Friday, August 9, 2013

D.G. Martin Apologizes for Telling the Truth

I don’t know how popular this guy is outside of North Carolina, and until today I had not heard of him at all. I’m not a big fan of the 24/7 news cycle and it appears that Mr. Martin works in that field, so he has never crossed my radar screen until now.

It seems that Mr. Martin hosts a TV show called “Bookwatch”, on which he interviews authors in depth, and apparently to much acclaim. I’ll have to start watching him, as we seem to share a love of books; and literature in general. So, what’s the deal with Mr. Martin apologizing to the North Carolina Grand Old Party, which is currently having a grand old time rolling the state back about 100 years socially and economically?

Apparently, Mr. Martin, quoted Joseph Goebbels from a recently released book called “In the Garden of Beasts” by Erik Larsont, in which Goebbels says “Now our party is in charge and they are free again. When a man has been in jail for 12 years and is suddenly freed, in his joy he may do something irrational, perhaps even brutal.” After reciting the quote Mr. Martin added these words of his own; “In our state, too?” And now you would think that the sky has fallen as the republicans demand a retraction, an apology, and even Mr. Martin’s removal from the TV show he hosts, which is funded in part by the state.

Okay, let’s examine two things here; first, what he said. The quote is applicable, in my opinion, to the actions of the recently installed GOP Governorship of the state of North Carolina, in which I live. After not having a Republican in power for 100 years, it would seem to many; and if you have been aware of the “Moral Monday” demonstrations recently, in which teachers and Nuns have been arrested; that the GOP in North Carolina is acting exactly as Herr Goebbels describes.

As soon as the Republicans took over last January they began a flood of bills all aimed at either rolling back the social progress of the last 50 years, or passed legislation which will have a crippling effect upon the middle classes. Along with these measures, they have found time to declare war on women’s health choices, attempting to gut access to abortions. And, in their spare time they have even tried to establish an official State Religion. Some; as Goebbels did; might describe these actions as being “irrational, perhaps even brutal.” That’s my opinion.

Secondly; these self-anointed monitors of the airwaves are quick to point out that Mr. Martin overstepped his mandate by delving into politics when he made the comparison, thus venturing an opinion with which they do not agree. Good point, save for one thing. If you allow that thinking to prevail, and Mr. Martin is removed from his post, then the NCGOP has now made their opinion; for that is what it is; the prevalent one, thus depriving the people who might agree with Mr. Martin in the first place, of their own rights. This creates a vicious circle, in which no one is ever satisfied.

J. Edgar Hoover; not one of my favorite people to quote from; once inadvertently said something very astute. In his book “Masters of Deceit” from 1958 (Henry Holt) Hoover states that once everyone has their rights to the fullest extent, then everyone’s rights will be diminished in proportion. And he was right. It was probably an accident of thinking on his part, but he was right. Think about it; if I am so concerned with offending you, then I must carefully choose my words. That’s what keeps America from ever having a real “conversation” about race. Too many words we can’t use to discuss the problem we have.

Well, the same holds true here with D.G. Martin and the NCGOP. With both sides unwilling to listen, or even tolerate the other's point of view, if they both exercise their rights to the max, then the silence will become, as they say, deafening.

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