Vail Daily letter: Leave behind the crazies
Eagle, CO Colorado
I turned on Fox News over the weekend because I am nothing if not fair and balanced in my views despite the fact that they are anything but. I like to seek out varying opinions because, as I have said here many times before, I believe that reason and truth are almost always in the middle. You only develop reason and find truth by weighing all sides of something and then forming your own conclusions. They are almost never to be found in the extremes, and what is sad is we seem to be becoming a nation of nothing but extremists who possess neither the willingness nor the intelligence to fully examine anything fairly.
There is always a ranting crazy to be seen on Fox. And, make no mistake – even though someone may appear reasonable and rational, they can be ranting crazies nonetheless. To be fair, there are crazies on other news stations, too. Fox just seems to focus their cameras on more than their fair share.
That particular day, Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council was on. He’s one of the reasonable, rational looking crazies. Among other things, he blamed the economic crisis in this country on the breakdown of the family unit, which, if you know anything at all about what happened on Wall Street is about as nuts as Pat Robertson blaming Katrina and 9/11 on the fact that prayer was taken out of public schools.
Everyone has a right to their opinion, of course, but it is the very basis of intellect that we as thinking human beings relate things to one another that actually connect and make sense. It is called cause and effect and one can use science, brains and reason to rightly analyze these or one can be a member of the ever growing Lunatic Party and decide that brains are really fairly silly things to use.
Mr. Perkins went on to blur, as his kind always does, that ever-so-pesky issue of separation of church and state by insisting on the need to legislate morality via government now more than ever.
What I find so maddeningly hypocritical is that all you hear from the far right is how they are against “big government.” They say it so much that one actually begins to wonder if they know any other phrases of English or if their minds just haven’t quite developed that far yet. Yet, I can think of no better example of government being too big as when it tries to regulate the personal morality and choices of its citizenry based upon the religious views of the fundamentalist political fringe. They will champion state’s rights like nobody’s business … until, for example, they see the need to federally mandate a definition of marriage.
Freedom of religion means not only that one is free to believe certain things, but that others are free to believe different things. The muddy water of politicians trying to enforce their personal moral views legislatively about non-governmental matters is something I would think the anti-“big government” folks would completely rebuke. But, they don’t. So, how are we to take them seriously and how are they ever to broaden their base when they constantly show such hypocrisy, betray their very own tenets and stick their noses where they don’t belong?
The far right has always taken to its bosom some pretty extreme characters. While many a Republican might actually get my vote if they would distance themselves from the crazies, they instead drive me further away by embracing them. And fiscally conservative politicians I lean toward lose me completely the minute they start up on the social issues they should be leaving to the individual to contemplate. And, really, I am one of those people who doesn’t vote along party lines. I’m someone they should be trying to court because they actually have a shot with me – especially after the fiascoes of this administration. If Obama ran for dog catcher in the next election I wouldn’t vote for him. So, if they could give me a reasonable, non-crazy who’d distance him or herself from the loonies and keep his or her nose out of my bedroom, they’d have a real shot with me.
However, while Rush and Glenn and Sarah and now this completely insane Christine O’Donnell aberration are the faces of the Republican Party and while they align themselves with people like Mr. Perkins, they can go bend someone else’s ear. I’m not interested. But, as soon as the Republicans leave the crazies behind, focus purely on issues of state with reasonable and intelligent voices as their spokespersons and leave their views on morality out of government and in the pulpit where they belong, I’m ready to listen.