Saturday, September 5, 2009

A funny thing happened on the way to Post-RacialLand

I was a Republican when I was a kid...

I probably didn't know what it meant at the time, but my 7th grade Civics teacher sure did... He was a devotee of Ronald Reagan and would often infuse our lessons with anecdotes, quotes, and other reasons why he felt that Ronald Reagan was the greatest President of modern times.

I can still remember going home at 13 and telling my parents who were long-time democrats, that Ronald Reagan was the greatest President and that he would likely end up on Mount Rushmore. (My Dad still gives me grief about that one). We'd watch clips from speeches, read them or have them read to us, we'd discuss his policies and initiatives, all right in the classroom... The Ronald Reagan I came to understand as an adult was so very different from the Ronald Reagan I'd been 'given' as a child. But when I think back, what I remember most about the period, was that it was so unremarkable. We were just kids, in a civics class, studying politics by learning about the American President.

There was no talk of succession. There was no parental revolt and no national dialogue about propaganda. There were no calls for the Presidents speeches to be censored. There were no groups of armed men skulking around the president while talking of bloodshed and tyrants. There were no National commentators questioning the legitimacy of the President or stating that he should be "stopped".

But a funny thing happened on the way to Post-RacialLand...

Somehow, carrying loaded guns to Presidential appearances has become "patriotic". Somehow, Presidential speeches have become propaganda that children must be protected from. Somehow, Pastors can openly and publicly pray for the death of the President. Somehow, McCarthyism has gone viral and the President's hearing is held nightly on talk radio and cable news. Somehow, being a part of the Union has become optional and State officials can talk of secession and bloody conflict rather than suffer this President.

Now I didn't create this blog for this type of political commentary. There are certainly many others more talented and more qualified than I to pontificate on these issues. But I can not help but feel like we are sleep-walking towards a catastrophe...

Imagine, if we had a time machine and could go back to 1962... Would we dismiss those on the fringes? Would we ignore the voices saying then President Kennedy was 'dangerous' and should be 'stopped'? Would we turn a blind eye to the shady characters and strange figures hovering in the periphery? Would we cower behind the 2nd amendment and ignore the President's political opponents showing up at townhall meetings with assault rifles?

It is in times like these that we must be frank; it is in times like these that history implores us to stand up and call things by their names. We should not equivocate. We should not rationalize. This is dangerous... This is toxic... This is racist...  and it is wrong.

We should not stand by silently as we see the forces of darkness aligning themselves towards another long night of despair... We've seen this movie before. Now is time for us to raise our voices. Now is the time for us to speak out against the forces of intolerance marshaled against reasoned and principled debate. Now is the time for us to say never again...

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Jung/Myers Briggs

INTJ - "Mastermind". Introverted intellectual with a preference for finding certainty. A builder of systems and the applier of theoretical models. 2.1% of total population.
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