I find the traditional stance of the Republican Party (limitations to federal power, the self-determination of families and communities, etc.) to be in an incredibly hypocritical position with regard to a wide range of issues. There is, in fact, a gap between the party’s ideology and its political agenda. From abortion, marriage and non-traditional family adoption, to book banning and other forms of censorship, conservative politicians have no compunction in attempting to legislate my personal life. While they don’t want government legislating the freedoms they hold dear, they seem to view it as not just a right, but a moral obligation to keep me from harming myself in some way by engaging in behavior of which they do not approve. From viewing the ‘wrong’ art, to reading the ‘wrong’ books, to marrying the ‘wrong’ person, there appears to be no point at which political conservatives view involvement in my personal life as off bounds.
With the nomination of Sarah Palin as the Vice Presidential candidate to the Republican Party, many of the issues I have allowed myself to lose focus on have resurfaced. Perhaps Laura Bush saved us from an amendment to the constitution allowing the federal government to decide what we can and cannot read. Whatever the reason, I haven’t spent much time thinking about the issue over the last 8 years. But now, book banning (censorship) is back up there at the top of that list for me. At issue is the notion that anyone in government knows better than I do what is appropriate reading material for me.
A list of books Sarah Palin allegedly tried to ban from the Wasilla public library in Alaska has been circulated the web over the last week. BEWARE! While the topic HAS reminded me how vitally important it is to be vigilant in my opposition to censorship, it is important to remember that the lists circulating are of books she is alleged to try to have banned. Alleged! It is not even clear to me if she was successful in her attempt.
Check your facts Obama fans! Remember, Obama is an alleged Muslim and socialist. How much does that piss you off? How many times have you shrieked “check your facts” at the blogosphere and the media? Please, by all means, fight Palin for the many horrific things she has done and the atrocious public policy changes she supports… the many, well-documented cases of near-fascism. But get off her back about book banning until it’s been proven. And, in the meantime, take a stand against censorship of any kind. The American Library Associations Banned Books Week, “Celebrating the Freedom to Read” begins on September 27th, 2008.