It seems these days just about everyone has a way of broadcasting their opinions through some sort of media. Which is too bad.
Thanks to the digital revolution, just about every yahoo with the capacity to translate spoken word into literate symbols has the potential to be published, posted or printed. All it seems to take is the motivation (or nerve) and the keen ability to manipulate a keyboard.
Technology has now made voicing your opinion to the entire world easier than restocking your toilet paper and has become just as arbitrary. Ever been to an Internet forum per se?
So if motivation is the only real factor here, what kind of people are so inclined? Extremist more than moderates, fundamentalist more than pragmatics, the obsessed more than the balanced. The discontent over the swinging pendulum between our modern polarized politics only gets wilder and farther flung when these groups play a larger part.
The term becoming more used I believe is “the base.” The religious base, the minority base ... et cetera, et cetera. These are the people so far to one side of the values equation they have become down right inflexible, and thus politically reliable to the party they support. Everyone has a place and a right to be what they wish, but their ignorance and unwillingness to compromise has somehow been mutated into being seen as a positive trait. Its endorsement and exploitation are dangerous affairs for a free society.
I’m something of a moderate, or so I’d like to think. I’ve been called liberal a few times and called a totalitarian a few others. I think the source of such remarks are often as relevant as the people being targeted by them. The far wing followers tend to throw the most mud, like Ann Coulter and Al Sharpton for example. BS is often flung by those already covered in it.
The louder the fringe becomes, the quieter those in between fall. I always hated labels like liberal, conservative, republican, democrat ... as if a single word had the power to translate the substance of a person’s beliefs. These words are nothing more than creations of political simplicity.
If I meet a person and told them I am a liberal, they’ve probably already passed a dozen judgments on a variety of things I hadn’t even a chance to say on my own. Once judgments are passed, communications break down and the goal of such political tactics have achieved their purpose.
No one really falls into these categories. How many people completely agree with the goals of the party they are aligned? How many anointed liberal or conservatives entirely agree with everything to the right or left of them? How many people actually know what belong to, how many care?
I am a registered Democrat, but here’s the thing ... I don’t completely agree with anything. I want my guns for example, welfare is run amok, affirmative action is reverse racism and illegal immigrants are, at least technically, criminals.
I think capital punishment is wrong in a country that doesn’t even allow merciful suicide. I think capitalism should take a back seat to government and most corporations need the kind of backside-kicking that trust buster FDR handed out at the turn of the depression.
I want to be able to have a cigarette in a bar. I think marijuana should either be legal or we ought to bring back prohibition. I want the right to burn my flag. The flag represents my right to choose and since when did the object representing those beliefs become more important than the beliefs themselves? Why don’t people see the ironic hypocrisy?
I’m an avid supporter for the rights of all minorities and think women have the right to an abortion, equal pay and I might even vote to put one in the White House. In fact let’s also see what we can do about getting them in the draft because I’m not keen of gender discrimination of any kind.
Video games and child violence are a joke and before we starting blaming things maybe we should to cycle through our current war involved society and shattered family unit, first.
Going into Iraq didn’t make us safer and the tragedy of 9/11 has been abused for political leverage. I will always support veterans, civil engagement and civic virtue. I am against war but sometimes you have no choice ... but Iraq was a choice, a bad one.
I want my country to be either loved or feared. Government has always lied, just like religion has almost always suppressed free thought. Which is why the first thing our forefathers wrote down in the first line, of the first amendment, of our constitution was, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.” Our whole system of government was built to balance and check itself because no part should ever be completely trusted ... and one part never should be, Mr. President.
I hate the Patriot Act and I hate the Nazi-like practices at Guantanamo Bay prison. I love my country because I can change it, because anyone can. I love it because I can criticize it and fight for it at the same time. America is an idea, not a country.
While we’re at it, I also believe in true love.
The most important thing to remember though and the only thing we all need to have in common is knowing none of us is always right. Certainly not me. I can be wrong, I can get angry, even hurt, but I will always listen. It’s how you grow, it’s how you get better at things and it’s how we all learn.
The most American idea of all is the willingness to accept each other’s differences, as long as those difference don’t restrict others from making the same choices. That is what I hope we all strive for and this is why the extremists are the most un-American contingent of them all ... in any form.
“Democracy is the worst form of government except for all the rest- Winston Churchill.”
“Moderation is the key to immortality,” -Aristotle
“Life is tough, it’s tougher if you’re stupid.” -John (the Duke) Wayne
“I disagree with what you have to say but would die to defend your right to say it.” -Voltaire.