I am angry and I am sick at heart at the response of so many politicians to the recent terrorist attacks in Paris, a response that places a huge target on Americans who happen to be Muslim and on innocent people who are fleeing conditions that are simply unimaginable for me and for 99.9% of Americans.
Five years ago, I became sick at heart at another attack on American Muslims that was fueled by the same ingredients as the current hysteria: hate, ignorance and fear that was whipped up - then as now - by demogogic politicians who represent the absolute worst in our country. As I wrote about here, the controversy that erupted in the summer of 2010 over the construction of the “Ground Zero Mosque” in New York City near the former site of the twin towers, blasted me out of the "conservative closet" and out of a Republican party of which I had been a lifelong member but which had drifted far from its historical philosophical moorings.
Regardless of the merits of the mosque project, I was incensed that a number of conservative politicians and talking heads were blatantly seeking to make “political hay” by fueling the racist, Muslim-phobic hysteria that was sweeping through seemingly large swaths of America. I was outraged by the assaults launched on (true) religious freedom by the very people who purport to fight for and cling to it – namely, conservatives who happened to be – you guessed it - Republicans. At that time, Utah's senior senator, Orrin Hatch, was a notable exception to his GOP comrades, and I was terribly saddened to hear that he has joined the chorus of those wishing to lash out at innocent Syrian refugees.
I generally try not to get involved in politics because I find it too upsetting, and there is only so much one person can do. But I decided the one thing I could do is raise my little voice here on my blog and on Facebook against the hateful, vile, demagogic campaign that is currently being waged against innocent people and against the values that we as a civilized progressive country have always stood for.