Wednesday, September 10, 2008
The Politics of Hate and Fear
I made a comment on the previous blog that I wanted to see a return to those times when we were not persecuted for our political beliefs. When I made it I was thinking of the years of GW Bush being in office when if you were not for him you were clearly a terrorist sympathizer and some went to Gitmo for just that reason.
But when I stopped to think about it more fully I realized we are a nation founded on hate and fear. Our history is so full of it from the Pilgrims that came here to escape England - or so we are taught (and were seeking a new land); To the burning of witches in Salem (many just because they owned land);To the massacre of Indians (because we wanted their land); To the Irish who came here after they were thrown off their land back home; To the blacks because the got too uppity (and also owned land); To the Chinese that stayed after they built our railroads; To the Japanese we imprisoned because we thought they were the enemy on our land; To the hippies because they wanted peace in Vietnam (and oddly did not own land unless you count communes). And here and there for just the briefest of moments what we or our ancestors all came here to find - Peace and acceptance.
I was lucky enough to experience Camelot. In the brief days of John F. Kennedy, ultimately killed by a hater that feared him. I was in college and we could sit around and debate both sides of an issue all night long and still be friends even after heated words. We understood that the difference of opinion was what made horse racing possible. And the losing horse was not put to death.
But that was such a brief and shining time. Maybe the only time like it in our entire history of hate and fear except when the founding fathers gave birth to this nation conceived on liberty and freedom religion and belief. It has been a great experiment but I think it is doomed for failure because we now to again make wrong anyone that does not believe as we do. So sad. It must truly dismay our friends around the world. They have all looked upon the leadership of the United States for so long. And all I can say is don't follow us down this road. And we have been on this road of hate and fear for so long I seriously doubt we can turn from it.
The election is in under 60 days and what began as free and open debate on the issues has degenerated into fear and hate again. Hillary started it. She gave McCain the script. Palin's church believes that when we all self-destruct here in the lower 48 we will seek refuge in Alaska. There is that fear again. It is played to all the time. Raised to a fever pitch so you can win an election. Elect me or we are all going to hell. A vote for the other side means the end of days.
And so we walk into the voting booth to vote our fears and hates and not the issues. The real issues. Not those tired old red flags the politicians and fear mongers bring out all the time and wave around. For them 9/11 was a blessing because it is the fear that can always be brought back out and dusted off to make us all fall into line. No wonder there are those that believe Bush let it happen. It was so perfect for him so that he could get his agenda of hate and fear and export it around the world.
Enough. This is getting us nowhere. You cannot be a productive and expanding culture if you are constantly afraid or mired in hate. It is immobilizing. And what does a few burned witches achieve but a pile of ashes and relatives that won't forgive. Doesn't this sound like Muslim extremists? Only here it is faith based in a different faith of fear and hate. But it is still fear and hate. And not the way to run a country.