I want to kill everybody in the world.
I really should be past the point of being surprised by anything that’s submitted to this newspaper by its legion of squawkers and all the online commenters with the sharp wits and the clever pen names.
But every now and then something slips in that leaves me absolutely flabbergasted.
I don’t like to quote these modern-day Poor Richards directly and steal any of their substantial thunder, but the gist of one squawker’s recent post was that “anybody who supported” a measure that ran in opposition to this person’s point of view “should be killed.”
BAM! Just like that. No pussyfooting around, no beating around the bush for this man/woman of action. If they don’t agree with me, then let’s put them out of their misery.
The scary thing: I’m 99.4 percent sure this would-be executioner from parts unknown meant what he/she wrote. That’s what’s iffy about offering a forum for people who are not willing to express themselves openly: Some among them are emboldened by their anonymity, and the rest of us are left not knowing which ones to take seriously.
So I offer this next bit of advice only as an alternate view for everyone to consider. It is in no way meant to disparage any possible AK-toting squawker who feels his or her opinion is the only one that matters and anyone unable to grasp that fact should be put out of his or her misery immediately. Nothing but respect here.
But what in God’s name makes you think you have the inside track on all that is right and righteous in this nation, in this state or in this region? And why is it worth a death sentence to any who might defy you?
Hasn’t history shown that the only way to settle disagreements over certain hot-button issues is to discuss them openly? Can such fanatics not find it in themselves to consider that someone with an opposing viewpoint might have a valid idea or two?
I can’t help but equate this kind of thinking with the current Republican-led tactic of, essentially, doing nothing as the best way to address the myriad problems that are weighing our country down. Is holding out and hoping for a swing in the balance of power while the nation flounders really good for anyone other than the few very wealthy who have the funds to wait out the silly squabbles that seem to keep the lower classes occupied?
Sadly, it appears that most of the people who support such tactics are a disgruntled group who “want things back the way they used to be.” The burning question I have to ask, though, is how far back are we talking about?
Do we really want to go back to four or five years ago when the Bush administration brought the American economy down like a house of cards? Or are we talking about going all the way back to those idyllic days after World War II when gay meant happy, black people “knew their place,” foreigners weren’t welcome and young people kept their hair cut short and their opinions to themselves?
What some people seem to have trouble grasping is that the days of rule by self-appointed divine right are over. Those men and women who fought and died for our freedom did so for all of our freedom, not just the ones who look like us or think like us. It says so in that Constitution that is the basis for this experiment that’s called democracy.
Some seem to have trouble realizing that wrongs utilized to empower certain individuals or groups are still wrong, no matter how much we might personally enjoy their ill-gotten fruits. Twenty-first-century Americans, for the most part, seem to have forgotten the ideals that made their country great. That sacrifice for the greater good thing? Pshaw, not for them.
And until we come to the realization that freedom does not give us the right to infringe upon someone else’s freedom, we’ll continue to flounder as a nation.
Of course, we could just take the easy way out and kill off all the agitators ...
Email Metro Editor Carlton Fletcher at firstname.lastname@example.org.