Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Using your Brain

The hardest part about not really identifying with any major political party is that I actually have to use my brain. I’m not complaining. You see unlike many people I enjoy that. If I didn’t it would be much easier to just sit back and wait to see what my party leaders have to say about an issue. By party leaders I don’t just the official leaders. As we’ve seen far too much of lately the real party leaders are sometimes clueless celebrities and talk show hosts.
I’ve always been kind of a Supreme Court groupie and I’ve made it no secret that I was looking forward to President Obama getting the chance to make a Supreme Court appointment. For decades I’ve felt that the high court was drifting too far to the right and too frequently siding against personal liberties. In particular I’ve been rather disturbed at the extreme dilution of our fourth amendment rights by the likes of Scalia and those who seem to echo however he votes.
So yesterday I was eager to get to work to researching Obama’s choice. Since I had only heard of her once or twice before, my opinion about Sotomayor was pretty much a clean slate for me. For the record I still haven’t decided how I feel about her. I’m still doing my research. But rest assured that when I do form an opinion about her it will not be based on her gender, her race, her height, religion, or whether she eats grits or cream of wheat. It will be based entirely on whether or not she shares my opinions on what a Supreme Court Justice is supposed to do.
What is really frustrating is the water cooler conversations, that were conspicuously silent about this subject yesterday, today are all about how she is a racist. When I inquired why they felt that way all lead me to one single comment that she had made. After very little research at all I found that this is the same quote that all the conservative talking heads have picked up on and are taking out of context to make their point. She may very well be a racist, but this quote taken out of context doesn’t prove it anymore than a similar quote from Justice Thomas taken out of context makes him a racist.
I just find it very sad that so many people are so willing to surrender their thought processes over to a perceived authority. Many of our founders did not like the idea of political parties at all. Perhaps this is exactly why. Personally, I think that the current system in the United States is unnecessarily polarizing and discourages people from thinking for themselves.

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