While preoccupied with the War on Terror, America is in danger of going the way of England and Canada; who've allowed power hungry ideologues to co-opt their language, to revise word meanings for political ends, and to take these two bastions of democratic history to the brink of McCarthy-like (even Nazi-like) insanity.Democracy, for sound reasons, is predicated on the existence of dissenting opinions, discussion, and open debate. The harassment of individuals at their employment, solely on the basis of party affiliation, private or perceived opinion can have absolutely no place in a democracy.And yet in England, one can lose his employment and/or her membership in an organization for just such reasons and without public outcry.
While in Canada one is hauled before a politically-based, unconstitutional tribunal of multiculturalists to answer for one's speech or opinion.
Let me paraphrase a commenter's take on the UK situation ...[this has become] a threat to the livelihood of any dissenter to the prevailing, and increasingly stifling political ideology. This has not only created a climate of fear and resentment among the general public, it has helped to establish an anti-intellectual consumer politics, in which ill-conceived, unworkable ideas are presented to the public as pearls of wisdom.Now consider for a moment the number of words and views we Americans are tacitly "forbidden" from saying or even thinking ...WORDSIt doesn't matter that our words are used in a valid context or that our views are based on fact and/or solid reason ... it just doesn't matter! Yet in the founding of this nation, men wiser than all of us determined that the most unreasonable speech and irrational view had a place in our democratic republic.
How about "queer" and "homo," or "dike" and "fag"; how about "nigger" and "darkie," or "terrorist" and "zealot"; and how about "chick" or "broad."
How about concepts and ideas that result in being called a "sexist," "misogynist," "xenophobe," "fascist," "racist," "homophobe," "Islamophobe," "insensitive," "fundamentalist," or "intolerant."
Consider also, the multitude of lawsuits by Muslim fanatics who've shackled Homeland Security programs and first-responder personnel due to "racist" and "profiling" claims.
On the other hand, how many of us have turned up our noses when a friend is discovered to be a Communist or a Socialist, or a neighbor to be a white supremacist or member of NAMBLA? How many of us snicker at Fred Phelps and his disgusting Wichita congregation? How many mock Louie Farakan and his legion of best-dressed, black men in America? How many of us want them stopped "by the government" just for their ideas or opinions?
Worse, how many stand silently by while, rightly or wrongly, Americans and/or American groups are vilified by ignorant or unthinking fellow Americans? What is your reaction to jokes about Rush's views or Gore's luke-warming opinions? Those freedoms we cherish so much must be available to all Americans, no matter how offensive they seem on the surface.
Take away one American's freedom and you take away all Americans' freedoms.Democracy, for sound reasons, is predicated on the existence of dissenting opinions, discussion, and open debate.Short of an individual's or group's actions, we must support all of America's right to disagree ... openly!
How about you? Are you guilty? Or would you like me to shut up and go away? Or be shut down?