America must be better than this

For some time I have been deeply troubled by how we Americans are acting. We are tolerating bigotry and hiding behind a curtain of political incorrectness. Our political discourse has fallen into name calling, labeling and demonizing people who are different from the speaker’s audience. Avoiding political correctness, does not give someone the license to be a jerk. When an opponent raises an issue, your opinion is less valid by calling the person ugly or stupid.

The terrorists attacks in Paris have caused us to stoop to new lows, where we are forsaking our ideals and going against important foundations within our Constitution. We are kowtowing to xenophobia and fear mongering when we use crises to demonize entire groups of people, especially those in need.

Our country was founded on the premise of freedom of religion and separation of church and state. For some so-called leaders to say we should close mosques goes against who we are. Where would this stop – would we close Hindu, Buddhist or Sikh temples next? What about synagogues or Unitarian Universalist churches?

Our nation has also been built on the backs of immigrants. We have been consistent in extending our welcome to refugees of war torn countries. Yes, we should be vigilant, but turning away people in need, especially after vetting people from Syria for 18 – 24 months, is inconsistent with who we are.

At the heart of my concern is if we cede the higher ground by restricting freedoms and civil rights, the terrorists win. We would be lessening our country as well as giving more ammunition to terrorists to recruit people.

I understand the concerns and we must be vigilant. Yet, we should not replace serious and sober discussion with fear mongering and demonizing. We must hold dear what makes America great. When we cede the higher ground, we are just another country.


17 thoughts on “America must be better than this

  1. I would agree that were need to recover those ideals that MADE America great. I am not so sure we are a great nation at the moment — for the reasons you give. Right now we are a large group of frightened people who don’t have enough sense to come in out of the rain.

    • Hugh, I find it hard to disagree with you as we have lost our way. We are a very uninformed, underinformed and, in some cases, misinformed people. Stephen Colbert’s word called “truthiness” applies to us as we are permitted to have our own version of the truth. But, what I do not like is how we have let people in leadership or candidacy for leadership be so intolerant of others who take a contrary opinion. If someone resorts to namecalling and labeling that should be a sure sign his argument is poor. We have a new namecalling that has entered the current race – loser. This “I am winning, so I must be right” and “You’re losing, so you must be wrong,” is inane and reminds me of playground banter. Thanks for your thoughts, Keith

  2. Devastation is devastation people being murdered anywhere in this world is heartbreaking. But the way people are responding is heartbreaking. Yes there is a lot wrong in the US and there are issues that need to be addressed but that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t feel the pain of a country that is hurting. I’m speaking of the people who feel that too much sympathy is shown to Paris and not enough to Lebon and Kenya and Syria. All of these bombings murders are horrible.

  3. Note to Readers: I saw two articles which add further relevant comments, in my view. First, by treating Muslims so poorly, we are actually making ourselves less safe and are feeding right into the hands of the terrorists. So, we are not only besmirching our constitution and ideals, we are not making us safer. Second, the focus on the refugees is a misplaced solution to the wrong risk. The vetting process is already elongated and robust, so a terrorist would not use that venue to get in. Where we run risk is the home grown terrorists who are already here or those who would enter our country through a Visa. So, for all the chest beating by some, it does not accomplish a lot of positive and does far greater damage on several fronts.

      • The numbers bear out what you contend. I totally agree. By the way David Brooks and Mark Shields were highly critical tonight of Congress and select GOP candidates on their week’s work.

  4. Note to Readers: If closing down the mosques was not flagrant enough, one candidate for president tried to one up another saying we should watch the cafés and gatherings where Muslims meet. Then, to return serve on xenophobic rhetoric, the mosque closer wants to use a data base that Muslim Americans should be entered. The sad part about these unconstitutional and heartless comments is an extreme voter base is egging them on. On a positive note, a series of military and former military officers are chastising these candidates for making us less safe and violating the constitution they fought for and swore an oath to.

  5. Note to Readers: At one of the gatherings for a presidential candidate, a picketer was roughed up. The candidate is on record as saying afterwards, “maybe, he deserved to be roughed up.” Excuse me – no one deserves to be roughed up for being brave enough to share his or her opinion, when every else in the room disagrees with him. I also want people to think long and hard about this statement. Just because someone has more bravado than the next person, it does not make them more brave and courageous.

    Senator John McCain was ridiculed by this same outspoken candidate for not being a hero as he was captured, when the senator withstood torture, but did not crack. My question for the candidates’ followers, which person in the above two stories is the brave person? The answer is Senator McCain and the picketer who walked into the Lion’s den. It is not the one who ridiculed the senator or the one who did not stop his followers from roughing up the picketer.

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