Yesterday I published a personal response to the Hugo Awards controversy, trying to pour oil on troubled waters and call for a legitimate, considered, reasoned vote for the awards instead of a biased, slanted, one-sided approach.
I might as well have saved my breath. The extremists on both sides are still going at it hammer and tongs. I'm not going to bother to give details or link to their posts - there are plenty of them out there.
I'm particularly sad about that because of my own life experiences. I've watched an entire society become so polarized over differing views on a major issue that the situation degenerated into civil war (of the shooting and blowing-up variety rather than verbally). I know some people laugh at me when I warn that the same could happen in this country, with the hard-line extremists on both sides intent on forcing everyone in the middle to conform to their side, or else. Just look at a few quotations from both sides of American opinion in recent decades:
- "Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice."
- "The greatest enemy of individual freedom is the individual himself."
- "Peace is not absence of conflict, it is the ability to handle conflict by peaceful means."
- "If you don't put certain structures in place or restrictions on those parts of our being that come from that dark place, then it gets out of control."
- "Moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue."
- "There can be no such thing as a successful traitor, for if one succeeds he becomes a founding father."
- "When you can't make them see the light, make them feel the heat."
- "No decisions should ever be made without asking the question, is this for the common good?"
See if you can work out, without looking them up, which side of the aisle produced each of those quotations. The scary thing is, some of them could come from either side - at least, similar sentiments have been expressed by both sides. I heard similar views in my former home country . . . and I know what they became, in the end. I don't want to see that here.
I will not allow others to do my thinking for me, and I will not allow others to sway me by rhetoric, propaganda or bullying. I'll make up my own mind on the positions, persons and issues involved in this, and any and every other matter, and act accordingly. I hope and trust all my readers will do the same, irrespective of your individual perspectives and whether or not we'd agree with each other. That way, at least, we can continue to respect each other. In today's world, I submit that counts for more than a little.