With the Paris attacks we all posted French flags and said “Je Suis Charlie” or “I am Charlie” in unequivocal support for France, Parisians and the writers, illustrators and publishers of the magazine Charlie Hebdo.
With the Belgian attacks we all posted Belgian flags and words like “I stand with Belgium” in unequivocal support for Belgium, Belgians and friends and family that we knew.
But we temper our reaction, the very day it hits on our soil. We don’t just post American flags. We don’t just say “I’m with Orlando”. On one hand our reaction is more muted than other recent attacks on American Soil, those targeting Soldiers, or Marathon Runners. And on the other hand, we are more harsh and unforgiving of those that sit next to us on a daily basis, who’s opinions may differ.
On the left, we scream about gun control, as if that simple solution will solve all everything. And anyone that is against gun control is somehow morally bankrupt, stupid, or shallow. Those that blindly follow unfettered gun access are thought to be somehow less than others and clearly don’t care about the damage guns can cause.
On the right, we scream about how Islam is what is causing these attacks. How all Muslims across the world allow this to happen, as if we have no bearing on how we can stop this, without mass discrimination. And for anyone that tempers their words against Muslims is somehow morally bankrupt, stupid, and shallow and clearly are on a path to destroy America.
The sad thing is, neither are right. There has to be a middle ground somewhere, doesn’t there? And where, in this country are the people that sit in the middle? Those willing to compromise? To try and find a middle solution without demonizing those that are on the opposite side. Where are those willing to stand up and try a bit of each to find how we can work together and finish this, both at home and overseas.
Overseas we spout simple solutions as well. As pretty much espoused by our two parties that in some ways are diametrically opposed, and in some other ways, pretty much the fucking same.
The only two options I tend to hear are:
- Bomb/Kill/Destroy/Nuke the entire middle east, as if that somehow would solve our problems, and there is that pesky thing about those that live there that have nothing to do with this conflict, other than trying to survive. Ted Cruz’s military genius comes to mind.
- Or stick our heads in the sand. As if that will somehow solve our problems. We have two solutions that stick our heads in the sand.
- Building the wall. Xenophobia never sounded so good.
- Or the antithesis of Teddy Roosevelt – our current administration that speaks loudly, yet carries a little stick.
Where is the middle ground? Or Teddy Roosevelt for that matter.
Overseas, we have our national ADD, we start wars and don’t finish them and wonder why we can’t disengage. When will we learn it takes a generation or two of full commitment (yes, I’m talking 20-40 years) to defeat, truly defeat a threat? It’s not just dropping bombs and drone strikes. It is a full military commitment followed by years of “National Rehab”, building industries, education, jobs. And we all sit here in the richest nation on earth saying we can’t afford this. If we want to stop Militant Islam, then we need to defeat the enemy, both militarily and ideologically. And we can’t do it by proxy. Want to stop militant islam? Defeat, fully, their armies – In Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, Sudan. And give no quarter to those that support them, such as Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, who spread the hate with their funding of schools and sheltering of terrorists. Shut down those schools, withdraw money and support to our false allies, and build new schools, hospitals and industry. If we cannot commit to this for generations, then we have no business being overseas. And if we can’t commit, we can expect this battle to continue for generations.
We need to truly commit to defeating the enemy, which is as much about winning hearts and minds and blowing everyone to oblivion.
As far as at home, I’m sorry, this isn’t just about “enforcing the laws on the books” or turning a blind eye to those in our country that want to do us harm. We need to restrict gun ownership in the US. More guns in that club doesn’t mean less deaths. That is a happy path analysis where we think every gun owner is a well-trained marksman that will perform under duress. And how, when the police come will they know who is who with guns pulled? Put aside the gun religion and Fox news brainwash and apply some common fucking sense. And for those who think questioning any Muslim who attends a radical Islamic mosque or tracking their Facebook posts praising the Taliban is a violation of civil rights, I will just say that it’s easy to feel that way, until this terror happens to you, or one you love. Put aside your MSNBC nightly brainwash and open your eyes.
How hard is it to find the middle ground in this country?
Lastly, for those that are vowing that we will never forget, that this attack on American soil will mean retribution, that we need to build that fence, that we need to discriminate based on ethnicity, religion, country of origin, I can only see the irony that many of the speakers with those words are the same that discriminated the same way in our voting booths over the years against the very people in that club. For me, if you truly stand with the USA, Florida, Orlando, Pulse and the LGBT community, then you need to stop voting against their rights to being full members of society in the USA. Because, while you didn’t pull that trigger, allowing the radical hate against LGBT to grow in the USA by looking the other way in denying them the same rights as others, or somehow thinking they are less than you, puts you on the same level as those terrorists you profess to hate.
So take a look in the mirror, and see these people that were attacked for who they were, not only Americans, but LGBT Americans. And profess your solidarity with them, unequivocally, and not with a “Yes for this attack I do, but…” Find it in your heart to fully stand with Orlando, Pulse and the LGBT community.