Glenn Beck, you've just pissed off every liberal in America! What are you going to do next?
I'm going to go on home and get myself a key to the city!
The mayor of Mount Vernon, Washington (only a hop, skip and a jump from where The Gonzo Mama hides in her bedroom, with all the lights off, clicking away on her keyboard in secret because, really, even though she typically doesn't get political on her blog, she's sure "someone" is watching) has announced that he will present local boy Beck with a key to the city on September 26th.
Naturally, hordes of people are upset about the announcement. Protesters have even started demonstrating outside city hall ("Change the locks!" read one sign). I'm not pointing fingers, but I don't remember there being any sort of massive public outcry when media and celebrity figures voiced strong opinions against our last president.
Why has exercise of the First Amendment become so actionable and dangerous these days? I, for one, am pretty uncomfortable with the apparent trend in the White House wanting to "keep track" of something that I might say in "emails or casual conversation" and what I'm posting on my Facebook page. Furthermore, I can't say I'm really excited about the White House being allowed to shut down my Internet and control private networks.
Without getting to the merits of what Beck said or says, I will state I support his right to say it, as well as the mayor's right to stand by and support someone who has an unpopular opinion.
I know that if my right to "voice" my opinion as a columnist was jeopardized, I'd be screwed. I think we can acknowledge the right to an opinion (and the right to express it), without necessarily agreeing with that opinion.
Some of the people I am closest to and admire most in my life have been attacked for having unpopular or minority opinions. I stand by my right to support those people in love and admiration.
For the record, someone who was incredibly clueless called ME a racist once, in spite of the fact that the ethnic children in my household resemble a youth panel for the United Nations. What triggered the remark was a disagreement that I had with a person of a different ethnic background than me. Since I didn't agree with that person, the incredibly clueless woman said I must be a racist. Believe me - the disagreement had nothing to do with the color of anyone's skin. Had the other party been my identical twin, I still would not have agreed with what was being said.
About the woman who called me a racist: It was her opinion, no matter how incorrect, and she felt the need to express it. Does that mean she shouldn't get a promotion at work? Eh -- probably not, even though my opinion is that she's a talentless hag.
I think it's a sad day for America when a person gets publicly crucified for expressing an opinion. I applaud the mayor of Mount Vernon for having the bullocks to make the presentation, even if it makes him one of the least popular people on the planet at the moment.
Is it wrong for me to say, "Get over it!" to the angry mobs? Maybe, but I'm pretty damned grateful to have the freedom to be wrong.
Photo credit: Associated Press