Bridge over narrow street, Barcelona, Spain.
We are all Americans. I don't care if you're a Democrat or a Republican. We may disagree on fundamental issues, but each of us is entitled to our own opinion. What I do care about is whether or not you're an extremist, who foments division, hatred and even violence. Such ill-advised behavior seems to be on show too often these days, whether it's the McCarthy-like rantings of a Minnesota congresswoman calling for an investigation into whether members of Congress are anti-American; Sarah Palin asserting some parts of the country are more "pro-America" than others or a McCain campaign spokeswoman musing about "the real Virginia."
This divisive talk is deliberately designed to stir culture wars and incite bad behavior in remarkably intolerant people. It's irresponsible, like shouting "Fire!" in a crowded theatre. Right on cue, several people spout racist and even fascist taunts, while waiting in line to enter McCain-Palin rallies. Once inside the venue, many seem to adopt a mob-mentality, brandishing hand-lettered signs with venemous slogans, then turning their misguided anger on the press. I wonder if these people watched videos of themselves shouting baseless accusations, they'd realise how wrong-headed and ignorant they appear. Are they proud of their outbursts of false bravado? Do they think they are model citizens, setting good examples for their children to emulate?
Happily, the U.S. Constitution provides for freedom of speech. Civil discourse and dissent, yes. But hateful rants leading to violent acts? No.
And the Republican attempts to intimidate voters really are beyond the pale. Don't let false rumors or fake or misleading mailings stop you from voting. In this election,stand up for your rights and make your voices heard. It's the only way we can salvage what's left of our once-proud democracy and move towards a brighter future. Our children and their children deserve better. America deserves better.
"It is not enough to understand, or to see clearly. The future will be shaped in the arena of human activity, by those willing to commit their minds and their bodies to the task." - Robert F. Kennedy 1925-1968.