“Those who would sacrifice essential liberties for a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” – Benjamin Franklin
I’m probably going to get flamed, or at least argued with over this post. And probably for good reason- my views are very one sided and I admit it. I also know that whenever one’s views stray so far to one side that one can no longer fathom the reasoning that the other side is using (except in extreme circumstances), that there is a problem, and perspective needs to be regained, somehow.
Anyway, I read stuff like this, espeicially the below quote, and it makes me angry. Extremely angry. So angry in fact, that I feel the need to bother everyone who reads my blog about it.
In March 2003, a teenage girl named Courtney presented one of her poems before an audience at Barnes & Noble bookstore in Albuquerque, then read the poem live on the school’s closed-circuit television channel.
A school military liaison and the high school principal accused the girl of being “un-American” because she criticized the war in Iraq and the Bush administration’s failure to give substance to its “No child left behind” education policy.
The girl’s mother, also a teacher, was ordered by the principal to destroy the child’s poetry. The mother refused and may lose her job.
The idea of destroying or silencing opinions you do not agree with infuriates me. I know that stuff like this isn’t new- that it has been around since mankind first climbed out of the trees, picked up a stick, and beat his neighbor to death. I’m simply too young to know now whether it really is worse now, with our current administration, or whether in past administrations I was simply too young and naïve to notice or care what was happening. But I find aging hippies agreeing with me. Does this make me some sort of new age retro hippy? Probably, I do live in Ithaca, afterall.
Anyway, back to the matter of my one-sidedness… I honestly can’t fathom anything that isn’t completely trivial that is good about the current administration. Really amazingly high on my list of heinousosity ranks the Patriot Act, with this amazingly stupid war trailing hot on it’s heels.
I’d loved to say I was surprised when I heard about recent atrocities committed by Americans in Iraq, but I really wasn’t. If anything, I was surprised that it took this long for stuff like this to be exposed- didn’t everyone know it had to be happening? Maybe I am too much of a cynic, but I’m right, aren’t I? Anyway, truthfully I’d doubt that there would be any less torture happening had anyone else been in office and for some reason we still went to war, but I do think there might be more admittance of wrongdoing on certain parts. And unlike some, now that we are in Iraq, I don’t think we have the option of just up and leaving- a decision has been made, and we have to stand by it long enough to try and correct it. Just leaving would show weakness- not to mention leaving a worse situation than what was there before we interfered.
I’ve established that I think the Bush administation is a Very Bad Thing. And I’m aware that the theoretically possibly Kerry administation doesn’t seem to be wonderful, either- but I do see it as a huge improvement over what we currently have. And I really don’t see how only about half of the rest of the American public sees it the same way…. is there something good about the current administration I am missing? Or does the rest of the country really agree with what is going on?
And then there’s Nader… who may very well be the best of the bunch, but doesn’t really have a snowflake’s chance in hell of winning, and in a close race would most likely only seal the Republican Party’s victory (again). The only candidates that will ever matter are the official Republican and Democrat offerings, at least until the voting methods are changed (e.g., instead of a binary yes/no option, a way to rank one’s 2 or 3 choice candidates- this way people would be more likely to risk votes on a non-mainstream candidate because their other vote would still count in the end. IME, smaller-scale elections tend to work this way now, and with today’s computers and soon-to-be-viable electronic voting, I think this method is completely feasible on a larger scale.). In the meantime, I think this is a wonderful idea that, predicitably, neither party involved would go for.