I know that I hark on my opposition to extremism. My position does go both ways as I often have to suppress my own feelings regarding freedom of speech. For example I have never understood the rationale for protests and demonstrations at funerals of people you did not know personally regardless of the individual who passed. No matter my opinion of the deceased, some person present is mourning. To me a protest or demonstration restricts that individual’s right to mourn because to them the person who passed might not be the villain I believe, but in their memory will always be the person they once or continue to love. Why do I have the freedom or right to inflict additional torture upon them for things which they did not do or potentially had no power to control? In my opinion, the time to protest or to demonstrate would be more effective before the person passed in an effort to halt a horrific practice or after a period of mourning has taken place. In that respect reason would the dominating portion of one’s position of disagreement and not emotion. Those not involved then have a true choice of listening to your protest or leaving while you speak or demonstrate. I always wonder how the person protesting at a funeral would feel if they were amongst the mourners inside and the roles reversed.
My opinions are within that classic realm of a “gray area” where I cannot give specifics that apply to every situation. All things are not equal, and protections or freedoms appropriate in one instance may not be applicable in the next. Should or can things like this be legislated? Can you create fairness for all? Honestly, I do not know. I just try to remember a lesson taught to me as a child out in the strawberry field. Essentially it was that everyone picking that day would not be treated the same. Simply, everyone was different and what was good for one might be bad for another. Everyone, however, picking that day was loved and cared for equally. The important thing was to let everyone know that and to try your best at treating each individual in a fair manner.
That leads me to this story from Connecticut where “An 80-year-old woman who remembers when the United States helped defeat the Nazis faces charges for tearing down posters of President Barack Obama with a Hitler mustache….” “…My generation went through the Second World War, and Nazism is about the worst there can be,” Lack told NBC Connecticut. “I just got very angry that they would do that to Obama’s image.”
Love or hate what they say or what they do because often the saying and doing are polar opposites with both, but Mitt Romney is not a Fascist or NAZI, and Barack Obama is not a Socialist, Communist, or NAZI. Even if you only know the modern media definitions of these terms, neither of these two candidates represent these ideologies. Likewise, neither will bring authoritarianism or totalitarianism. What many people today who claim to embrace these ideologies fail to comprehend is that if they had actually lived under the system they want to emulate, they would have been the outcasts. Historically, in a Hitler style regime or Stalin style regime, those in the US today who try to champion those “leaders” would have been among the first to be eliminated for utter ignorance and stupidity by their own idolized “leaders.”