Thursday, July 01, 2004

Growing up, I often heard that one shouldn't discuss politics or religion with friends or family. I've kept up on the politics of the day since our eighth grade class had to pick a candidate in the 1972 election, send away for materials and keep a scrapbook of the whole election period. Can you imagine teachers having kids do that today? I chose Edmund Muskie and followed him through the primaries -- I still remember his picture in my scrapbook: him standing on a platform in New Hampshire, tears of anger in his eyes over how his wife was being treated, the snow coming down all around him. What did he say about William Loeb, the newspaper publisher who wrote articles that Muskie's wife drank too much and swore?

EDMUND S. MUSKIE: (February 1972) "By attacking me, by attacking my wife, he has proved himself to be a gutless coward. And maybe I said all I should on it. It's fortunate for him he's not on this platform beside me."

And the Republicans labled this man "weak." Anyway, despite Nixon's dirty tricks and that awful time, I have never seen such a season as this. This year there are no differences of opinions, there is no room for discussion, instead, if you disagree on either side, you're evil lying scum. This one is called a deserter, AWOLing idiot and the other is called a Purple Heart stealing, golddigging, French-lover. Michael Moore's movie is just the tip of the iceberg of discontent on the Left while the great silent Right in the center of the nation stews over gay marriage, abortion, activists courts and the misleading media. There is no middle ground, there is no down time for the opposing sides to get to know each other, there is no compromise, there is only conflict, distrust and hatred.

If we can no longer disagree on good terms, what good is freedom of speech? People will fear to speak. If we can no longer recognize moral problems in society without lawsuites and fear of retribution, what good is freedom of religion? People will look the other way in silence when confronted with moral outrages shoved in their faces. If people only read or watch the news they agree with, what purpose is there in freedom of the press? Hatred will be fed until it burns, fed until you're so angry at the other side the tears start welling up in your eyes, fed until you can't believe anyone would ever vote for the other guy... fed until you're Muskie, standing in the snow, wanting only to strike out at those who are striking out at you.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

powered by FreeFind