Sunday, October 02, 2011

Good Job Rachel

I am still listening to Rachel Maddow’s podcast every morning. I have intentionally shied away from commenting on her programs because of my previously-mentioned unease about MSNBC’s business model. But, I have to say, Rachel is winning me over.

Friday’s program was all-around great. What sold me on mentioning it was her coverage of the Anwar al-Aulaqi assassination. I’ll leave it to others to discuss (for now) but I’m really troubled by this process. I don’t doubt al-Aulaqi’s (or Awlaki) “guilt”, I am just troubled by the process. Just because Barack Obama is pulling the trigger instead of Dick Cheney doesn’t make the process any better.

While Rachel’s resistance to cheerleading for Democrats at all costs has eased my discomfort, the story I’m going to provide the video on is definitely anti -Republican. Well, as far as it goes. No one has a “bigger tent” -- a more diverse membership -- than the Democratic Party. And religious zealots have a right to be heard and vote in America too. But they scare me. And they have more influence in the Republican Party than I think is healthy.

If you want to see the full-blown zealotry that I’m referring to on display, it would be best to watch this linked video first. If you’re somewhat familiar when this trend -- if you know what the Values Voter Summit is -- then you can proceed to the embedded video below.

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And if all that isn’t crazy enough for you, you can watch the crazy guy from the NRA verbally set himself on fire. Sorry, I didn’t mean to leave you with the impression that it was just any old gun nut. It’s a vice president of the NRA that is talking crazy. (I’ll remind potential-rabid-gun-nut-repliers that I own a fair number of guns myself. I’m not your enemy. Look in the mirror.)

For the normal, non-political people out there (assuming there are any left), do you see the trend here? I hope and pray that the Democratic Party doesn’t get overtaken by zealots that are only on the opposite side of the political spectrum from the Republican crazies. I know it could happen. Perhaps we are all just doomed to ride the political pendulum as it swings back and forth over time. But, be that as it may, you’ve got to ask yourself if you want to live in the political climate that these people are promoting.

Do you really want to sit in a bar next to a guy that is carrying a gun? Maybe you’re okay with it in Waycross. But how about in Atlanta? And just because I know that line conjured up the comparison between white rednecks and inner-city blacks in the minds of my fellow Southerners...are you really comfortable with the implied racism in all this? Do you see that there isn’t a real difference between black-and-white racism and white-and-arab racism? Both are just as ugly.

I remember the Republican rants from back when Bill Clinton was President. I know that the Republican Party can be mean and viscous to any Democratic President. (Any Democratic leader actually. Ask Nancy Pelosi.) But I know in my heart of hearts that there is a little extra zeal in the hate for Barack Obama because of his race.

To sum it up, I’m not going to go backwards willing and I’m not going to sit idly by and watch my country go backwards either. We’re not going back to the days when abortion was illegal. We’re not going back to the days when racism was tolerated and socially acceptable. I’m sure as hell not going to sit by while the Christian Taliban tries to start a religious war with Muslim theocrats.

The days when teenage boys (in farm country) could carry their squirrel rifle to school and hunt on the walk home are gone. No matter how strong your nostalgia, we can’t go back. There will be happy days ahead (somewhere) but they won’t be Happy Days.

You often hear the refrain from Conservatives as to why moderate Muslims don’t speak out against the Muslim radicals. You can take this as a moderate Christian speaking out against Christian radicals. The separation of Church and State works. We aren’t going to have a theocracy in America. Not if I’ve got anything to say about it.

Remember these words of wisdom (from a better man than me ).

"History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the vitriolic words and the violent actions of the bad people, but the appalling silence and indifference of the good people. Our generation will have to repent not only for the words and acts of the children of darkness, but also for the fears and apathy of the children of light."

Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.
January 27, 1965
Atlanta, Georgia

Don Brown
October 1, 2011

1 comment:

Vannevar said...

Truly excellent. Respectfully V