Thursday, June 4, 2009

lunatic fringe

I'd like to write something reflective about the sprawling and colorful gardens in the park and how the city's turning green makes me feel renewed, or how the sound of the spring rain on my window lulls me into a peaceful sleep, but I'm far too agitated by things like doctors being gunned down in their churches, and their murderers being canonized by the ultra-right lunatic fringe to wax poetic about such niceties.

Aside from the Dr. Tiller atrocity I've been especially unsettled by a number of other things that have been happening in the news lately; former Vice-President Dick Cheney, a man who didn't speak much when he was in office, is continuing his torture talk tour. Now that Cheney is a non-office holding citizen he is speaking non-stop, while sitting atop a pile of lies, trying to revise history and convince the world that he was justified in his initiation and support of torture.

I also continue to be disheartened by the slow response of the Obama administration to tackle any of the LGBT issues that the President promised to address during his campaign when he admitted to being a "fierce supporter of gay rights". Also unsettling are the disgraceful discreditings by the usual suspect, suspects of Judge Sonia Sotomayor's nomination to the Supreme Court. These malicious and absurd accusations are beyond what anyone would consider educated or rational.

That the news media continues to take seriously the opinions of Rush Limbaugh, Newt Gingrich or even Dick Cheney, none of whom hold an elected office, is contemptible. Limbaugh is a hate-mongering entertainer, Gingrich; an angry-old-white man, puffed up like an irritated turkey, is trying to elbow his way to the top of a struggling party, and Cheney, aside from being a loathsome revisionist, is attempting to protect himself from being tried as a war criminal. Why the mainstream media continues to take these self-inflated windbags seriously is baffling.

There are, however, a few silver linings in all this cloud coverage. Yesterday, New Hampshire became the sixth state in the union to legalize same sex marriage, Judge Sotomayor's nomination as the first Hispanic to the Supreme Court is in itself a hopeful sign, and this morning, President Obama's speech addressing the Nation of Islam from Cairo University is a huge milestone in foreign relations for the United States. Although his speech this morning is an opportunity for his opponents and the familiar, blathering, bobble-heads to take offense (already there are charges of un-Americanism, weakness and accusations of his being too apologetic). In his speech, Obama called for a new beginning between the United States and Muslims and he encouraged Muslim nations to educate and respect women.

The world is a confusing place and continues moving at a dizzying pace. My response to national and global conditions is only heightened by the challenges in my personal life. Things don't always go as I think they should. That's probably a good thing. Without being challenged there is never growth, without struggle there is no progress. I do believe, however, that hypocrisy should have a light shown on it whenever possible. My immediate challenge is to keep the focus on myself, breathe and try to enjoy the blossoming flora that the season is offering me as a lovely distraction from these troubling difficulties.

No comments: