Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Bachmann and the Republican Right - Who's Really un-American?

Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann on Obama: "I'm very concerned that he may have anti-American views...I think the people that Barack Obama has been associating with are anti-American, by and large."

In her statements, she has opened up a Pandora's box of intolerance, prejudice and hate-mongering that goes against the very grain of the democratic fabric of our country.

What are views that are un-American? Are they views that go against the views of the majority? Are they views that are completely antithetical to the populace? What qualifies the views of a citizen as being un-American? Does disagreement with the status quo mean you are un-American? Early in President Bush's term of office, I recall him stating that anyone who didn't agree that we should go to war in Iraq is unpatriotic and un-American. As one of those people who thought we should not go to war Iraq, I guess that, according to his terms, I was as un-American as was Obama.

Well, according to our Constitution and Bill of Rights, unless you are committing a crime, your views are as valid as anyone else's. Who is Bachmann to decide what is American and un-American? Does she hold the standard? What is the standard? As far as I understand, the United States of America is an extremely diverse country, full of many ethnicities, cultures, races, traditions, and religions. It's nearly impossible to quantify who represents the face of America, as we have so many faces.

The beauty of our Constitution and Bill of Rights is that they allow for a multiplicity of extremely diverse opinions that provide a platform for discourse and intelligent debate. This is a wonderful method in which one determines one's own views, and from which one can then make educated and thoughtful decisions. When people silence others with whom they disagree, they silence Democracy.

Our freedom to have and publicly communicate our opinions and beliefs is an integral part of being American. This is what sets our country apart from so many others. Bachmann, who shows no tolerance of viewpoints other than her own, may currently be one of the most dangerous people in office in our country. However, she too, has the freedom to state her opinion; just as do I, here, in my blog!

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