As an observer and commentator on the American scene, I have become increasingly angered by the actions of our very vocal and often disruptive radical movements. Late last night, after an extended talk with a very close friend and fellow author, all of this came to a head. Both of us agreed completely that a closer examination of how much impact they have and how very damaging it is to American morale was in order.
Earlier that day, I had watched a news segment concerning a British teacher, who had lived here for 20 years, and finally achieved her dream: American citizenship. Her pride in this and her awareness of what being a citizen of this great nation means, moved me to tears. She sees what some of us have so obviously forgotten: that in addition to the freedoms granted us here, comes the responsibility of standing up for our country.
This media saturated minority garners so much of our daily input, that it’s becoming hard to watch, listen or read anything about the U.S. anymore. Everyday, we are treated to pictures and stories about pro lifers, pro-animal lifers, environmentalists and anti-war, anti-anything these groups want to protest. Protest and demands for redress are part and parcel of the American process, and as a writer, I support the preservation of anyone’s right to speak out against society’s ills.
However, the methods used and the utter indifference to the genuine issues of concern are what troubles me. Environmentalists have used the shell game to cloak more sinister agendas, such as funding terrorism or hate groups. At their worst, they spawn eco-terrorists, who in acts of insane hypocrisy, blow up things. How ironic that groups dedicated to preserving our environment, then proceed to pollute it using tools of destruction. Pro-life groups who claim to cherish life from the moment of conception, turn around and murder their opponents, often using bombs, rather than guns. The same goes for animal rights extremists.
We watch news clips of people screaming at each other publicly over the judicial appointment of Alito, the war on Iraq, or the “dread” fear of being eavesdropped on by supposedly inimical intelligence agencies. It’s a disgusting phenomenon, and one that does a great disservice to the vast majority of Americans. If people want to protest or practice activism, why not spend some time screaming about our homeless, our abused children, the failure of our system to protect workers and more central issues?
While they take up airspace in public spaces screaming invectives about hot button issues, someone is being beaten to death, someone dies of hunger, a wife suffers spousal rape, and a worker becomes homeless, all within a short distance from where they stand. Do they care? Obviously they don’t. What it appears most of them care for, is the fact that they and they alone hold the moral high ground and possess the only acceptable viewpoint. And some of them call Bush a fascist??
What differentiates this closed, I’m always right sort of thinking from the jihadists? Nothing. They are both of the same mindset, if you’re not for us, you’re against us. Reasonable minds always allow for looking at all sides of an issue. We may disagree on a current issue, but being fair and just, we respect one another’s points of view without resorting to outrageous behavior. Unfortunately for America as a whole, all the world sees are these groups of virulent and highly vocal minorities.
This is demoralizing and demeaning the silent majority here in the United States. It is time for the media to stop giving so much time and coverage to these people, and start focusing more on America’s more positive people. People who make positive efforts to create a better place for us to live, work and thrive together. Solution oriented people who have creative and often profound effects on our society. Instead of those who, because we are on a war time footing are actually aiding and abetting our enemies.
This world is such a negative and depressing place right now, to have to face people who care very little for anything but their own selfish agendas is depressing and denigrates who we really are. In case anyone has forgotten: we are Americans. Self-sufficient, generous, concerned and compassionate as a people. We work hard, play hard and care every bit as deeply about things. The difference being that we recognize that with the gift of freedom, comes responsibility. Which includes respecting other people’s points of views without compromising our country’s safety or resorting to violence. Most importantly, we recognize that protesting issues, must be done within the framework of the law, and not outside of it.