Shall We "Tone It Down" Or "Tune It Out?" Choose Freedom of Speech - Go with the Latter!

Did you see the images of the mobs in the streets of Pakistan calling for death to those who favor changing the blasphemy law of that country that outlaws speech deemed critical of Islam? These fascist lunatics make Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin and the hate-mongers on the Far Right seem moderate. Yet, the two groups, one there - the other here, are separated only by cultural norms - if the named Americans were in Pakistan, I have little doubt but that they would be in the streets calling for the heads of Democrats and any freethinkers who dared offend their passionate medieval worldviews.

But, it is futile and otherwise unhelpful to expect or hope for reason to ensue from the Right as a consequence of the killings in Tucson. One reason is that these fanatics won't change. Already statements from Beck, Limbaugh, Palin and that crowd of shrill demonizers have made that clear. They are not about to cease and desist in their crazed, inflammatory talk. Be real - this is what they do, who they are. They won't change - this is their bread and butter. But the larger reason is that there are simply too many out there just like them - the depravity in this country and amongst the Islamic extremists elsewhere differs only in degrees - for now. As to the idea that their venom might set off those who are mentally unstable, well, I think the connections there are a little tenuous. Surely it does the disturbed no good to hear hate talk in any form,. However, people afflicted with mental problems, estimated at 45 million in the U.S., are so numerous any actions are likely to be insufficient. Many are predisposed to go off for many different reasons. It’s surprisingly, really, that it happens as seldom as it does, given the incendiary rhetoric of Beck, Limbaugh and Palin et. al.

The healthier strategy on a personal level is to ignore the Right Wing hate-mongers in order not to get stressed and made ill from the poisons that spew into the atmosphere. Being exposed to their hot airs is to suffer unbreathable stressors. Just stay out of their range. Seek a bit of peace and happiness (or a lot of such) elsewhere, out of range of the madness.

Fortunately, there are plenty of people of good sense pushing back with some influence and effectiveness. They deserve our support.

But, on a personal basis, there is little to be gained and much serenity to be lost focusing on or attending to unsettling news stories or watching the toxic bloviators on programs like Fox TV and other media outlets.

Exercise your right to free speech, as I do here, but spend the bulk of your time pursuing a good and decent life of learning, love, exuberance, kindness and happiness, looking after yourself as best you can. This trumps fretting over the deplorable state of human affairs in this country and elsewhere.

Good luck.