Saturday, June 13, 2009

The Manifest Results of the Radical Right

I have been having a difficult time refraining from commentary on the continuing rash of nut case killings out there that are incessantly fanned by the insane extreme right wing media, ala Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Bill O’Riley and Fox News in general.

OMG! Has free speech run amuck? If we cannot use our freedoms with a little—just a little—good sense, we are apt to find a revolution on our hands. People tend to get very tired of radicalism—right or left—and can, as a result, quickly begin to feel justified in radical reaction as well.

It is difficult to balance our unique freedoms with the common sense necessary for them to be productively applied. There is certainly a place for fervent proclamation of one’s views. And there is an equal place for the honest opposition. It was Will Rogers who said something to the effect that a difference of opinion makes a horse race.[1] Out of honest, non-inflamatory debate both sides can be persuaded to consider compromise and beneficial steps forward in most cases. When debate becomes blind rage, there is seldom hope for compromise. When that occurs the potential for destructive behavior is immanent.

This destructive behavior has surfaced increasingly culminating in the murder of Dr. Tiller, the attack on the Holocaust Museum resulting in the death of the guard, Stephen T. Johns, and the shooting of military recruiter, William Long. So myopic is the Republican Party that when the Homeland Security report on the rise in chatter about unrest in the country was released, they forced an apology from Secretary Janet Napolitano. Now, of course, we see the validity of the report.

I am an Independent and I believe constructive dialogue is necessary in order to try to reach agreement on issues that concern the citizenry. That dialogue is generally between our two major political parties with the moderate independent body generally moving toward what they consider the best arguments presented. Now, however, we do not have honest debate. At a time when our country needs cooperative effort to solve our economic and social problems one party—the Republican—has chosen to remove itself from the debate. They not only say “No” to any and everything, but they refuse to be courageous enough to offer alternatives. Into this vacuum of leadership have come the most vile representatives of free speech we have seen in decades—Rush Limbaugh, Dick Cheney and Newt Gingrich.

Their rants, ravings and outright lying are largely responsible for the current tone of debate and the surfacing of extremists from the shadows with an axe to grind. This hooting and hollering is not necessary in order to promote an opposing view to what opponents or the current administration is offering. All such behavior does is encourage the other nut cases to feel justified in murdering, slandering, and abusing our freedoms. If we are going to tolerate this behavior without challenging in honest debate the merits of our differences, and encouraging a lowering of the raging rhetoric, we are apt to find ourselves armed to the teeth and in battle with each other. (See my post: High Noon At the OK Corral—April 20,2009.)

Folks, there’s real trouble in River City and it’s time for saner heads to prevail. This is no time to simply fall back on metaphysical mumbo-jumbo about how everything is working according to some great plan beyond our present comprehension. I happen to believe in what some may call “The Divine Plan.” However, within that plan is the opportunity and necessity to read the writing on the wall—mene, mene, tekel upharsin—(Daniel 5:25-28)[2] It is time to get busy using our good sense and spiritual power to call for calm consideration of how to get beyond religious and political radicalism—right or left!

Your principles are as important as mine. Neither your principles nor mine will be compromised by our willingness to discuss reasonably the merits of each other’s position. Sometimes I may just be incorrect in my conclusions. Sometimes you may be incorrect in yours. We must be able to recognize this possibility before we can even begin our discussion!


[1] What he actually said was: A difference of opinion is what makes horse racing and missionaries.

[2] The essence of the meaning is: You have been weighed in the balances and found wanting.

8 comments:

Inspector Clouseau said...

In theory Dan, our system will keep the extremists in check. There are times in our history when the pendulum have swung far wide in both directions. We'll see how this governance model functions under stress.

Dan Perin said...

Of course, it is true that the pendulum swings. I have always believed that. However, the way we enter into discourse and handle our differences determines how long it takes to get back toward the middle. Thanks for your comment!

Inspector Clouseau said...

Something else just occurred to me Dan. Things are troubling economically right now, but they are not ridiculous devastating for the majority of the citizens.

We should begin to become concerned when a higher percentage of people are hurting economically, and their angry response is located amongst people located in high densely populated areas. Right now, the haters and extremists are geographically dispersed and located in the less populated areas of our nation. Congregate them, or have them gravitate to the larger cities, and you've got problems. Expect the explosion to take place in the inner city first, before the extremists get going.

Dan Perin said...

I am not as concerned about the "generally dispirited" citizens as I am about the random extremists. I agree that if they concentrated in the inner cities where there is always a sense of disconnection and loss of power it would be a danger sign of a greater magnitude. I am also concerned that we walk a fine line between exercising our freedoms and finding positive ways to express them. Someone has said, "Your freedom stops at the tip of my nose." But, how do we then handle the verbal or physical "punch"?

