Saturday, September 25, 2004

Two Americas and more on Tolerance....

Tonight while driving downtown to get take out...best crab cakes in town...I lost my appetite.

What ruined my appetite is this: the protestors are back. Now, before you get all crazy on me about free speech and this is what makes our country great and all of that, well...let me explain. As I'm driving past the grassy mall area in town, there are about 20 protestors with the same old lame signs, standing and waving and shouting. There's the one about Bush killing innocents. There's the giant peace sign. But then there's my favorite..."war is terrorism". And let's not forget, "only love can conquer terrorism."

I generally think of myself as fairly tolerant. While these things don't normally bother me much, tonight they really got to me. If my kids hadn't been with me, it is quite likely that I would have stopped to have a debate...(just ask the lady at the local YMCA-but that's another story). First of all, "war is terrorism" is just about the least correct description of anything I've seen. Second, "only love can conquer terrorism"?! That's the person I wanted to talk to. "Uh, excuse me sir, so you believe that if only we show Zarqawi some love, he'll stop cutting people's heads off, do you?" I felt like I had been punched in the gut. To me, this guy was standing there while families of the victims of these evil bastards are in the grief of their lives, saying, "if only we loved everyone, and never used force, the terrorists would stop terrorising."

Which lead me to thinking about our town in general. Brunswick, Maine is a perfect example of two Americas that live as one. On any given day, you can go down to the grocery store in town, and see cars parked side by side, one with every ABB sticker you can imagine on it, and the one right next to it...it will have a sticker that says "half of my heart is in Iraq". See, Brunswick is home to a Navy base, and also to Bowdoin College, a highly regarded liberal arts college. So we've got professor types, and flyboys living in the same town. We've got a town that is filled with it's share of liberals....and military men and women (who I might add are not all conservative, contrary to many people's beliefs). We smile and say hello when we meet, we come together on holidays and watch parades and wave our flags. We don't key each others cars in the parking lots, nor do we tear down each others signs. There are plenty of old Maine coastal families with money, and there are oyster diggers with not much at all. We are all a vital part of making our community what it is, and there is great pride and acceptance in general because of it.

I was reminded of the post on tolerance....because my intolerance was showing up today, and I just couldn't let it go. I'm working on it.

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