City of Roses
|Like I said, I believe dissent is an all-American right we should celebrate having, and I said those angry respondents were simply expressing their opinions and there's nothing un-American about that. In fact, it IS American.
I was just saying that though everyone has the right to say what they want to say, you can also simply be deeply saddened with much of what you hear. So many of those mailed messages sounded hateful to me. Mel Gibbs' especially bothered me, where he was actually speaking of the desire of execution and death row under the Patriot Act for people like him and me. Boots Harvey also had that same desire. Then there were others in that bunch that didn't hint out things as extreme as execution but still full of brimstone, like "siding with the terrorists", etc.
I'm a liberal, who shares the same sentiments as Neuharth, in that I believe we must stop this war as soon as possible so that further terrorist instincts aren't incited and we spare the lives of more that can be killed in the months ahead, and that if asked to serve, I also would refuse, because I believe in "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" and I choose to live my life outside the guns and camouflage uniforms.
If something as tame as Neuharth's comment can arouse such brimstone like that in those letters, imagine what I'd get if I had a column and I said this war is "senseless". I may very well get death threats and postcards with my head under a guillotine blade!
I am upset and frustrated with so much this administration has done, but I certainly would never wish anyone in Bush's cabinet execution, or assassination, or any such physical harm, for I believe violence is wrong by all means, and I WOULD be outraged if that happens. I simply believe the best solution or punishment is to simply see their term end quietly, and that they go quietly, impeachment, resignation, etc.
Look, I visit indymedia news boards all the time, which are deeply progressive communities, and often I shake my head at what I read there as well. There are left-wing nuts there too who say things like, "I'd assassinate Bush, but then, Cheney would be in!" Then in the past when I'd respond without rage saying, "Look, this is not the way we solve this sort of problem, non-violence is one of the progresive party's values, I believe we must keep addressing these issues in a civil way, for the truth shall set you free..." then they'd respond calling me things like "fascist" and "treason-lover". (shakes head with sad sigh) And I'm had it all up with all that "fascist" talk personally, as words like that I believe just give back so much bad blood, so many dark memories and histories.
I guess what I'm trying to say here is, I absolutely believe in Voltaire's philosophy, and also will defend to the death the right for those even with so much brimstone in them to speak, but still surely it is startling to even hear or imagine words like that coming from the average everyday American. It always makes me wonder, "How'd we get here?"
"You'll find something that's enough to keep you
But if the bright lights don't receive you
You should turn yourself around and come back home" MB20