Recently, I had an encounter with a member of the GOP Tea Party and was told that countries that have allowed liberalism, multiculturalism and Sharia law to creep in are now having problems 'weeding' them out. Apparently, these are very evil influences and quite pervasive in our country, too. Sharia Law? Really? Where is Sharia the law in the U.S.? I was intrigued. I wanted to know which countries' leaders had made recent complaints about liberalism. So, I did some research. Other than a blogger saying it in the conservative blog, American Thinker, I found a news article stating that Vladmir Putin spoke aggressively of avoiding "unjustified liberalism" Wednesday, 04/20/2011. Link to: http://www.thirdage.com/news/vladmir-putin-warns-of-liberalism-in-address-to-russian-parliament_04-21-2011 . I guess if Putin is against liberalism, then the U.S. should agree...
This member of the GOP Tea Party wrote about Attorney General Eric Holder, suggesting that he supports, not the rights of all Americans, but only his "own people". The writer suggested that Holder was protecting terrorist Muslim groups who are in the business of promoting Sharia law and Black Panthers. Further, many of President Obama's czars have socialist and communist leanings, and promote the destruction of our government.
After being told that "expressing your opinions is the American way and no one wants to curtail that right", it was suggested that I was "just too liberal, too anti-Constitution, too anti-American to be saved". Saved from what? Am I one of those that needs to be 'weeded' out? Apparently, the answer is yes.
After posting several political columns, I have come to the conclusion that the Tea Party and the current GOP, instead of relying on rational thought and mutual respect when disagreeing, often resort to name calling. Not just any name calling, but name calling that promotes the view that liberals in America are enemies of the state. Even though liberalism is defined by Merriam Webster as: a political philosophy based on belief in progress, the essential goodness of the human race, and the autonomy of the individual and standing for the protection of political and civil liberties; specifically : such a philosophy that considers government as a crucial instrument for amelioration of social inequities (as those involving race, gender, or class), a vast number of Tea Party members and GOP Party members believe that liberalism and liberals are so evil that they and their opinions must be purged from the political discourse and country. They seem to promote the view that more than just one political opinion is a detriment to the well-being of the country. If your opinion differs from theirs, you are anti-American.
Discourse in American politics has always been passionate. Opinions, historically, were never lauded as truth. They were instead, considered to be opinions. Somewhere along the way, opinion has been elevated to truth. In the conversations that take place daily throughout this country, opinion carries the conversation. Try to interject facts? Facts do not seem to matter.They do not carry the weight they once did. Statistics and numbers are too boring and take too long to research. In the world of expediency, fact fails. Fact is no longer important.
Even though opinion is now the rule, opinion is not truth. It is as if the mere telling of a lie and then repeating that lie, grants it truth status. Not so! No matter how often you say it, no matter how passionately you believe it, a lie is never the truth. A lie will never be the truth, no matter how much you want it to be!
Have you ever told someone who disagrees with you that they should move to Somalia? Cuba? Have you ever told someone who disagrees with you that they are evil? Have you ever told someone who has a different view that they must be purged from the country?That you may pay a visit to their home and teach them a thing or two? That you may provide them an armed escort to Cuba? If you have, then you probably meet the definition of audacious. If you lack respect for any other points of view but your own, then you probably even meet the definition of extremist.
When you tell people these things, do you expect their kindness in return? Do you wonder why they do not offer you respect? Wonder why they dismiss your thinking process as challenged?Then you probably meet the definition of stupid! I know---name calling, but a different kind...Not threatening you, not telling you that you want to destroy the country, not calling you a commie, socialist, welfare-loving parasite. A little bit different, in just my opinion.
I used to ignore these comments, even though I found them particularly troubling. I am done with that. From now on, I will treat people the way they treat me. It may be more effective than that age old rule: Treat others as you would like to be treated. This seems to be the only level that one can communicate effectively with extremists. Call them out, stop being nice, do it every single time! I don't think it will change minds, but it will begin to hold extremists accountable. Even though they seem to have no boundaries, let them know their thinking is nonsense and not held in high regards by many. Enough BS!
Threaten my home, my family, my existence in this country ( I am a citizen, too!) and it is on! Every single time!
Even Paul Krugman, noted economist, says "Let's Not Be Civil!". He has written an op-ed in the NY Times, that is worth reading : click here=3&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss