Live Free and Let People Die Is A Bogus Option

November 12, 2021

It’s time to call out the faux astroturf groups pushing false dogma about masks, vaccines, and what they call “critical race theory.” It’s difficult to tell what their real goals are, but they are very apparently not about making schools and education better and safer for all our children.

These groups are wrong in what they are pushing and how they are pushing it.

I’m a product of South Carolina, and I’m grateful for my patents’ location decisions. Because of all this I’m an American. I’m a product of Palmetto Boys State, which gives me sone insights about patriotism.

America and South Carolina have a history and much is good, but certainly not all. Some parts give me great hope; some parts leave me unsettled. But I cannot, as a citizen, look away. History must be based on a relentless search for truths. Truth, not myths, not lies, are a foundation of democracy, liberty, and freedom.

I believe there really is an American Dream, an aspiration. And if it has any meaning, it’s a dream for all people, not reserved for any particular person; no group is more “special.”

The Constitution says that Congress shall make no law abridging freedom of speech. But that’s not freedom to yell at, disrespect, humiliate or even abuse those we disagree with. That does not give any person the right to say, prevent the functioning of a school boards or any elected bodies. There certainly is no right to abuse or threaten healthcare workers or educators. These things are not American and more the foundation of fascism.

Most American think of this nation as religious, and all those religions include some basis in loving and caring for others. So does most secularism.

This country has seen (and must acknowledge) the consequences when intolerance takes precedence, from Salem, to a Civil War, to Jim Crow, to Tulsa and Wilmington, to McCarthyism, to today’s alternative facts-based discord. These are not pretty, but they are part of our history and heritage and must not be ignored when we teach and learn history no matter who they make uncomfortable.

So I’m calling out those who would tarnish the American Dream, those groups who would put their self-centered self-interest and misuse of words such as liberty and freedom above what America, and humanity can be -at their best.

America’s proudest times have been we have risen to great challenges such as World War II and the struggle for equality for all people.

We now face huge, even existential challenges from climate change to our very democracy. We simply do not have time to squabble and yell and accept and spread conspicuous theories and lies. We all deserve better. My grand children and generations to come deserve much better of us.