March 27th, 2010


An Open Letter to All the Extremists...

It's gotten weird, out there.
Armed Marches planned because militias seem to think we're Marxists, or Socialists, or something even worse
Vandalism and attacks on elected representatives who voted the "wrong" way
People who seem to think that in order to defend the Constitution you have to destroy it...or to defend the Ten Commandments you have to break them.

As a self-proclaimed "right wing liberal," I'm feeling like these people eyeing me, next, wondering how they can take ME out. Because it's going that way. Because I'm not what they want in this country. Well guys, too bad.

I've always been a confusing collection of beliefs, like most of my family. I am, of course, a basically Finn with Irish streaks, walking the ways of my ancestors and compatriots, and my beliefs are consistent with that background. Which means that I believe in very limited government, but with police and fire protection and UNIVERSAL HEALTHCARE. (This was a cause of my grandfather DOCTOR Beckman's, since about 1900. The one who was known to treat people for nothing, or take firewood in trade, or whatever.)

Sorry, those who claim government-run health care is awful, but I LIKE the systems they have in Finland and Sweden and Ireland. They make sure their people are taken care of. They also have lower infant mortality than we do. (I can hear the neoCons telling me if I think it's so great, go live someplace where they have it. Boy, I'd love to. I'd probably live in Ireland if I could, but they have restrictions on reverse emmigration, now. My ancestors came from further back than my grandparents generation, and you can't emmigrate and become a citizen if that's the case. Seems too many people were moving back...)

The rest of the government...well, I believe it should primarily be there to stop everyone from killing each other and trampling each other's rights. You know, like imposing a state religion on us, like some seem to want to do. Like the Lutherans did in Finland, way back, which still caused my father to get paranoid, even in the late 20th century. He talked about sanctions against those who didn't conform to the belief system (he stopped short of saying "witch burning," but you get the idea) and being careful not to say what you believed, outside the family.

And it's a good thing we have a bill of rights, though it seems like nowadays the different sides seem to want to do away with whichever parts of it they don't like, differing mostly just in which Amendments they don't like. I do like being able to speak my mind, according to the First Amendment. After all, I'm an abomination according to some Conservatives, an outspoken woman who doesn't agree with a lot of things and doesn't know her place. (Yes, I'm quoting things that have been said to me. And that's okay. I will defend their right to say such things, whether I agree with them or not.) Since the early 1980s, I've always felt an intolerance for my kind, someone who doesn't toe anyone's party line, and more and more since 2001, when the War on the Unexpected started to look nastily on those who don't fit certain molds. Especially when they are vocal about their beliefs. But that's also why I am a fervent supporter of the 2nd Amendment. When people who object to my beliefs decide to hold an armed march on my house, I like to be able to stand in my doorway with my own firepower, in case someone decides I shouldn't exist.

I don't feel good about where we are going. I see a lot of people marching in lock-step down the road toward fascism, and that alarms me. We've never been exactly facile with critical thinking, but most of what I'm seeing lately is knee-jerk reactions of fear and paranoia to rumor and heresay. I used to be accused of being a Conspiracy Theorist, because I talked about the erosion of rights and how the Constitution was being nibbled away. Now, I'm middle-of-the-road. And the things I talked about seem to have either come to pass or are happening right before our eyes, as the neoCons espouse the cause of "liberty and justice for white male millionaires." Don't they see how they're being duped by the corporatists? Apparently not. Those who have the gold not only make the rules, they can buy whole belief systems. It's merely a question of presenting things under the right auspices and spinning the media.
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