Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Speaking Up -- Moral Obligation and Duty of Citizenship

THIS LINK is just too good not to be shared with the countless thousands of friends who follow this blog. (hahahahahahaha). Seriously -- it's worth your time, no matter which side of the political fence you find your little feet.

I only have a couple of paragraphs to add. (Well, of COURSE I have to add something.)

I can't think how many times we were encouraged in school to consider the "collective guilt" of both the German and Japanese citizenry who did NOT speak up and protest the evil their respective leaders were wreaking on the world.

During that time of my early education (late 1950's), excuses were not made for the facts that the specific evils were not known and that nationalism blinds nearly everyone to consider opposing views. The world at that time was far more black and white than it is now, and media coverage limited to print newspapers, limited radio and film coverage. Propoganda and wartime strategy included widespread news blackouts and/or fabrication and politicization in Axis countries. Each side was given the rationalization that underpins every war: They were bad and we were good - period.

We had no idea then how very real the threat was of losing one's own family or life for pointing fingers or acting in resistance. I'm not sure even now how many of us can truly imagine what that would be like. Survival is a human's number one priority -- and survival of one's family must be included in that grim list.

Over the span of the past 40+ years, I've seen protesters maligned for being unpatriotic, a threat to democracy, commies, pervs and nutcases. Remember the police actions at the Democratic National Convention in 1968? Or Kent State? Or the many, many times Vietnam war protesters were bashed over their heads and in the press? Think of the confrontations between right-to-life groups with pro-abortion (okay, okay, pro-choice) groups. Certainly not "peaceful" gatherings 100% of the time.

How is the concept of discouraging dissent reconciled with our usually-unspoken feelings that the German population "should have done something" to stop Hitler? Even though we now know it would have been impossible for them to effect any change in his "policies" or actions.

If we feel or know that proposed legislation is NOT in the best interests of this country -- for whatever personal or intellectual reason -- is it not our obligation to let our legislators know how we feel?

Is it not our moral obligation to protest the legalization of fetal murder if that's what our moral code dictates?

Ask yourself why we are now being told that to NOT support Obamacare is unpatriotic? That we who think the proposed legislation is not the answer are foolish, extremist meanies, manipulated by Republican party organizers, and we simply don't understand what our smarter, more righteous brethren want to decide for us?

Forget for a moment that the Republicans don't appear to be able to organize a water balloon fight -- crediting them for this widespread reaction is just too silly.

It's true that Obama won the election and that the Democrats hold the majority in Congress -- and that's a confluence of facts that is just tough for Republicans. It's also true that the American citizen has the opportunity, the right, and in my opinion, the obligation to protest what he/she doesn't agree with.

Why are we being ridiculed for not marching in lockstep when debate and opposition lie at the very core of the democratic process?

Yeah, maybe the town hall groups have been a little rowdy. Maybe the debate should be handled better -- actually, maybe there should BE a debate. Ask yourself why there hasn't yet been one in Congress.

Ask yourself if you're willing to let the Obamacare tanks roll right over you, no matter what you personally think of the proposed legislation.

Maybe you could also write a note to Pelosi and ask her which side then is waving the "Nazi" symbol, invisible or not.

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