“DEAR LORD, THIS YEAR YOU TOOK MY FAVORITE ACTOR, PATRICK SWAYZE. YOU TOOK MY FAVORITE ACTRESS, FARAH FAWCETT. YOU TOOK MY FAVORITE SINGER, MICHAEL JACKSON. I JUST WANTED TO LET YOU KNOW, MY FAVORITE PRESIDENT IS BARACK OBAMA. AMEN”
This is the name of a new Facebook Page. This page is absolutely unacceptable. When I saw the name after one of my friends “liked” it, I wrote her a message detailing why.
My message to her, and my message to all conservatives is this:
Look, I think we both know that there are always going to be a lot of things in politics on which we disagree. And honestly, one of my most dearly held political beliefs is that those disagreements are what make our democracy vibrant and healthy. So most of the time when I see you post things with which I disagree, I’m cool with it.
This particular group, however, seriously bothers me. Most importantly, I think that groups like that represent serious wrong steps for our democracy. Firstly because we, the People of this nation, should never, under any circumstances, be praying for the death of our leader. It’s not funny. It’s simply not acceptable. There are lines that we have to draw when it comes to what’s allowed to be cannon fodder.
I know, too, that the liberals in this country have said some really terrible, unacceptable things, and that a lot of this unacceptable disrespect for the office of the President started with liberals during the Bush years. Be that as it may, it is not acceptable for us to keep pushing that envelope. That is a lose-lose for us, for our leaders, and for the country.
Furthermore, right now the right, specifically the Tea Party movement, is being viciously attacked and accused of violence, racism, and all manner of nasty stuff. I have seen no direct evidence of said nasty stuff, but things like this Facebook group make those tales easy to believe. It is making the divide between conservatives and liberals deeper and harder to cross.
We have too many serious problems to let that divide grow. Our politicians–all of them–have been running us around for years. They’re keeping us fighting with each other as much as possible so that we forget that they’ve ALL disappointed us way more than we’ve disappointed each other. We have got to stop calling each other names and start focusing on making these civil servants do their jobs. We are their employers. We need to remind them of that.
We will not be able to do that when we have these divides between us. We all need to remember that there are always going to be things on which we disagree, and that it is to be celebrated. We have got to stop fighting about those things when we have serious problems that we could be working on together. And yes, I know that the left is just as guilty as the right in this, and right now, being the side in power, they have more responsibility that they are not living up to. This is a grave concern to me as someone who tends to fall into the liberal side of things.
And I am trying to convince people–all my people, liberals especially–that we need to stop yelling at each other and start yelling at the politicians. But I cannot do anything in the face of things like praying the President dies. You can’t talk your way out of that. I can’t say that the right is reasonable or that they have ideas we need to listen to when that is staring me in the face. Yes, the left needs to clean the political house big-time. Obama took our hope, took what we believed in, and conned us; he is pulling all the same political tricks. For that alone, I think he dealt a serious blow to our democracy. More people on the left need to recognize that and get angry.
I am asking you not to work against me on that. We have got to work together to build our democracy anew. It is time for all of us to send the message to all of our leaders that it is time for them to wake up and get serious about the real problems we’re facing.
Benjamin Franklin is often quoted as responding to the question of whether our brand new government was a monarchy or a republic by saying, “A republic, if you can keep it.”
It’s time for us to prove we can keep it.