Well, I thought the controversy surrounding the renovation of the Holy Burlington Coat Factory of Lower Manhattan was about to simmer down. I thought, now that apple-pie and flag-waving "Americans" in the heartland had started engaging in acts of terrorism against innocent American Muslims, that the folks perpetuating the religious bigotry and xenophobia would realize the very real danger to lives and property caused by their words. I thought they would stop it. This stuff had gone too far some weeks ago, and now things were getting far out of control. Funny time was over.
Nope. Winning elections is just too important to stop fanning the smouldering flames of religious hatred across this land. If there are funds to be raised, votes to be pandered, or political points to be scored, it doesn't matter if what you say is a lie that may get innocent people killed.
And if you're standing on the sidelines here, finding some sort of moral equivalency with what is going on, I just can't understand your values. I can't understand how individuals like Lazio and statements like his can be defended. What does our society gain by such oversimplifications, bigotries and misrepresentations?
Yes, he (and Palin, Gingrich, Reid, and all these demagouges) have the right to say stupid, hateful things. Especially when those stupid, hateful opinions are so nakedly based in the pursuit of political power. They are absolutely entitled to and can express their "opinions," even those they hold only in front of the cameras. But I do wonder why there are so many people letting them get away with this.
So don't blame those of us in opposition for "keeping this thing going." Stupid, hateful opinions must be challenged, publicly and often, if we are ever to expect better. Expect those challenges to keep coming as long as those perpetuating this narrative keep trying to demagouge their way to power.
And don't blame the people who are calling religious bigotry and xenophobia out what it is. It is what it is, a retread of some of our worst episodes in American history.
Support of religious freedom in America may not be the most popular position right now, but I know who is on the right side of it.