Sunday, February 22, 2009
Extreme & mainstream
First off, I want to remind everyone I believe Alan Keyes has every right to say everything he did. Free speech. It is your right to sound totally bat-shit crazy.
Now turning to the larger theme, I think everyone needs to start listening to what people say and do. We all have the right (dare I say duty) to say what we think, but we all need to start understanding what ideas & beliefs are mainstream, and what ideas should be considered fringe and be marginalized.
I would hope we can all agree that Alan Keyes and his ideas are not mainstream, and he lives on the extreme right fringe of the political spectrum. And really, when people hear him talk, they tune him out. Or laugh at him. Either way, that is how we treat people with views that aren't mainstream, but they have their voice and every right to use it.
But when do we start legitimizing these fringe ideas by supporting them with equal weight and balance? 55% of people support traditional marriage, but 81% support gays being able to serve openly in the military. 52% of Americans want to keep weed illegal and 60% approve of labor unions, but only 39% believe in evolution and 46% think we shouldn't close the prison at Guantanamo Bay. 58% of people think we should actually teach creationism in school as science! Do 58% of Americans want to start ignoring parts of the Constitution and Bill of Rights?
So what we need is a reality check. We can't have people arguing the New Deal didn't work. Because it did. I'm just waiting for Lindsey Graham to take to the Senate floor and proclaim "The Earth is Flat!" John McCain will then be called up to yell about the young folk.
We need to stand up and call bullshit.
Honesty. It hurts. Weed is illegal because the government tied it to violent crimes and non-white cultures. Evolution is science. Creationism is religion. Public school (government funded) can't teach creationism because it establishes one religion as better or right, and that is unconstitutional, so all long as we are still working under the United States Constitution, that is kinda a big no-no. And people aren't for closing Gitmo because they want to feel safe. I want to be safe. You want to be safe. And you think you are until your best friend, who happens to be of middle eastern descent, gets taken and locked up for no reason. But is Gitmo working?
If we let people lie, mislead and get away with it, we are doing even more damage to our nation than we thought. We need an informed electorate, which comes from great news. But, news and the businesses it created are fare from perfect. But if we can keep the dialog honest, open, and productive it will make everything just that much easier.
It's what we do; strive to form a more perfect union.