant.

The #StopRush movement holds Rush Limbaugh accountable for his message of misogyny, racism and divisiveness. Their purpose is to politely contact advertisers who usually are unaware of exactly what they are supporting with their ad placement during his program.

The database of advertisers at www.stoprush.net has current advertisers and provides all known contact data. Join us tonight in asking sponsors to say no to Rush (and letting him know that no actually means no).

We’ve compiled ten quotes from Rush Limbaugh below; ask sponsors whether they want to be associated with these messages.

  • “I love the women’s movement — especially when walking behind it.”
  • “Feminism was established so as to allow unattractive women easier access to the mainstream of society.”
  • “If we are going to pay for your contraceptives and thus pay for you to have sex, we want something. We want you to post the videos online so we can all watch.”
  • “What does it say about the college co-ed [Sandra] Fluke who goes before a congressional committee and essentially says that she must be paid to have sex — what does that make her? It makes her a slut, right? It makes her a prostitute. She wants to be paid to have sex. She’s having so much sex she can’t afford the contraception.”
  • “How many guys, in your own experience with women, have learned that no means yes if you know how to spot it?”
  • “When a gay person turns his back on you, it is anything but an insult; it’s an invitation.”
  • “Look, let me put it to you this way: the NFL all too often looks like a game between the Bloods and the Crips without any weapons. There, I said it.”
  • “Have you ever noticed how all composite pictures of wanted criminals resemble Jesse Jackson?”
  • “Holocaust 90 million Indians? Only four million left? They all have casinos, what’s to complain about?”
  • “If you feed the children three square meals a day during the school year, how can you expect them to feed themselves in the summer? Wanton little waifs and serfs dependent on the State. Pure and simple.”

Rush Limbaugh fancies himself the titular head of the Republican Party.  Republicans kiss his ring and will not rebuke his wildly offensive speech. Republicans who have attempted to confront Rush have been forced to apologize, including former RNC Chair Michael Steele, Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-GA) and former Gov. Mark Sanford (R-SC). They won’t confront Rush. We will.

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#WinWithWestlund in Wisconsin

by UniteBlue on September 23, 2014

When Kelly Westlund announced her candidacy for US Congress in December 2013, she was called a long shot candidate going up against a two term incumbent. Now with less than two months till election day, Westlund has moved from an unlikely contender to the 2014 cycle’s ‘dark horse’ underdog. She is one of Democrat’s lone pick up opportunities for the House of Representatives.

She has a growing coalition of support, from national union organizations, to local environmental nonprofits, to Progressive action PACs. Participation is easy. We will be using #WinWithWestlund beginning at 6:00 pm central on September 23rd. But to concentrate our efforts and demonstrate the power of our collective voices, there will be one twitter storm at 6:00 pm central time.

SAMPLE TWEETS:

Please feel free to customize and use any of these sample tweets beginning on

September 23 starting at 6:00 pm central.

Hard working families need the opportunity to succeed. Let’s #Raisethewage and get Wisconsin back to work. We can #WinWithWestlund.

We deserve a government that works for us, not against us. Elect @Westlund4Wi to Congress! #WinWithWestlund

Our service­members and #veterans need our support 100% of the time. Not only when it’s politically convenient. #WinWithWestlund

Investing in our infrastructure and our schools are what’s going to get Wisconsin back to work! #WinWithWestlund

No unfair trade deals! We need #jobs to stay in Wisconsin and America. #WinWithWestlund #wiunion

We need .@Westlund4Wi in Congress b/c she knows when working people succeed our country succeeds. We can #WinWithWestlund

.@Westlund4wi is not afraid to stand up to powerful interests and stand for the middle class. #WinWithWestlund

Let’s close tax loopholes so everyone, even millionaires and billionaires pay their fair share. #WinWithWestlund

Working ppl deserve good paying jobs and a living wage. A vote for @Westlund4Wi is a vote for opportunity. #WinWithWestlund

In 2014, women are paid 77 cents for every $1 dollar paid to male counterparts. Let’s close the wage gap! #WEmatter #WinWithWestlund

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Send #GOPKochAddicts to Rehab!

by UniteBlue on September 14, 2014

Last week, a majority of the United States Senate voted in favor of an amendment to regulate spending in elections. Every vote to get big money out was from a Democrat. Every vote for legalized corruption was from a Republican. Both parties are not the same. One has an addiction the Koch brothers.

