Gerald Honigman is a Florida educator who has done extensive doctoral work in Middle East studies, has lectured on numerous university and other platforms. He has debated many of the best Arab and pro-Arab academics in public debates and on television. Mr. Honigman is widely published in academic journals, magazines, newspapers and other publications.
Dear Tea Partiers & Others Who Agree That Obama Must Be Just A One Termer...
by Gerald A. Honigman
As a registered Independent, I listen to what’s happening on all sides of the political spectrum very carefully. And, as someone who most definitely wants to see a new face in the White House in 2012, I’m worried about what I’m both hearing and seeing.
There are many thinking, sensible, sensitive Independents (let alone others) who will have to be cultivated–not driven off–if the multitudes which have a stake in Obama’s presidency are to be defeated. No doubt, the latter will all turn out en mass…so those wishing to topple the apple cart will have to plan wisely.
I am hearing too many folks associated with Obama’s opponents belittling, for example, those who care about the quality of the air that we breathe, water that we drink, food that we eat, and the value of the biodiversity of life on this planet upon which we all depend–whether some know this or not. Many if not most medicines we use today, for example, have their origins in that biodiversity.
While some mistakes and miscalculations have been made by such “environmentalists,” there is no doubt that far too much destruction has been caused by man’s careless and/or selfish actions in the past. Given this, erring on the side of caution is a forgivable sin…especially when the final verdict has still not really come in yet on even many of the most controversial issues.
While some still laugh at such concerns, ecological and environmental issues indeed rank very high with millions of others…especially young, newly-registered, Independent, and Democrat-targeted voters.
It does not take an Einstein clone, for example, to figure out that if billions of tons of carcinogenic, mutagenic, and teratogenic man-made compounds are unleashed into the very environment which supports life itself, then a rise in cancers, mutations, birth defects and such should not come as a shock–and we’ve seen just that occur over the decades.
When some in the environmental camp overstep reason, then they–like all others–may be opposed. But the essence of the necessity of environmental protection should not be taken lightly by anyone…and certainly not disrespected.
Thus, seeing too many of those who claim to want to defeat Obama targeting those “crazy environmentalists” is troubling indeed.
While there may be those who carry the cause to the extreme, the basics of “environmentalism” should be embraced by anyone with neurons intact who wants healthy water for their kids to drink and bathe in and to catch and eat their fish from. Those who now call for the elimination of the Environmental Protection Agency, as just another of many other examples, have no knowledge of why the EPA had to be created in the first place. I do…and it had to…that’s how bad things were (and there are still too many loopholes giving industrial polluters and such too much freedom at the rest of our expense).
Poll after poll has shown that Americans care very much about environmental issues and consistently vote for greater not lesser safeguards. The wise candidate hoping to dethrone “The One” will keep this in mind.
Having now said the magic word–fish (which I don’t get a chance to do often enough these days)–above, let me turn the clock back a few years and share with you a piece I wrote for Sarah Palin when she was Senator John McCain’s running mate against Obama in 2008. The lessons are just as timely today, as we get ready for the crucial 2012 election, as they were then.
While the economic mess sealed the Republican coffin just months before the ’08 election, imagine the scenario which actually existed just a few months earlier…What a shame it would have been, in that potentially much closer election, to have lost it for reasons such as those described above. Please keep all of this in mind and read what’s below very carefully. 2012′s election will likely be a close one as well…
“Sarah And The Wolves– From One Fellow Fisherperson To Another…”
by Gerald A. Honigman
Governor Palin, there’s much about you that I find refreshing.
No, I don’t agree with you on every issue (so, you’re no different than any other candidate), but my heart tells me that your heart is basically in the right place–and I’m often accused of being too often cranially guided.
Having said this, please permit me to offer some advice to you in what will probably be a close election this November…and, right now, you guys are behind.
I am a former Democrat, now Independent, swaying heavily towards Senator McCain. There are many others out there like me–and we may very well determine the outcome of this election.
Let me begin by telling you a little story that you, as a fellow fisherperson, should be able to appreciate…
About ten years ago, my son Jonathan and myself were coming back from a fishing trip here in Florida.
As we were unloading our small boat, along came a commercial crabber with his crates loaded to their tops, crab legs hanging out of the slots. He then struck up a conversation with me.
A number of years earlier, I was part of a movement here to have red drum (“redfish”) declared a sports rather than a commercial species. Ever since New Orleans’ blackened redfish phenomenon, reds had been drastically plummeting in numbers–breeders disappearing before new generations could be produced.
The new law that was passed permitted the rebound of the redfish population, ensuring stocks into the future.
Now back to the crabber…
He proceeded to complain to me about how difficult it was to catch all the crabs he wanted to –he with his many crates filled to the top and so forth.
The problem: Those damned environmentalists! Those reds were now eating too many of “his” crabs!!!!
I was proud of myself that day…I kept my cool.
I explained to him that long before man lived in Florida, reds and blue claw crabs lived in happy abundance…G_d working through nature creating predator-prey relationships to strike just the right balance.
I asked Mr. Crabber if he thought that maybe thousands of folks filling crates just like him might have something to do with the crab shortage.
Daggers came out of his eyes…
So Madam Governor, what does this have to do with you?
Many folks–Independents like myself certainly included–are sickened by the wholesale slaughter of wolves going on right now in your state–being shot from helicopters, etc. and so forth. Your opponents are making plenty of capital on this–sending out your record here in letters and postcards to millions of voters. I know this personally as I’ve received them myself.
Madam Governor, yours is the one state in America where this noble predator–in balance with various prey populations far longer than man’s presence–is not endangered.
Like the crabber blaming redfish, Alaskan hunters blame everything but man’s own various adverse activities for their own declining prey populations. I remember a similar picture in National Geographic showing Japanese fishermen herding dolphins into the shallows so that they could beat them to death for allegedly eating too much fish…while Japan has huge nets killing anything and everything in their paths.
As a person who prides herself in bucking special interests and such, please understand that millions of Americans have become more ecologically tuned in–and not just from your opponents’ camp. Republican President Theodore Roosevelt, in many ways, can be seen as one of the fathers of the modern conservation movement. He started the national park system for his environmental concerns. As many other hunters and fishermen have done, the Teddy Bear’s namesake also became tuned in to nature’s essential balance.
Governor, from one religious person to another, please rethink your support of such things as the wolf slaughter in your state. It goes against what I believe is the good heart and sensible mind that you indeed possess.