Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The Price of Thinking Clearly

"...when we decide that a person is a traitor and should die for having an opinion different than one’s own, then we cross into territory that puts all freedoms at risk."

Kathleen Parker, a Republican and conservative writer, has dared to criticize Sarah Palin publicly, and the hate mail is pouring in. Would it be unfair or unreasonable of me to point out that Democrats are fairly used to this onslaught of illogical, vicious, personal attacks whenever we venture to disagree with the "party line"? Is it any wonder, then, that the nation has become so partisan? Until one of their own dares to question the status quo and is seen as a "traitor," and speaks out about it, no one believes it.

What's happening to the Republican party is, I think, similar to what has happened to religion - a sort of mindless fundamentalism has taken root, turned the party into a caricature, and given everyone involved a bad name. Where Democrats often fail by lack of solidarity - by a sort of burning need to question everything, including each other - Republicans are seen as a herd animal. God help you if you anger the herd.

It may be unfair to make such broad, sweeping generalizations. That there are conservative Republicans like Kathleen Parker who are not afraid to stand up and criticize the actions of their party leaders gives me hope that Republicans and Democrats can still work together in the nation's best interests. But the bullies are prominent and their mean-spirited invective tends to drown out the wiser voices from the right. One of the things that initially drew me to Obama was the fact that he seemed so completely committed to running a civil campaign based on truth, careful thought, and intelligent rhetoric. One man can't do it alone, but one man can mobilize and energize a nation to work together. I seen McCain/Palin as a divisive choice. Obama/Biden gives me hope - not just for change, but for a return to civility, stability, and one nation pulling together in a way that can make us all proud.

1 comment:

  1. I'd not read this most recent column of hers. I usually cringe at her ideas - we're far from being on the same page. But I've never thought she should be silenced.

    Dissent is freedom in practice.

    Too many people want to divide the world into teams. "Us" versus "Them." You're not allowed to borrow any themes from "them" because they're always wrong (because they're not us). I hate hate hate what we have become.

    It's been a tough week. I don't remember being so disillusioned with people in general. :-(


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