Crazy Talk Makes the World More Dangerous

I have always been an advocate of free speech. I can honestly say (with Voltaire) that even when I disagree with what you say I will defend your right to say it. Not “to the death,” of course. That would be crazy.

As crazy as some of the things people are saying.

There is so much madness in the world. Terrorists by definition are mad. And so are the egomaniacs who seek political and military power at any cost.

To me, the Wall Street looters are crazy. What on earth will they do with all that money? Isn’t it insane to have millions and still want more?

Imagine the burden of Mitt Romney’s $270 million. What would you do with that much loot? I doubt you could spend the interest on it as fast as it comes in.

I guess you have to run for president to get rid of some of it.

The craziness is spreading around the globe. More and more, people in Third World countries are choosing to squander their brief lives toiling in dank and dangerous sweat shops to “get ahead.”

And in America, all kinds of people – rich and poor – have developed an insane hatred of the president.

Who is Barack Obama, after all?

He is certainly not an Arab. Or a Muslim. Or a Nazi. Or a Communist. . Or a dictator. Or any of the other crazy things I hear people calling him.

He is a Harvard educated lawyer and law professor, the Hawaiian-born son of a white woman and a black man. He spent much of his youth with his white grandparents, and his experiences in a prejudiced and intolerant society helped shape his character. It made him want to make the world a better, more tolerant, place.

From all I know of him, he is a good-hearted man who believes he can help his country and the rest of mankind. I know, that’s pretty ambitious. But it’s better than pretending you want to serve your country when all you’re after is money and power.

As America’s president, he faces a monumental task. The global economy is in flux, and many Americans are suffering because of it. America is mired in Afghanistan, and is paying for it in lives and treasure. The economic collapse precipitated by Wall Street has left millions of Americans struggling to keep their homes and millions more without jobs. Europe is beset by “austerity,” apparently under attack from a global corporate cabal. Even Canada and Australia appear to be wrestling with the same kind of corporate assault.

Unrest is boiling over in the Middle East. Crazies control key countries like Iran. And Palestine. And, in my opinion, Israel.

The slightest miscue by President Obama could plunge America into another war – possibly a global conflagration.

And with all of this going on,  the crazies in the Tea Party – and the presidential hopefuls who covet their blessing – are making the president’s job more difficult by spreading lies about him and inventing bizarre scenarios to discredit him.

When “free speech” is this harmful, I wonder whether it’s worth fighting for, after all.

Photo shows a billboard ordered and paid for by Tea Party crazies in Mason City, Iowa.