I really like politics. I really do. And in a different world had I managed to go to college I’d probably have tried my hand at, at least running for city council.
Because I love politics I watch a lot of politically themed TV. I’m a liberal with some conservative leanings but I really do enjoy Bill O’Reilly’s Talking Points Memos. I also like him when he’s feeling reasonable. But I cannot stand to watch him interview someone with a differing opinion. He ends up talking over them and not allowing them to get their point across.
For a while Glenn Beck fascinated me but as the months wore on he seemed to get more hateful, more off the wall paranoid, more dangerous so I stopped watching him entirely. He scares me. I do think he and Sarah Palin are going to end up with blood on their hands if they do not change their ways.
To the same token but on the other side of the coin is Keith Olbermann on MSNBC. I love this guy. He’s erudite, poetic and thoughtful but also condescending, smarmy and smug.
Bill Maher is smart and funny as long as you’re not a Christian with conservative political views. It galls me that he feels the need to belittle people who hold different beliefs than him.
Even John Stewart, who has been hailed as the voice of reason uses a kind of wry observational humor to point out the idiots and the idiocy of it all.
The world would be such a better place if we’d all sit down and talk it out. I really truly believe that vice presidents should not be chosen until after the election and then they have to choose someone from the other party. I don’t think it’s good for one party to have all the power. I know that’s Congress is for but I think the two top guys should have differing opinions.
I think the world would be a far better place if REASONABLE people with differing opinions sat down and started trying to solve the world’s problems one by one.
Historically the republicans have spent more on defense and the democrats are more inclined to spend less. Okay fine. That’s great. Let’s sit the two brightest minds (in regards to defense) of the democratic and republican parties and let them hash it out. Maybe there is a way to spend less and do more. Families do it every day. Perhaps there is outdated technology that can be upgraded and perhaps tanks and other military vehicles can be made with I don’t know, better gas mileage. You get my point.
What if we sat down brilliant people from both parties and made a concerted effort to fix the education system? What if instead of haggling over what the unions want we sit down and decide what is best for our children? No political agendas, no No Child Left Behind nonsense a real and honest overhaul of a failing system.
Imagine if the greatest minds of our generation sat down without prejudice or party lines and really worked on solving the world’s problems. What if we start electing representatives who want to go to D.C. to actually do the work of the people and not the clowns who go there now to get powerful, rich and infamous?
Imagine if we sat down nightly to watch and to listen to intelligent discussions on the matters of the day. Imagine if we all went to bed at night after having listened to and perhaps participated in intelligent discussion. We’d all go to bed filled with hope and our heads full of ideas rather than the nagging inkling that we’re all going to hell in a hand basket.
That bright shining city on a hill can be achieved yet. We can bring about a better tomorrow. We can learn to believe in one another. All it takes is patience and understanding.
Love All, Serve All
~ Carol Anne
I suppose I should start this off by saying that I am not the most unbiased or nonjudgmental person you’ll ever meet. I admit to doing a happy dance after finding out the Eagles lost last night. I’m a registered democrat but am inclined to vote for the person and not the party.
I tell you all that because I’m about to ramble my way through my thoughts on the shooting in Arizona. It’s tragic. A beautiful little girl who’d just been elected to her school’s student council was killed, a pastor whose last act was to protect his wife also perished, along with a federal judge who’d just come from daily mass. A 40-year-old congresswoman was shot point blank in the head. She is laying in the hospital in a medically induced coma. Doctors are talking about her progress in terms of being able to respond to prompts and commands. It’s all so devastating. I don’t know where to begin.
First off to you Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin and Rush Limbaugh the rest of the extreme right wing republicans and tea party folks, if you don’t want the finger pointed at you when the horrors come to pass that you’ve been shouting about from the rooftops and every available microphone at every possible opportunity then perhaps it is a good idea to examine what it is you’re putting out into the universe. If any of you didn’t go to bed Saturday night with a sick feeling in the pit of your stomach and at the very least a twinge of guilt then you are just not human. I have to admit that I truly want to hold Beck and those of his ilk accountable for using violent rhetoric and acting as town criers for an imagined end of democratic society. However, I just don’t know that I can or that I feel comfortable convicting anyone for the actions of another.
I think it’s illegal to shout fire in a public place and thus causing a panic. I know that words are powerful and that we should all choose our words wisely. I know that there are people out there who hang on to the words of certain public. I know that there are disenfranchised people out there who so desperately want to be part of something, anything, that they glom to radical movements just to be a part of something. I know that there are mentally unbalanced people who hear the violent rhetoric spewing from the mouths of public figures and elected officials and they cannot distinguish it from all the rest of the noise in the ether of our 24-hour a day news cycle. I know all of this but I just don’t know if I can get behind holding someone guilty for the actions of another.
Saturday afternoon when I heard the news about Congresswoman Giffords my first thought was to blame the violent rhetoric of the right. I thought, I hope they’re happy and was appalled that Sarah Palin’s people removed several damning pieces from her website and Twitter feed. I listened with rapt attention to Keith Olbermann’s special comment on his special edition of Countdown. I want to agree. I want to hold these hateful people’s feet to the fire. I want to hold them accountable and maybe they are but as the night wore on Saturday night I began to think more and more about the implications of holding someone guilty for the actions of another.
I’m a child of the 80s and I remember a time when the Parents Music Resource Center wanted to censor rock lyrics. I remember when the parents of a teenager, who shot himself while listening to “Suicide Solution” took Ozzy Osbourne to court over the death of their son. The court found that Ozzy was not guilty. I’ve never heard the song but according to Wikipedia it’s a song about alcohol and not about committing suicide. That’s the frightening part of holding someone accountable for someone else’s actions. Short of calling the shooter up and telling him to shoot Congresswoman Giffords I’m not sure we can honestly blame Beck or Palin or anyone else for the shooter’s actions. If we do, is it the beginning of a slippery slope?
Look, we’re all adults here and certainly we know that strong hateful words incite some people to violence. And we also know that the first amendment protects you from the government and prosecution and not the angry person you just insulted or sponsors who are not down with your hateful violent rhetoric. We know that we should choose our words wisely. We should all know better than to list incumbents we’d like voted out with gun sights over their city on a map. But you know what? Most people see or hear those sorts of things and either choose to ignore them or see them for what they are idiotic hateful nonsense.
Do I think Beck and Palin and others of that ilk are responsible for the deaths of 6 people? Even though I started this piece thinking that it’s wrong to hold someone accountable for the actions of another I’m not sure I feel that way now. It occurs to me that I do believe words are powerful and that perhaps there are things better left unsaid or said a better way. We should know better. The world is in desperate need of thoughtful people using strong words and indoor voices. The world needs a quiet peacefulness during these heated days. We need thinking men and women to lead us to a better tomorrow.
While I still think we are each responsible for our own actions it is true that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Perhaps the things we learn as children are still the most true, think before you speak, play nicely together, don’t run with scissors, share, use indoor voices. I’ll end this the same way I’ve ended many of my blogs. The Hard Rock Café had the right idea — Love All, Serve All.