Reality disconnect

This is an excellent Letter to the Editor from Saturday's Orlando Sentinel.


Some people just don't get it. But it is becoming apparently more evident to me that it's likely some people aren't capable of ever getting it. I'm referring to the brilliantly insightful and disturbingly alarming op-ed piece by Bill Maher regarding the fascist-like, post-9-11 trend that seems to be growing in our country like a cancerous tumor in the body of freedom and liberty.

Just read the responses to his piece and it becomes clear that the problem is not as simple as one might immediately believe. Calling Maher and others of the "extreme left-wing persuasion" intolerant or close-minded displays the precise disconnect from reality and convoluted comprehension of freedom and democracy he is presenting. Should we have been more tolerant of Hitler? Should we have been a bit more open-minded about communism?

Asking people to be more "tolerant" of a trend that stifles critical thinking and discourages the questioning and accountability of government is exactly the point of Maher's piece. This dumbing down of America should be a wake-up call to everyone who truly cares about the foundations on which this country was established and energize those who do understand to do something about it before we follow the path of other fascist or dictatorial regimes built on fear and intimidation.

--Rich Charron, Melbourne

In case you missed it, here is the piece Mr. Charron is referring to:

Kids say the darndest, most Stalinist things
by Bill Maher
A new survey found that a majority of high schoolers think newspapers should not be allowed to publish without government approval. And almost one in five said that Americans should be prohibited from expressing unpopular opinions.

Lemme tell you little darlings something: This is my livelihood you're messing with, so either learn the Bill of Rights or you don't deserve Social Security.

Now, to those of you who think I'm overreacting: Yes, I understand that when you're in high school you're still very young and that no one really cares what kids say anyway.

But the younger generation is supposed to rage against the machine, not for it; they're supposed to question authority, not question those who question authority.

And what's so frightening is that we're seeing the beginnings of the first post-9-11 generation -- the kids who first became aware of the news under an "Americans need to watch what they say" administration, the kids who've been told that dissent is un-American and therefore justifiably punished by a fine, imprisonment -- or the loss of your show on ABC.

President Bush once asked, "Is our children learning?" No -- they isn't. A more appropriate question might be, "Is our teachers teaching?" In four years, you can teach a gorilla sign language. Is it too much to ask that in the same amount of time a kid be taught what those crazy hippies who founded this country had in mind?

I know the Morals & Values folks want us to take time out of the school day for prayer and the Ten Commandments and abstinence training and at least two theories of evolution -- the one agreed upon by every scientist in the world and the one that involves naked ladies and snakes -- but, lest we forget, last month the people of Iraq risked death and danger to send a simple, inspiring message: America, get out of our country. But also, we want the freedoms you take for granted.

Now, I didn't mind being on the losing side of the last election. But as a loser, I guess I have some "unpopular" opinions -- and I'd like to keep them. I'd even like to continue to say them right out loud on TV, because if I just get up there every Friday night and spout the Bush administration's approved talking points, that's not freedom or entertainment. It's Fox News.


DLAK said...

Hello, I enjoy your blog. Very funny, very sad. Keep up the good work. If you dont mind I would like to link to your blog from my web site. I will wait to hear from you.

John in Atlanta said...

Thanks for the kind words. Please feel free to link my blog to your web site. Please give me your URL so I can check it out.

John in Atlanta said...

DLAK - I just found your site and your blog. VERY COOL!