The Koch brothers bought the Tea Party after the 2010 Citizens United decision, and successfully used it to hijack the House of Representatives. In 2014, the Koch brothers have turned their attention to controlling the Senate.

Ted Cruz’s speech last week was a 2016 fundraiser, courting the Koch brothers to chip in a couple spare million dollars. Why do you think GOP Senators Mitch McConnell, Marco Rubio and Rand Paul all voted against overturning Citizens United? They’ve been bought.

Shortly before the vote, a revealing audiotape was released in which Mitch McConnell thanked the Koch brothers personally for their “important work,” saying “I don’t know where we’d be without you…rallying, uh, to the cause.” Almost 90% of McConnell’s campaign funds come from outside Kentucky, mostly from special interests including Koch-affiliated groups.

Let’s be clear: we don’t dislike the Koch Brothers for their money. We have a problem with them using their money to buy our government. They want you to believe their money is speech, but if money is speech then speech isn’t free — the poor have no voice, and the rich have outsized influence.

Whether money in politics is your most or least favorite issue, this matters to everybody. Until we control the flow of big money from corporations and billionaires into elections of our representatives, we won’t be able to raise the minimum wage, stop climate change, reform immigration, reduce gun violence or achieve most other progressive priorities.

We must fight even harder. The longer we wait, the more it will cost to buy back America. Our voices in unison can fight back against billionaires buying our democracy and Republicans crippling our government.

Let’s send the #GOPKochAddicts to rehab.

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We need your help.

by UniteBlue on September 9, 2014

You may have noticed that we’re fundraising again.

As an all-volunteer nonprofit, it’s not something we have to do often. In fact, it’s been eight months since our last major push.

Here’s the bare truth: We cannot keep doing what we do without your financial support. Organizations that can’t pay the bills simply don’t survive.

If you can spare a few dollars, please chip in now.

We’re not spending millions on paid staff and television advertisements, but operational costs such as legal, accounting and server fees still add up. By our estimates, we need to raise $25,000 by Election Day to implement our strategy to win the midterms and keep going next year. That’s not a lot compared to other groups. For UniteBlue, it’s all we need — so it’s all we’re asking.

For over two years I have put thousands of hours and all of my energy into building UniteBlue, along with our devoted advisors and nearly two dozen state coordinators. Nobody has ever taken a dime in return. That’s how politics should work; powered by ordinary people who care too much to sit back and do nothing.

Can you help us keep fighting to win the midterms?

UniteBlue is a public service for the progressive community, and we hope a powerful force in connecting and empowering the progressive movement, filled with people who care about keeping our country on the right course and moving forward. Every time we get an email saying “I feel like I have a voice again,” we’re inspired to keep pushing harder. Every time we see what Republicans are trying to pull, we’re reinvigorated to keep fighting harder. We want UniteBlue to remain a vibrant resource for everyone on the Left, forever.

If you know me, then you know that I never give up. I won’t stop asking for your help just because it’s too hard or some folks may get annoyed. What we’re doing at UniteBlue is simply too important, and what Tea Party Republicans are doing to our country is simply too horrifying. I know we will do this together, because I believe in you.

Chip in $5, $10, $25 or whatever you can afford right now!

Thank you for supporting UniteBlue.

Zach Green
Founder, UniteBlue

Donations to UniteBlue are not tax-deductible.

