Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Modern-day McCarthyism...

What year is it? Sometimes I think we've gone back in time to the 1950s, when panic over Communism and a general xenophobia held our country and members of Congress in its grasp, destroying the careers, and sometimes the lives, of those accused of being Communists, or anti-American.

Luckily then we had a crusader by the name of Edward R. Murrow who helped give the world a collective shake and bring everyone back to their senses.

Today, Senator John McCain came to the rescue in a similar matter. You see, "anti-American" fear has raised its ugly head in Congress again, thanks to the delusional mind of Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN). Bachmann, as it turns out, believes the Muslim brotherhood has infiltrated Congress.


Needless to say, fellow Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), a practicing Muslim, wasn't too enamored of Bachmann's fear-mongering. He sent Bachmann a letter warning her that there had better be "credible, substantial evidence" for her claims. Bachmann's 16 pages of loosely-sourced "evidence" names Huma Abedin, State Department employee and wife of sexting ex-Rep. Anthony Weiner, as a prime example of Muslim infiltration, and has called Abedin's security clearance into question.

Senator McCain would have none of it. "I understand how painful and injurious it is when a person's character, reputation, and patriotism are attacked without concern for fact or fairness," McCain said according to prepared remarks. "It is for that reason that I rise today to speak in defense of Huma Abedin."

He continued:
"Ultimately, what is at stake in this matter is larger even than the reputation of one person. This is about who we are as a nation, and who we still aspire to be. What makes America exceptional among the countries of the world is that we are bound together as citizens not by blood or class, not by sect or ethnicity, but by a set of enduring, universal, and equal rights that are the foundation of our constitution, our laws, our citizenry, and our identity. When anyone, not least a member of Congress, launches specious and degrading attacks against fellow Americans on the basis of nothing more than fear of who they are and ignorance of what they stand for, it defames the spirit of our nation, and we all grow poorer because of it."
I don't always agree with Senator McCain's positions on issues, but I admire his heroic willingness to speak out—even against his own party—when he sees something wrong.

Being "foreign" shouldn't be an insult, or a cry to rally people to be afraid. I am disgusted that John Sununu said, "I wish this president [Obama] would learn how to be an American" yesterday. I cannot believe the media is still giving Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio coverage about his crusade to prove President Obama's birth certificate is fraudulent. And those who refer to the President as "Barack Hussein Obama" in an insulting tone, implying that his middle name denotes that he is un-American, is appalling.

We need to remember we are a country that is richer because of the contributions of people of all cultures, races, and religions. We have to stop living in fear, or trying to make people afraid, of those we deem "anti-American." Because that is not the American way.

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