I received this email, as editor of OpEdnEws.com, which was also copied to many other editors, talk show hosts and right wing organizations—Hannity, O’Reilly, Savage, Limbaugh, Fox News, Worldnet and the RNC:
"Barack Obama is the most celebrated President in American history and he isn't even President yet. Please, I need to understand this. With such unprecedented support is it possible he can't fail even if he does fail? I just have got to know if the American public is really... um... I'm not gonna say it, but how is it possible this man is the most celebrated president in history and he hasn't taken office yet???
Is it me? Because he's black does it not matter what kind of President he turns out to be? Where do you think this kind of mentality/rationale will end? Will it now become the natural mandate that we elect a woman because we have never had a woman, or a gay man or a lesbian or for that matter a transvestite?Does it even matter what kind of example it sets for young people? …You tell me, in all honesty, how many people even heard of Barack Obama before this election? Is that the real reason the rest of the candidates dropped out, because they knew they didn't stand a chance against a black man regardless of the fact that every single one of them had superior credentials? Where does it end? Why has it begun? - Mike Budnicki Brick, N.J."
I almost sent this right wing neanderthal an insulting email. I will do that sometimes—start writing, then delete. But it got me thinking that this guy is, thank god, a vanishing breed. There are fewer and fewer of his kind— Neanderthals who are intolerant of anyone who doesn’t look like or think like him. He asks “Why has “IT” begun.“
What has begun is that finally, small minded, cowardly, closed-minded, bigoted, right wing extremists who are unwilling and afraid to tolerate people who look, act or think differently to take responsible roles in elected office are shrinking in number. It’s a wonderful thing. They are being replaced by more tolerant people. The new ones aren’t perfect. Look at all the blacks who voted against gay marriage rights in California’s Prop 8.
But even with that situation, huge progress on the evolutionary front is clear. The thing is, right wing extremism is not a cranial thing, or, at least not just about thinking. After all there are some very high IQ right wingers. But even the idea of IQ has evolved. Harvard’s Howard Gardner, several decades ago, developed the idea of multiple intelligences. He observed that traditional IQ tests primarily measure math and verbal intelligence. But he posits, here are also other kinds of intelligence—social/interpersonal, musical, athletic, visual spatial, intrapersonal (self knowing) and some speculate that there is an ecological (some people really DO have green thumbs) and spiritual.
This may not be among Howard Gardner’s list, but the characteristics are nothing new. They’ve been around since before the advent of civilization. Matter of fact, maybe civilization, with its top-down, hierarchical, control freak domination, slavery and god granted royalty and priesthood, was a digression from the development of this kind of humane intelligence. Maybe, Obama’s call for bottom-up approaches to healing the USA is a manifestation of this new kind of intelligence.
Yep. I apologize to the Neanderthals. Most likely they were already more evolved along this line of bottom-up intelligence than the right wing hierarchalists who brought us civilization. Perhaps, as we watch the right wing mindset shrink and hopefully, gradually become extinct, we are actually seeing a new phase, or next stage of civilization—one that integrates the power of mass production and specialization with the values of bottom –up intelligence.