Dan Perin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dan Perin said...

This comment from Brenda Bowers was rejected in error. I have copied it back to my blog. Sorry for the error.

(From Brenda)
I am wondering if you are so appalled at the "blind rage" speech coming from the "extreme right", then where in God's name have you been the last 8 years when George Bush was vilified by the left?

Hannity and O'Reily along with many others (but not the Main Stream Media!) are merely trying to keep the people aware of what is happening in our nation. Would you rather not hear of our President apologizing to the world for the supposed sins of the United States? Would you rather not hear our President telling the outright lie that America is "largely a Muslim country"? Would you rather not hear that ACORN, an organization very much applauded by the President and for which he worked for several years and defended in court as an attorney and to whom his campaign fund gave $800,000 is now being indicted in several states for voter registration fraud? Would you rather not hear that this same organization is now slated to get $8.5 million tax payer dollars this year from the Presidents outrageously huge budget? Would you rather not hear bank officials tell how the Obama Administration threatened and coerced them into taking Bail Out funds they did not want and did not need and then put strings on the money so they had control of the bank? Would you rather not hear that the President fired the Inspector General outright and broke the law by refusing to give good cause for his actions to Congress?

I believe Sir your eyes need to be opened. I have no hope of this however since this is what the socialist regime had planned for America since the 1950's and they knew once they had indoctrinated their followers they would never see the truth no matter what form it took. I have posted on my blog site in the upper right hand corner a video of a former KGB officer explaining what we could expect in approximately 40+ years after the indoctrination began and as those people began to come into power. It is happening now. And he said that nothing and no one could get the indoctrinated ones to see the truth no matter what the evidence or how blatant and extensive the crimes against our Constitution. BB

Dan Perin said...

Brenda, your comments reflect those of your friends at Fox. You certainly hold your own as "an opinionated older lady" (from your blog). I think that the Bush years were tragic for this country in more ways than I can enumerate. It doesn't seem you disagree with that. My concern is with the unverified and wild statements from the Fox commentators. You stick with Fox and I'll stay with my sources for news.
Keep on keeping on, Brenda.

Lloyd said...

floDan, I think your comments are spot on. The seeds of consciousness sometimes?/often?/usually?/ inevitably? bear fruit. Notice that the word "never" would not fit comfortably in the list. Thus the seeds of hatred all too often grow into violent fruit, though their growth may not be a in a single season.

Some soils are more conducive to growth than others, and I think that is what Dan is talking about. If talk-show hosts and radio and commentators spew hatred and encourage their listeners to think of themselves as being victims of an evil administration secretly promoting a hidden, evil ideology, they are in part responsible for the hate-murders that erupt.

As to Brenda's blog reply, for starters, it's silly to compare blind rage speech polluting cyberspace with a president being "vilified by the left." According to the dictionary, vilify means "speak or write about someone in a disparaging manner." All political parties do this to the opposition, and sometimes to members of their own party if they are too far out of line.

Furthermore, Brenda writes: "Would you rather not hear our President telling the outright lie that America is 'largely a Muslim country'?" I, for one would rather not hear it because it is an obvious distortion, misperception, or out-of-context comment and certainly does not reflect President Obama's position.

Next Brenda writes: "Would you rather not hear that ACORN, an organization very much applauded by the President and for which he worked for several years and defended in court as an attorney and to whom his campaign fund gave $800,000 is now being indicted in several states for voter registration fraud?" I would rather not hear it because I heard it during the campaign, it was investigated, and it turned out to be bogus. In the investigative report I watched, ACORN had a number of obviously invalid ballots, with Mickey Mouse, etc. as a signature, which they duly turned over to the state Attorney General or the various states' Election Commissions and these were touted about by the right wing as attempted voter fraud. The right was really scratching the bottom of barrel on this one.

And next, Oh, Oh, Oh the poor banks that don't want Federal dollars but Obama is shoveling dollars through the teller windows at them and calling in his goon squads to take control of the banks. Pleeeease! Give me a break.

As for Obama being a Socialist. We should be so lucky. Relax, Brenda, the powers that be have given Obama their blessing to patch up the mess that was made by the contagion of greed spreading way too far and wide, clear down into the grunt workers at the financial institutions and corporate headquarters and out-buildings that have been greedily and fraudulantly sucking away what little wealth the middle classes had managed to gain in the 1980s--back into the hands of the super-rich.

Furthermore, a few sane capitalists realized that Bush's cosmic war of good against evil is just another Jihad with a Christian face. Wasteful, unwinable, and a poison to the American body politic and America's reputation abroad. Let's hope Obama realizes this too.