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Kelly Westlund is one step closer. #TeamKelly

by UniteBlue on August 13, 2014

Khary Penebaker


Kelly Westlund is one step closer to being a part of Congress that our President and our country needs to get things done. Kelly has successfully won her primary and will now move on to the general election where she will face Tea Party incumbent, Rep. Sean Duffy. You remember Sean Duffy; the former Real World reality show participant and the guy who said he was struggling to survive off of his $174,000 congressional salary. That is just one example of how out of touch Duffy is with the real struggles every day Americans endure.

Sean Duffy is a part of the obstructionist congress that has our government at a near standstill. Our country can no longer put up with the do-nothing congress. America has real issues that require real solutions, put forth by legislators who want to see our country move forward, not backwards.

One way we can help Kelly defeat Duffy in November is by making sure the public gets to know her better. Kelly’s campaign isn’t a “My opponent is terrible, so you should vote for me” type campaign. Kelly is running for congress to actually make a difference in people’s lives. She believes in creating jobs and women’s issues (right to make her own decisions, equal pay for equal work). By vaulting Kelly’s name and her positions, she will be better suited to defeat Sean Duffy and become a productive member of our congress.

So, beginning at 6pm we are asking that you tweet using #TeamKelly to share why you support Kelly and her ideas on how we can make our country better for all of us, not just for the well-off. You can see a list of Kelly’s positions on various issues on her website.

Increasing Kelly’s exposure will help her compete against a Tea Party opponent who relies on about 60% of his campaign contributions from outside of Wisconsin. Our country deserves better legislators and better results to address the many issues we face. Kelly Westlund can be one of those legislators. She needs our help. Below are few sample tweets:

Thanks .@Westlund4WI for fighting for a woman’s right to make her own decisions. Smart decisions are made with women at the table. #TeamKelly

I’m proud to stand with .@Westlund4WI because women should earn equal pay for equal work. Let’s get to work, and elect @Westlund4WI. #TeamKelly

I’m supporting .@Westlund4WI because no one should work full time and struggle to make ends meet. We need family-supporting jobs. #TeamKelly

Kelly .@Westlund4WI fights for a living wage because everyone should have an equal opportunity to succeed. I’m on #TeamKelly.

I’m on #TeamKelly b/c she’s not afraid to stand up to powerful interests on behalf of working people. Stand with .@Westlund4WI this November

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Over the past few years, the Supreme Court has given more rights to corporations than people with none of the responsibilities. This week five conservative Justices did not simply reaffirm the separation between church and state, they ruled that religion can supersede the law. That is a scary precedent.

Does this mean corporations can stone their employees to death if they work on the Sabbath? Can businesses now chop the hands off shoplifters?

This Supreme Court seems to believe that life begins at incorporation, those corporations can have religious beliefs and their religious beliefs are more important than the rights of women.

Five men on the Supreme Court, who don’t appear to understand how contraceptives work, shouldn’t make health care decisions for women. We are witnessing patriarchy fueled by theocracy, not democracy.

Perhaps ISIS should consider recruiting Justice Scalia and his four friends to help establish their caliphate. They have experience, along with the awesome power to turn puppets into presidents, billionaires into policy makers and corporations into people.

(This may help explain why confidence in the Supreme Court has never been lower — 30%.)

We also can not overlook the rights of folks with religious beliefs besides Christianity. Certainly the freedom to practice your religion depends upon freedom from other religions.

If we don’t fight back now, then these rulings will only be the beginning. Think about what the Tea Party has done to the House of Representatives, then imagine that they won control of the Senate in 2014, then imagine a liberal Supreme Court Justice stepped down and needed to be replaced.

If the right wins the Senate then they will control the pathway to the Supreme Court, cementing these dangerous and damaging 5-4 decisions with a 6-3 majority for the next generation.

You probably hear it every time, but this election may actually be the most important one of our lifetimes, and too many good Democrats are sitting this one out. We can not let that happen. There are 72 million Democrats and 55 million Republicans. When Democrats vote, Democrats win. Let’s get to work.

