Saturday, September 12, 2009
Yelling at the President
OK. This is idiotic. Liberal people, blogosphere, 24-hour news cycle, people I know, whoever.
Can I try to make a point?
You all know about this guy, Representative Joe Wilson (R-SC). He's the one who yelled out at Obama recently. Called him a liar to his face. In Congress. All over the interwebs.
I think we've got this all wrong.
Joe Wilson needs to be commended, not vilified.
Hear me out.
I agree with all of you that it wasn't the most respectful thing to do. After all, Obama is the President and, even if you don't want to respect the man, you do have to respect the Office.
And I agree with all of you that think Wilson made a jackass of himself in public. And, even greater a sin, the fact that he didn't have his facts straight. If you're going to call someone a liar to their face in public, make sure you know what you're talking about. Now you look like twice a jackass.
But here's my problem. Why are we all making such a big deal out of this utterly miniscule breach of decorum?
First of all, this is a democracy where we are all ensured the Freedom of Speech and the Freedom to Demonstrate. It's right there, number one.
Moreover, we are all entitled to bear our own political (to say nothing of religious) ideologies. Notwithstanding previous national shame invited at Salem and under McCarthy, amongst others, every one of us is allowed to object to the political beliefs of another. Our right to do so is protected in our foundational documents.
One of the countries we, as a nation, took many of our political ideals is England. Even though we threw them out, we learned more than a few things from them. Thank you also to the French, who taught us more. In England, every year the Monarch enters into the Houses of Parliament. In this circumstance, the Monarch is a guest of the Houses and must thus bear them a certain deference. Like when you go to someone's house for dinner. You follow their rules. It's an act of courtesy, amongst other social civilities.
I don't see why we're all making such a big deal about Joe Wilson, a member of Congress, vocalizing his objections. Our Congress, which has proven itself to be woefully unable to move beyond partisan sandbox contests and nearly backward momentum, needs a little more fire in the belly. A little more piss and vinegar, if you will. They're not doing anything already. Except getting in the way and making things far more complicated. You can agree with me on that whether or not you're a Democrat or a Republican or a whatever.
Obama ought to have yelled back. He's not being assertive enough anyway.
All I'm trying to say is that the issue of a Congressman yelling at the President, who is a guest in another's chambers, and needs to get a little less mellow to begin with, might not be such a big deal.
Because there are way more important things to get all undone about.
We've got people being shot at and dying because they can't get help.
The streets where I live are so destroyed in parts they've actually got topography.
The National Parks are being left to the wayside because we're spending the money on bombs.
Everybody I know is trying as hard as possible, but the kids still need to be better educated.
This isn't some partisan back and forth arguing manners race gender marriage guns bailout mortgage pissing contest kind of thing.
We're gonna wreck this contry and the whole planet with it if we can't get our shit together and quit fighting with each other over minutia. We need to fix this jackassed country because we're all better than this. You know it and I know it.
But I still think we should stop yelling. And start having normal civilized conversations.