Thursday, August 26, 2010

An Open Letter to the Media, Activists, Members of Congress, and Administration Officials Who Have Both Educated and Enlightened Me This Past Year

Dear Media, Activists, Members of Congress, and Administration Officials Who Have Both Educated and Enlightened Me This Past Year:

I gladly acknowledge the Park51 developers have every Constitutional right to build their community center/mosque wherever they please, but I feel it would be more sensitive and appropriate (not to mention better for their stated goals of creating cross-cultural tolerance and understanding) if they would build it somewhere farther away from Ground Zero.

And for that, you call me Islamophobe.

I felt incredible pride watching the first African-American president take the oath of office, but I believe his policies are creating deficits we can never pay back and burdening the economy with badly conceived regulations and so-called reforms that will do far more harm than good.

And for that, you call me Racist.

I support gay marriage, but I'm also convinced it would be much better in the long run, for everyone, if that comes about through consensus in legislatures and ballot referendums rather than being imposed by court decisions that will only energize an opposition that had been losing ground each day and further polarize a society that already feels those same courts are not only out of touch, but also out of control.

And for that, you call me Bigot.

I'm married to a Canadian and my favorite brother-in-law was an immigrant from Argentina, but I know that unless we first secure the borders, granting a path to citizenship for those here illegally will be a never-ending process rather than a comprehensive, one-time reform that truly reduces this problem to some manageable level.

And for that, you call me Xenophobe.

Not that any of this surprises me, of course. This has been going on for some time now. So call me what you like.

Call me what you like, and pretend that simply giving these names to those you disagree with will somehow make them so, and tell yourself that good people can't differ politically, that those with another opinion are somehow intellectually inferior, and that your position has the corner on morality. Do all those things, because it doesn't really matter.

It doesn't really matter, because there are other names for me, and for those like me, that you've forgotten.

Former reader.

Former viewer.

Former contributor.

Former Democrat.

But most important, Voter.

Or maybe you haven't forgotten those names, and that explains the others...

UPDATE: One of the unexpected joys (or agonies) of blogging is when you post something, then find out the next morning that a far better writer is also traveling on the same of train of thought with you, like Charles Krauthammer does in "The Last Refuge of a Liberal."

UPDATE II: More discussion at Memeorandum.