While I believe that political leaders of all stripes have an ethical obligation to speak out against hate speech, distortions, and lies coming from their own side of the political divide, I have to respect the opposite opinion of Jack Marshall in his excellent blog, EthicsAlarms.com. Jack is often right and has often clarified the ethical issues for me. Just not this time.
Posts Tagged ‘birthers’
An opposing opinion from EthicsAlarms: Republican leaders DON’T have a responsibility to speak out against Glenn Beck and the birthersFebruary 15, 2011
We’re responsible for what we tolerate. If I stand next to a friend who slanders you and say nothing, then I’ve accepted that slander and am responsible for it. John Boehner Told David Gregory on NBC’s Meet the Press that he believes Obama’s a Christian, born in Hawaii, but if a third of Republicans believe different, that’s apparently OK with Boehner: “It’s not my job to tell the American people what to think.”
Why not, Mr. Speaker? You’re complicit in the lies if you don’t challenge them.
And Glenn Beck says that a giant conspiracy comprising Obama, the Egyptian demonstrators, the Muslim Brotherhood, the communists, and the AFL-CIO is dedicated to creating a new caliphate that will govern all of Europe and the Middle East under Sharia law. And Americans, he beseeches, wake up before it’s too late.
We haven’t seen the polls or focus groups yet, but you can bet that a third of Republicans will swallow it, hook, line, and sinker.
The Republican Party has one adult, Bill Kristol, who publicly rejects Beck’s conspiracy rant:
Hysteria is not a sign of health. When Glenn Beck rants about the caliphate taking over the Middle East from Morocco to the Philippines, and lists (invents?) the connections between caliphate-promoters and the American left, he brings to mind no one so much as Robert Welch and the John Birch Society. (more…)