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From the Kitchen Table


Gnats and Camels

by Peg Luksik
 

If you follow the topics that people seem to get most upset about on social
networking and major media outlets, you would think that we live in a
nearly perfect world.

For example, there is a huge outcry about some Hollywood actress who sent
out a Tweet on Twitter to forward a message hoping that hurricane Isaac
would wash all the pro-life Republicans out to sea where they would
drown. Admittedly,
it is a hateful message.

But the actress can't actually make the hurricane do anything, so the
message has no real implications. Why are we so upset about what some
actress thinks? She is a person whose job is to play pretend. She isn't
really any of the people she has pretended to be — and neither is any other
Hollywood celebrity. They only have the power to affect us if we give it
to them.

And they live in conditions that require them to generate public attention
so they can get the next role. If we just ignored them when they sound off
on subjects they know absolutely nothing about, the promise of publicity
for their stupid statements would vanish.

As citizens, they are certainly entitled to say anything they wish, but we
are not required to listen to anything they happen to say. And most of the
time, we shouldn't.

Then there is the grand-daddy of stupid statements made by a politician. Why
anyone would put the words "legitimate" and "rape" in the same sentence,
much less the same phrase, is beyond comprehension. But to turn a moment
of stupidity into a national issue is also ridiculous.

The man obviously is not intending to rape anyone, and is not advocating
rape. He admitted his gaffe, and apologized for it. Yes, he said
something stupid, and since he is a candidate, the voters in his state will
deal with him in the upcoming election.

But to say that the two examples above, and others like them, are more
important than the growing hostility between Iran and Israel, or our
monstrous national debt, or our stuttering economy is even more stupid.

The reality is that America has real issues to deal with. Issues that
require analytical thought and serious discussion and creative solutions. If
we don't address and solve them, we might well be looking at the end of the
America we know. That is a scary possibility.

For many of us, it is easier to focus on the latest Twitter explosion than
to honestly face the challenges before us. But we aren't helping ourselves
by doing so.

There is an old saying about swallowing camels and straining at gnats.

If we are serious about saving this nation of ours, we need to begin
dealing with the camels in our midst, and leaving the gnats alone.





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