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It’s Not Obama. It’s the Middle East.

by UniteBlue on June 20, 2014

Odysseus Bostick


Recent developments in Iraq have both degraded the stability of its government and kick-started a new conversation about American involvement in the Middle East. Unfortunately, partisan rhetoric from the right has so far driven a conversation lacking in historical insight and replete with American hubris.

Specifically, the arguments being made today that President Barack Obama’s “failed leadership” is driving the chaos in the Middle East are both embarrassingly egocentric and unproductively partisan in a manner that sidelines the clarity of this important international debate.

For those unaware, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (aka ISIS) is a splinter group from Al Qaeda that initiated successful takeovers of major Iraqi cities last week in an effort to destabilize the democratically elected government of Iraq.

As the name implies, they have organized during the Syrian civil war and aim to leverage the instability in that country to garner more power across the region of both countries in an effort to enact a very conservative form of sharia law based on the teachings of Islam. Using barbaric measures such as beheadings, crucifixions, and public executions, the leaders of ISIS are wielding a brutal, effective campaign to terrorize all in their path.

The complexities behind these recent efforts are centuries old. Just looking at this issue from a very superficial level, that of a battle between orthodox and liberal interpretations of a religion, this crisis is larger than America. Larger than our geo-political interests in the broader Middle East and larger than the number of years that America has even existed.

A Brief History of Sunni and Shiite Muslims

The internal conflict of how faith should be interpreted and enacted in a culture’s everyday life is common to most major religions. In the Christian world, this drama plays out in the form of fundamentalist groups battling liberal, inclusive groups over issues like homosexuality, evolution, civil rights, segregation, abortion, and various other cultural-political debates.

In the Muslim world, there is a strong parallel to the internal Christian debate in the conflict over how to interpret the prophet Muhammad’s teachings after his death in 632 AD. More specifically, the discussion focused on who would succeed Muhammad after his death and lead the believers of Islam.

One sect, the Shia (commonly referred to as Shiite), felt that the next leader should be a blood relative of Muhammad while a second group, the Sunni, believed that a colleague of the prophet was more prepared to lead.

Essentially, this was an argument about the merits of divine ordination. Does one’s god choose one’s leaders on the ground or not? Again, there is a strong correlation between this discussion and historical conflicts in the Christian world that resulted in kingdoms, fiefdoms, and eventually, violent rebellion and the establishment of the United States.

As it has developed over the last 1400 years, the philosophical evolution of competing interpretations within the Muslim world have broadly been interpreted by us as a simplistic divide between secular and non-secular forces. It’s the fundamentalist Shiia battling to rule the land according to strict interpretations of Islamic law (aka Sharia law) versus the more inclusive, non-sectarian governance of the Sunni Muslims.

Quite obviously, these battles over how faith should or should not be reflected in government are not specific to Islam. Rather, they are an eternal human discussion in every culture and belief system. My point here is to make it clear that this divide between Shia and Sunnis was not born during Obama’s term.

Yet, Republicans here in the US have immediately begun blaming our president for this week’s violence in Iraq. This is most frustrating, mainly because the potential for post-war Iraq to degenerate into a Sunni-Shia conflict was given as a reason we shouldn’t have invaded Iraq twelve years ago.

The fact that a Republican foolhardedly led us into this war despite those warnings is really water under the bridge to me at this point. I don’t see any purpose in ridiculing Bush. Frankly, I think history will do that for me and it’s counterproductive, but it has to be brought up now that Republicans are blaming Obama for Shia attacks against a Sunni government.

People said this would happen and we shouldn’t have invaded Iraq for this specific reason.

It’s Not as Simple as Sunni versus Shia Anyway

The current crisis is far more complex than just an internal holy war between two sects of Islam anyway. That would be too simple.

