There are two types of reckless drivers. Some manage to never have an accident. Their cars have no scratches or dents. Unfortunately, they leave in their wake death and destruction as others are affected by their actions. The other type of reckless driver is more familiar. The daily news features stories of people texting right up to the moment that they slammed into the parked car or school bus.
My Republican friends used to accuse Democrats of hating George Bush. I never met anyone who hated our most recent president. They didn’t like him. They certainly didn’t respect him. But George Bush was too insubstantial to generate hate, a strong emotional reaction. What I often perceived was resentment. People resented Mr. Bush’s ability to go through life oblivious of the affect of his actions, untouched by his mistakes, and seemingly unaware of his place in history. While others stressed about the human condition, George W. Bush appeared to be the living embodiment of the expression that Ignorance is Bliss.
Then there is Sarah Palin. As I am writing this, a young woman, a Congresswoman, is fighting for her life in a Tucson hospital. Eighteen people were shot. Six have already died. One of the fatalities was a nine year old child. One of the fatalities was a federal judge. I can only hope that no one else will have died by the time you read this.
Why did I mention the former Alaskan governor? Up to an hour or so ago, Mrs. Palin was “targeting” Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and other elected officials. Targeting is the correct word. Her site featured a map with bull’s-eyes. Her rhetoric, inflammatory.
There is a campaign to take back our country. This assumes that someone or some group took our country from us. It idealizes some imaginary world, circa 1950’s, where everyone, or at least everyone that mattered, was white, Christian, and middle class. Mom stayed home and wore dresses. Dad went to work. The U.S. was #1 and the biggest question was who made the best cars, GM, Ford, or Chrysler.
That time never existed!
The United States has been a dominant country throughout much of its existence. We are a world power. We can be a beacon of hope. We have also suffered the stain of slavery, Japanese internment, and unequal justice. In many respects, we are a better country today, January 8, 2011, then we ever were before. And we have plenty of room for improvement.
We can not move forward as a country by targeting those who disagree with us. The U.S. Constitution is a living document that has been amended twenty-seven times. It will be amended again as our country’s needs change in the future. We can no more return to 1954 then we can relive 1854. Nor should we want to.
There are 435 members of the House of Representatives. There are 100 Senators. It is probably easier for you to name a half a dozen with whom you disagree, six that you would like to see replaced, than five that you always support. That’s representative government.
You don’t point guns at people. No targets. No bull’s-eyes. No bull shit. Swimming pools have adult only time. We have come to a point where it has become necessary to declare an Adults Only time for public discourse.
We have suffered too long from the actions of the reckless. It is time to escort them from the public stage.