Editor’s Scratchpad

Wednesday, September 26, 2001

A pox on all your houses

Have you noticed how many of the people who are banging the drums of super-patriotism and national unity are trying to turn the crisis over terrorism to their own advantage?

Press-haters want to curtail or suspend the First Amendment while gun lobbyists contend that the hijackings would not have happened had the pilots been armed under the Second Amendment. Anti-abortionists assert that the death toll in New York, Washington, and Pennsylvania is nothing compared with the hundreds of thousands of unborn babies who are aborted every year.

Those who would restrict immigration are having a field day because the terrorists slipped unseen into the country. Anti-Muslim Christians and Jews have a ready made excuse to dump on Islam, and at least one Sikh, who was neither Christian, Jew, nor Muslim, has been murdered. Right-wingers cite the crisis to call for limiting civil liberties and left-wingers claim that Americans brought this calamity on themselves.

The list of finger-pointers could go on. Honest dissent has been part of America's robust democracy since the Revolution but some of this self-serving babble goes over the line.

Richard Halloran

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