What makes this more complex than that? For one, there is the issue of the arbitrarily drawn political lines between these various Middle Eastern countries. Created by Western forces in the aftermath of World War I who were focused on dividing up the Ottoman Empire, many of the countries on the Middle East map were created with borders that were either ignorant of or defiant of the inherent political discord that had developed between tribal and religious groups over centuries. In other words, lines on a map were crafted in a vacuum and seemingly without regard for how they would affect people on the ground.

Look at a map of the countries in the Arab world and then look at a map that redraws the area according to religion. You will see pockets of Christians engulfed by Muslims. Within the Islamic faith, you will further see large swaths of concentrated Shia surrounded by the more dominant Sunni sect. Now compare the two maps, one outlining the area by country and one outlining the area by religion and you find massive incongruities with strong potential for conflict.

Forcing competing ideologies into a Western-drawn country and mandating that they get along was ill-conceived, but it isn’t the totality of the problem. The original split in Islam was rooted in political succession, not strict religious interpretations. For many, the competing religious interpretations were more a vehicle for maintaining political power between competing tribes.

One group saw power in a strict interpretation of lineage. Specifically, if relatives of Muhammad were the only ones succeeding him in leadership, then members of his large extended family would remain in power.

When another group sees themselves as patently excluded from power due to a lack of blood line connections, they embrace the spiritual teachings of the prophet Muhammad and espouse a political interpretation that is less about the physical person of Muhammad and more his philosophies. The next leader, therefore, would be the most experienced teacher of Islam and not just some cousin of the previous leader.

And so the competing political interpretations drawn up in the aftermath of one person’s death in the 7th century were designed to benefit competing tribes. Don’t take this to mean that I’m discounting the faith behind the Sunni and Shia interpretations. I merely aim to point out that people, being people, tend to leverage their perspectives into what they believe is the best path forward for them personally and in this case, it is clear that the family of Muhammad would naturally see the best path forward in what they undoubtedly called a more pure succession of leadership while others, not related to the prophet, would naturally see the merits of a more inclusive interpretation.

A Regional Conflict

This original political debate is further complicated by the tendency for people to wield religion as a weapon to mobilize followers for their own personal advantage and to garner power as both a head of state and religious sect. Some simply abuse faith to become the leader while others leverage it to gain personal wealth.

This is not an Iraqi problem as much as it is a crisis of faith, politics, and power succession. When we removed Saddam Hussein from power, we removed a stabilizing force of brutality that had strong-armed peace. While the regime of Hussein was undoubtedly a corrupt dictatorship that inflicted great harm on other people, his absence from power has instigated the return of a 7th century debate that has often had violent incarnations.

To say that President Obama, in five years, has incited these recent developments through political ineptitude is both naïve and jingoistic. It is a perspective rooted in American ego; the idea that we are the center of the world and the developments of culture, faith, and conflict internationally are rooted in our ability to mitigate or direct them. It is a mistaken perspective manifested in the idea that the world didn’t exist before us and therefore, it should develop according to our historical perspective.

To put it bluntly, it is an embarrassing narrative that must end and it hijacks our national debate at a time when we desperately need clarity in order to negotiate the most peaceful path possible for ourselves and for International peace.

We should be approaching this subject from a longer perspective, focusing closely on the regional trend of Middle Eastern-African religious and political conflicts between fundamentalism and liberalism as well as how to mitigate the potential risk that these conflicts between Islamic sects could escalate into an external religious war involving Israel and the Judeo-Christian world.

President Obama is absolutely correct in his approach to this crisis. We must certainly engage in the conflict, but less paternally and more as an advocate for peace. Or to put it into religious terms, with less of our own orthodoxy and more from a perspective rooted in bringing people towards solutions. We must not leverage brute force to do so because brutality clearly has not worked to the favor of the Middle East or the world at large. Rather, our solutions should promote inclusivity in a manner that fosters those on the ground to build solutions together based on their own history and culture. Or get out of the way.

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