19 April 2006

What the Hell happened to my country!

One of the op-ed people that I read from time to time is Michelle Malkin. Now I don't agree with her a hundred percent of the time, but she does challenge me to think about the ideas that she presents. The same is true when I read Thomas Friedman or any of the other op-ed folks that present their ideas in my local newspaper or online at the Opinion Journal.
So she commented on the incident at UCSC between the Students Against War of UCSC and US Military recruiters. First by commenting on it and then posting the press release that the UCSC SAW released themselves in another comment about the incident. Basically Mrs. Malkin got in the middle of a hate filled war between those on the left side of the aisle and the right.
Some of the people that read her web page proceeded to use the information in a public press release to contact the people involve and they left hate email, voice mail, and general harassment. Then those on the left started to do the same to Mrs. Malkin and other websites that posted about her little fight. Finally, a number of the left leaning websites have linked to a website that purports to attack racists in America. This site has a link to their own briefing on Mrs. Malkin with her contact information.
I have been thinking about all of this and wonder how some of this hate and animosity is going to go before we have an incident, similar to what happened in Holland back in 2004. Where a film maker, started to ask tough questions of the Islamic faith, and a religious leader made inflammatory remarks about the film maker. This in turn lead to him being shot and stabbed by a man of Moroccan background.
I remember a few years back during the major height of the abortion debate, a number of groups for the anti-abortion side used the new power of the internet to post doctors information of those that they suspected of doing abortions. This in turned lead to a few of them being killed by unbalanced people.
I would just love to know at what time in history that politics changed in the United States. Where it was decided that you had to belong on either the black or the white side of a subject. Where if you asked tough questions to either side of a debate you were attacked as a hate monger/idiot/moron and whatever else you can think of. Even worst is some how more and more violence is getting involved in American Politics, the worst are those of my generation or just younger. Those kids that grew up under the Reagan era and the started to become interested while Bush Sr and Clinton were in office. What use to be simple, non-violent protests against the systems that their parents or grandparents did has now become drag out street fights between the system and these kids.
Yet when you challenge them to a lively debate and try to get some of these people to talk about the subject outside of their prepared statements, a deer in the headlights look appears or they leave screaming that you are an or finally they just act like little kids that are aged 2-4 and not the grown adults they purport to be.
Somewhere the free flow and exchange of debate between two sides has stopped. That isn't' good folks. When the exchange stops, then bad things happen. They usually go from bad to worst before they will ever get better.
I know that some people give the idea that the stoppage of ideas is because of a rise of Political Correctness, but I am not completely sure. Rather I would just attribute it to the extremists on both sides that have seized the public air waves and blaming the other side for the problems in the world. Whether that is Air America, Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly or whoever else it out there. We have seen extremists seized control of nearly all major debates and prevented honest and frank discussion between people. I try to listen to all of these people, I don't have to agree with them but I do try and listen to understand what is ticking through their minds, let alone that they try and get me to think about what they are saying. Then either I agree with it or I generate my own response to the issue being raise.
It really isn't that hard folks, just take time out to think about both the groups you belong too and those that you don't agree with. Take a chance and listen to what they are saying, because if you don't then all we are doing to talking past each other. When that happens no one is listening.
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