Monday, March 29, 2010

Day 88

This is for all of you. Also, for those of you following it, Barbra Boxer's re-election race is heating up, she's polling within the margin of error against both republican front runners, and Carly Fiorina (of demon sheep/ giant blimp ad fame) is leading in the republican primary. If you know California voters, encourage them to get out the vote. The Senate might be funnier with Carly Fiorina in it, but I don't think congress needs any more of her particular brand of crazy.

Dear Mr. President,

The arrests in Michigan of militia members plotting to kill police officers reveals a deeply unsettling movement that seems to be growing. The recent rise in violent anti-government sentiments is frightening, the rhetoric of hate groups across the country, groups who often use religion or nationalism as a disguise echoed in the hysteria of the Tea Party movement and even by some members of the Republican party. This is not to say conservatives are to blame. I grew up in a part of Washington State (a blue state if ever there were) where survivalist militias, cults, and truly horrifying acts of hatred occurred under national leadership from Republicans or Democrats; I recognize that this kind of extremism co-opts the conservative opposition to government and subverts it into violence much in the same way the suicide bombers in Moscow twist their Islamic faith into justification for their crimes.

I don't know what the solution is. My fear-based reaction would be to call for stricter federal regulation of these groups, but I understand that it would only fuel their rhetoric and make all Americans less safe and less free. We cannot protect ourselves by infringing upon the rights of others. The arrest of these extremists in Michigan proves that the current system works; their plans were disrupted by the authorities and lives were saved.

I'm glad that the police were successful in preventing this group from carrying out their plans. My heart is heavy at the loss of life in Russia, as well. I'm sure there are many struggling to make sense of the anger that leads people to this kind of violence, and I have faith that your administration will not take advantage of this struggle to increase its power, as President Bush's did. I sincerely hope that politicians across the political spectrum recognize the power their words have over people, and tone down the rhetoric that is fueling these violent sentiments.

Respectfully yours,


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