Here’s one of this pickerel’s pet peeves:

Imagine a rancorous political debate between two people, one of whom believes that everything the Bush/Cheney administration is doing is God’s gift to the American people, the other of whom sees the situation for what it is: a massive power grab by wealthy individuals who will use whatever means necessary to maintain their position, including divesting citizens of their rights and shredding the Constitution.

The debate reaches a fever pitch, as it often does among rabid Bush/Cheney supporters because while they claim to support free speech, they prefer to shout and call names in order to keep their opponents from exercising their right to free speech.  As the opponent continues to criticize the direction this country has taken, the debate crescendos and the Bush/Cheney supporter pulls out this line:  “Well, if you hate America so much, why don’t you just leave?”  Bush/Cheney supporters who say this really mean it, too.  They’d ship any dissenter out in a heartbeat.

Well, guess what?  This country was founded on dissent.  It’s part of the political process and we’d all better get used to it.  Disagreeing with the leaders of our country is actually good for America.  It doesn’t make the person who disagrees unpatriotic and it doesn’t mean the dissenter hates America.  If anything, it makes a dissenter more patriotic because he/she is willing to criticize the government when it goes wrong.  This allows us to correct our course of action.  That’s what a democracy is all about – citizen involvement.

I have to question people who say things like, “Get the heck out of this country,” because, in essence, it seems as though they want to make their own power grab.  If all the dissenters leave the country, then those who are left can do whatever they want.  Not so fast, kiddo.  This is my country, too, as well as the the country of all the rest of us dissenters.  We’re not going to give you the satisfaction of leaving so you can have your way.  Why don’t you quit using your “Get out” line and deal with the situation at hand?

Planting myself firmly in the pond,

Phineas F. A. Pickerel