It is time for every right-thinking American to stand up to right-wing extremism, including writers. I realize that some may not be led in that direction, but personally I cannot ignore the rise of neo-fascism in this country, just as I could not ignore the travesty of our torture of detainees at Guantanimo, in Afghanistan, and elsewhere.
Thankfully, we no longer torture our detainees, thanks to the President and Democrats. (I am sure there are exceptions, but these actions are no longer supported by our government).
Now we have people bringing attack dogs to a rally protesting the building of a mosque (not the one in NYC), we have actual death threats (against, Senator Patty Murray, for example), we have people saying that bike paths in out cities constiture a UN plot to slow destroy dynamism in our urban centers, we have the denigration or making fun of disabled advocates for health care reform (at a tea party rally and talk show host), we have politicos calling for repeal of the Civil Rights Act, and this is just the tip of the iceberg.
My quarrel is not with rational and well-meaning conservatives who simply disagree and are willing to engage in debate (including talking AND listening). My quarrel is with the insane fringe element who insist on demonizing political adversaries.
This is a scary time. But if writers and creative artists do not step up to the plate and join the discussion, there is something terribly wrong with our priorities. That's my opinion.
I am not even very far to the left at this point. I am a moderate-liberal.
And to those who want to point a finger at Barack Obama and blame him, somehow, for our troubles, you are barking up the wrong tree. He has done more good in 17 months than any president in my memory, for example, health care reform, rescue of the auto industry, standing up for the right of those who practice Islam to do so without constraint.
But as for those who promulgate violence in the name of religion, they are subject to the same laws that we all are; all must abide by the laws and constitution of our country, though nonviolent protest is certainly okay.
And as far as the media is concerned, especially cable news media, I blame many of them for stoking up hysteria, as they trumpet every negative attack on innocent people who do not happen to adhere to far right philosophy. I believe they engage in this behavior for ratings. Broadcast journalists, in addition, sometimes think that they are the news, and act like prima donnas, as if they could tackle the incredible challenges faced by President Obama, for example. I am not saying that Obama is above criticism, but personally I favor measured criticism, acknowledging both the positive and negative.
How many recall, by the way, that President Bush drew a firm line in the sand between terrorists and Muslims who practice their religion without resorting to advocacy of violence, and in the absense of hatred. Though I had strong, strong disagreement with Bush and his policies, I am capable of acknowledging the good that he did do, in several areas (e.g. fighting AIDS in Africa, adding prescription coverage to medicare.)
But my main concern right now is the far right in 2010. We must stand up to them because our democracy is at stake.
advocate for the poor