by Leigh Bravo 4/9/14
Sticks and stones can break you bones, and our leaders love to throw them! • What if a request for tolerance suddenly becomes an outright statement of intolerance? Can people of one view demand to be heard while shutting down and demonizing the opinions of those who disagree? Is this happening more today than in the past? Has it become the new norm rather than the exception?
Let’s begin by looking at the current situation of Mozilla CEO, Brendan Eich, who recently was forced to resign over his personal political beliefs and his right to speak his mind. In 2011, Eich made a $1,000 donation to support California’s proposition 8 ballot measure. Due to his personal support for marriage, he was forced out of his job at Mozilla. Eich, obviously, was not the only one who supported Proposition 8. Does that mean every person that supported it should be fired or forced out of their jobs if their company disagrees with their view? Can we demand equal treatment under the law while discriminating against others? Should we, as Americans, be concerned about this case? if this is allowed to stand, does it set a precedent? If this is accepted, does it place us all in a position to lose our jobs based on our personal beliefs? Is it an intentional tool to prevent Americans from speaking out against the current status quo? Are we being scared out of exercising our First Amendment rights?
If you ever felt you were discriminated against, does that mean that you now have the right to discriminate against others as a form of retribution? Do acts of revenge elevate your cause or does it result in a loss of credibility? is it time for all of us to live together and respect our individual choices and preferences or should there be a period of payback, so to speak, so those who have been accused of being intolerant now know what it feels like to be targeted? Is this the Nation we all want to live in? Is this the new United States? Is this the fundamental change our leaders wanted?
Have we become a Nation of intolerance? Have our leaders furthered this intolerance? Do they fuel the flames?
Recently, Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid, called the Koch Brothers “un-American.” What was the basis for his claim? Koch Industries is the second largest privately owned company in the country. It employs approximately 50,000 people in the US. They started the LIBTE Initiative, which is a non-profit group that funds public outreach and focuses on public policy, but provides numerous free services to Hispanic neighborhoods. The Koch brothers are not only successful businessmen, but also philanthropists that support such charities as hospitals, the arts and museums. Then the media began focusing on the donations made by the Koch brothers because they were to conservative groups and causes and suddenly they are “un-American” and trying to “buy America.” But we know they are not the only wealthy people who donate to interest groups, political parties or public policy. They just happen to be wealthy people who donate to conservative groups. The Democrats have a long list of wealthy activists, but the media has no interest in their activities. What about George Soros? He has donated millions and millions over the years to transform the US and its government, but no outrage by Harry Reid or the press? Are they right to hold back the outrage when they happen to support the same causes? Are they not outraged because they have been at the receiving end of those donations? Is that where the line is drawn?
In a 2011 speech at the University of Arizona campus honoring those lost in the Tucson shooting, President Obama said:
“At a time when our discourse has become so sharply polarized; at a time when we are far too eager to lay the blame for all hat ails the world at the feet of those who happen to think differently then we do it’s important for us to pause for a moment and make sure that we are talking to each other in a way that heals, not a way that wounds.”
However, does President Obama and our leaders really believe this statement? We have heard name calling and extreme comments in describing conservatives.
“Flat-earthers,” ‘bigots,” “racists,” and “extortionists.” – Obama
“Unhinged arsonists” – Wasserman-Shultz
“Insane people who have lost their minds”- Harry Reid
“People with a bomb strapped on their chest” – Dan Pfeiffer
“Blatant extortionists” – Jay Carney
“Legislative Arsonists” – Nancy Pelosi
In a hearing yesterday involving Eric Holder’s lack of action on multiple infractions by the government, he yelled out, during an argument with Representative Gohmert, “good luck with your asparagus.” This was an out-and-out derogatory response about a misspoken comment by Gohmert in a previous committee hearing. Was this purposeful taunt by Eric Holder necessary? We all misspeak on occasion but should our leaders respond like children on the playground?
When you were little, did you ever hear this rhyme?
“Sticks and stones can break my bones, but words can never hurt me.”
I was raised on that rhyme and was taught by my parents and teachers that calling names was not acceptable and only hurt others as well as yourself. Although name calling is considered childish and immature, why have the slew of insults become more common place in our government? Is this name calling now acceptable because our leaders find it appropriate?
Is this the behavior we should expect of our leaders? Is this the attitude we expect of our President? Our Senate Majority leader? Our elected officials?
Is it right for our leaders to stand by and watch while government agencies are used to punish those who stand against policies of any administration? Does the public understand that the use of these agencies, regardless of political party affiliation, can be turned on them in the next election?
I continue to look for the speech from our leader that asks all Americans, regardless of race, religion, gender, sexual preference, economic status, employed or unemployed, or political leaning, to come together and support our Nation. The speech that tells us that everything is going to be okay. That we will work together to get our Nation back on track. The speech that will tell us that our leaders understand what we are experiencing and will fulfill the promises they made to get elected. I am tired of our leaders enacting laws that destroy business while systematically dismantling the free enterprise system in order to further the control by the government and the bank accounts of those in office.
So, the next time your child comes home complaining that a bully at school called them names, or made fun of something they said, how will you respond? How will you use the situation to teach your child a lesson? Will you tell them bullies never get ahead, or will you tell them sticks and stones are the new tools for our government?
Leigh Bravo blogs at The Trumpet.