Saturday, September 21, 2013

Intent to Harm

September 21, 2013

Dear Reader,

I want to thank you for being patient with me while I have taken a long hiatus. Life has been full of too much Change and politics is not front and center in my life. Posting this is worth my time though. I have great respect for a great many politicians who are working hard to make America a better place. Politicians on both sides of the party lines and some of those in the middle too. But not all of them.

I am going to present you with this:

Now the ultra-conservative views of these people are based off of radically different religious texts, and I actually agree with much of the Judeo-Christian morality, but at the heart of the issue we have two groups of different people acting with the same type of zealot behavior. Now, I think Al Qaeda is horrible, violent, and their acts and ideology based on the misuse of the Islamic texts are atrocious. I am not praising them in any way.

Go back and read the definition of terrorism: "the use of violent acts to frighten the people in an area as a way of trying to achieve a political goal" At what point does threatening to shut down our government, harm our economy, and physically harm normal citizens (because, yes, taking jobs, investments, and healthcare from people has mortal consequences) cross a line from political wrangling to outright terrorism? By definition it is when they act on that threat.

At this point, if we were in the same room having a conversation around, say, a plate of cookies and some coffee, you might say to me, "Look, they don't intend to actually act on the threat. The leaders of the Republican Party in the House don't actually want to shut down the government or cause the US to default on it's loans. They are just using a political tool to manipulate their opponents."

In turn I would answer with this. These people are elected to a position of power and put in charge of making the rules by which our federal government runs. At what point in their back-room conversations did someone forget to raise a hand and say, "You know, this plan to threaten the government is only separated from becoming terrorism in definition by a word or two. Maybe threatening terrorism is a bad idea." At what point does intent cross the grey line to action? Is a murderer only guilty when the person dies? We have laws against attempting and threatening violence too. Regardless of the Republican intent or whether they will actually act on a plan, under no circumstance should they even consider approaching, much less crossing, that grey line and threatening or using terror against their own people.

What do we do when the actions and ideologies of our own elected Representatives parallel the stated goals of a terrorist organization? How can we even consider that appropriate?

It isn't and we can't.


The Letter Writer