18 August 2008

Battling the right-wing noise machine? Here's how!

Yesterday the Smith County Democrats very graciously allowed me the singular opportunity to speak of the issues facing Texas seniors and working families to a group gathered in Tyler's Bergfeld Park to meet and listen to Senatorial candidate, Rick Noriega.

I have given many "stump speeches", but this was a first! I actually mounted a stump for my speech. We had moved into the shade of trees and the coolness of the grass from the heat and sunlight blistering us on the cement stage of the amphitheater. What fun. And, as it turned out, I got to deliver the "warm-up" speech.

But, already the local right wing noise machine has begun their spin, lies, and snarky, belittling personal attack. Here, for your enjoyment, is the exchange underway in the forum of the online version of the Tyler Morning Telegraph.

First: We have a man calling himself, Bill Bala, who sat aside his coloring books and TV-Guide celebrity crossword, in order to spew this:

"Well he's a gung-ho democrat trying to ride Obomb's coat tails judging by his speech, but that's about it. Gave the standard bad mouth to his opponent, but otherwise, just not much there."

And then there is a fellow, self-identified as, Marvin Crain who, broke out his crayons, chewed the inside of his gum and scrawled:

“Ricky on the stump! Hey, Bill P., were you there? If so, did you get one of those Chris Matthews feelings running up your leg or do you reserve those for Obama? Sounds like quite a mesmerizing speech; big bad oil, big bad HMOs (Ted Kennedy's brain child--no pun intended), solar panels and windmills. I bet all fifty people were mesmerized by this speech. I'm glad I was not there or I might have gotten so excited that I piddled in my panties.”

To which I replied:

"Spin" takes many forms, and Mr Bala's letter could have been written without his attending the rally.

I was there, and I had the distinct honor to speak of the issues concerning older Texans and the the working families of our state. And, the tremendous honor of then "stepping down off the stump" to make way for a fellow veteran, and a great and loyal American and Texan.

I heard candidate Noriega speak of his service in Afghanistan, of the strength of his marriage to Melissa, who stepped up and filled his seat while he was with the Marines in Afghanistan, and watched and listened as he comforted a grief-stricken and highly over-wrought women over the deaths of our G.I.s in Iraq, and the failure to provide adequate care for the wounded and maimed survivors when they return home from combat.

He spoke, in depth, of a fair and humane immigration policy which would apprehend and punish drug and human traffickers. A policy which would identify and punish businesses which illegally employ undocumented workers. I heard the common sense of his opposition to taking private property away from Texas ranchers and landowners in order to build 12-foot walls, while those on the other side are building 13-foot ladders.

I heard him speak of the lies that we're being offered, rather than realistic policies.

I also heard him speak of his energy plan, which both Senators Obama and McCain have appropriated as their own, and which, offers a fast track away from reliance on Middle Eastern oil. He spoke of American innovation, technology and new entrepreneurs, right here at home, who are developing alternatives sources of energy. He spoke of shutting off the flow of cash from America to the Middle East, much of which winds up in the hands of terrorist groups dedicated to our destruction.

And sure, he spoke of Senator Cornyn, who has voted wrong on every bill coming before him that would affect older Texans and working families. Cornyn, after all, voted against health care for children, and against the most recent Medicare improvement act which affected rural families, military families, and older Texans and working families.

Cornyn only changed his vote after the Texas Medical Association and angry seniors "dope-slapped" him into reality.

For the first time in years, Texans have a clear choice in two senatorial candidates who stand for different things. One stands for positive change for the betterment of the people of Texas, while the other speaks of the importance of using his Senatorial seat to advance his own stature within the Republican party.I trust the people of Texas, the fine people who in the past sent men and women, such as; Sam Rayburn, Ralph Yarborough, Barbara Jordan, and Ann Richards off to represent them, to see the difference, and to vote on the issues, rather than closed-mind spin.

Shane Fox

Board of Directors - Alliance for Retired Americans

Vice President - Texas Alliance for Retired Americans

Texas Delegate - 2005 White House Conference on Aging

Here's a link to the exchange, feel free to join in....


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