Morning Thanks

Garrison Keillor once said we'd all be better off if we all started the day by giving thanks for just one thing. I'll try.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Civility


Sometimes I think we all take too much for granted the incredible fragility of "this great American experiment" we call democracy. A few weeks ago, in a backyard in California, a woman and two children were discovered, essentially slaves--for many years--of a man and his wife. In our democratic system, that man has just as much power, finally, as, say, Walter Cronkite--each has a single vote. Incredible.

Last night's speech has been and will be reviewed sweetly and sourly, I'm sure. I thought it was a good speech, but then I don't hate Barack Obama. One man, obviously, does--Rep. Joe Wilson, Republican from South Carolina, who yelled, "You lie," at the President during the speech.

Democracy affords Wilson his opinion, an opinion shared, I'm sure, by millions. He won't be placed behind bars because democracy also affords us all free speech.

But I'm hoping that his stunning and emotional denunciation of the President of the United States brings some kind of order back to an electorate so deeply divided as to endanger the fragility of this outrageous political experiment.

Democracy gives all of us a voice, but on an issue like health care, an issue that has effects in every last aspect of all of our lives, we will do better--or so it seems to me--to listen, to discuss, even to comprimise, than to scream so bitterly.

Maybe last night Rep. Joe Wilson taught us that lesson more effectively than any soothsayer could have. I hope that's true.

4 comments:

Rick and Monique Elgersma said...

One doesn't have to hate Obama to recognize a lie when they see it. Furthermore, Obama doesn't isn't the all-powerful so he doesn't have to "afford" my opinion. I get my opinion whether he likes it or not. Neither is my liberty "afforded" by my President. Constitutionally I'm free with or without him.

Anyway, People thought it was funny that a reporter threw a shoe at President Bush, but are up in arms about an open disagreement by a Representative who kept his shoes on, and the President. I don't hate Obama, like you. But, like every Presidential speech by every President I've listened to, sometimes speeches and photo ops are propaganda machines and sometimes they're sincere. This time the machine was on full...at least in my afforded opinion.

Anonymous said...

People forget the "hate" darts that pelosi threw at BUSH when he was speaking. YEP, both sides are always guilty. NO ONE will ever be united, that's a given.

Jake said...

Regardless of my political leanings, I share your hope that Rep. Joe Wilson may have taught us a lesson. Past wrongs certainly do not excuse the embarassment that has surrounded this "debate".

Anonymous said...

Reid never apologized to Bush for calling him a loser and a liar. The fact remains, B.O. did lie to us. Why is it Rep.'s have to always apologize? HMMM!!?!??!