From "The Daily Narrative"
"In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends." - Martin Luther King, Jr.
Here's a scenario. Let's say you and your significant other are out for a pleasant drive and you see a sign advertising a British Classic Car Show. You are on Cape Cod, it is early October, warm enough for the windows to be open and the top down and the colorful leaves are beginning to change the landscape from summer to fall. You park. You walk admire the vintage MGs, Triumphs, Jags, a superior Corniche, a few minis and a truly odd all-mahogany boat-tailed low-rider custom built on an MGB frame, complete with full wheel covers. It is a pleasant day and a friendly crowd. Then this guy, who appears to be an otherwise ordinary white male in his mid-fifties, blurts out "Don't get me started about politics! Don't talk to me about the past eight years, either. Obama is a socialist. We've got to take back our country." He winks, conspiratorially. "I'm a Tea Partier."
Let's say you are a Progressive. Let's say you think the Tea Party, led by Glenn Beck and funded by the Koch Brothers and Dick Armey, is both dangerous and wrong. All those ridiculous agitprop posters at their rallies make you cringe.
Let's further say that while you have had differences with Obama you basically believe we are far better off with him at the helm than we would be with any of the assortment of con-men, genuine dumb-asses and con women on the other side, all either running for office now or lining up for 2012. Obama is no socialist. He can't see Alaska from his front porch; he hasn't tied the family dog to the roof of his car while driving from Massachusetts to Michigan; nor has he, as certain Teapublican candidates for Congress have recently done, had to deny being a witch or admitted to having enjoyed playing dress-up on weekends in a Nazi uniform.
So what do you say? Or do you say anything? Is this the time or the place for this sort of defense of the president? These appear to be nice people out to enjoy the fine weather and share stories and memories about classic British cars. Plus, this guy is seated alone. No one seems to want to be within listening distance of him. No one else has enjoined the conversation or openly sided with him. You could leave well enough alone. You could remain silent.
To speak, or not to speak, "that is the question."