Academic Writing

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

History Repeats

I'm happy, even proud, to admit the only Fox News I watch is when Jon Stewart shows clips from the shows. I don't have a Nielsen box so even if I did watch they wouldn't get the rating points, but even still I can't bring myself to ever opt to watch it.  I also admit, although not for reasons of disdain but for reasons of boredom I don't watch C-Span or any other programs which cover congressional or senatorial sessions.  Recently The Daily Show did a couple of segments that featured Fox News and a senate session quite prominently that got me thinking about something that I thought was important to discuss.

First is Fox News' insistence on creating a so-called war on Christmas by individuals or companies who offer wishes of "happy holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas" or "tree lighting" and not "Christmas tree lighting". Puh-lease!  As though this country would ever neglect Christmas. Aside from our innate Christianity, our capitalist nature would never allow for it lest profit margins decline. Fox News, you're just being narrow minded and evangelical just inciting conflict.  It it has to stop.

The second segment he did, and this is more significant, was on the senates recent proposal to pass a bill which would essentially disregard the 4th Amendment, which protects against unreasonable searches and seizures.  This bill would allow the courts to jail anyone who could be considered a terrorist or associated with a terrorist. The qualifications for "terrorist" include things from people who are missing fingers to anyone who has more that 7 days worth of food in their pantries. These are arbitrary and dangerous qualifications to base terrorist activities on and since its in the name of "keeping America safe" there has been little outrage over the fact that aside from the disregard of civil liberties, we are turning our backs on our Constitution, a document whose main objective was to protect the rights of our citizens, not to vilify them. 

I, however, am outraged and cannot believe we as Americans are refusing to learn from our past to recognize this dangerous path down which we are headed. A little over a half century ago senator Joseph McCarthy allowed the same fear mongering to go on in the name of catching communists. He accused anyone of anti-American activities and of being a communist, no matter how peripheral their connection was.  Ultimately, he was proven to have caused more harm than good for this country and history has not been kind to him. 

However, it's important to note that during his time, the time the country was in a large part behind him because they feared their freedoms to be at risk, despite the lives that would be ruined forever.  This was a dark spot on our modern history and one which should never be repeated.  The movie Good Night and Good Luck forewarned us of the potential of such unfortunate events repeating themselves and yet no one seems to have heeded the warning.

With all that is being said and done in the name of "protecting religion and our freedom" basic rights are being violated with little to no outcry over the utter irresponsibility of these actions.  The ideal of separation between church and state seems to be evolving more and more into "state dependent on church."  Enough trouble has been caused in this world based on religious extremism and the last thing we should be doing is following that model, albeit in a different manifestation.  We should be aware enough to learn from our national mistakes lest we fall prey to them again and allow history to unabashedly repeat itself.

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