Liberals, Love and Change

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

On this day when we honor Martin Luther King, Jr. and mourn his untimely assassination by persons still unknown, I find myself thinking about the principles he held so dear. Why was he such a hero to so many? Why was he so effective in convincing our leaders to change the laws of this land?

Did he have a huge stockpile of weapons? No. Did he scream about how his oppressors, the white men, were devils? No. Did he incite his people to murder and revenge? No. He based his movement on love, as befitted a minister who lived the words of Jesus Christ. In other words, he was a proud, true liberal.

Contrast the movement conservatives like George W. Bush and his minions, and how they want to bring about change in this country. Do they have a huge stockpile of weapons? Yes, and they do not hesitate to use them and build more. Do they scream about how their enemies, the brown people, are devils? Yes – they decry made-up threats like “Islamofascism,” and claim that Muslims are evildoers who want to destroy America. Do they incite their followers to murder and revenge? Yes – and they are proud of their torturing, murdering ways. As Mitt Romney said, “Double Gitmo!” And as John McCain sang, “Bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran.” And as Dick Cheney said, “Waterboarding is a no-brainer.” Etcetera, etcetera.

I hope that the horror of the Bush era will finally convince Americans that hate and fear can never bring about true, lasting and positive change. Only love can be that strong and pure and uplifting.

Have we not come to such an impasse in the modern world
that we must love our enemies – or else?
The chain reaction of evil – hate begetting hate,
wars producing more wars –
must be broken, or else we shall be plunged
into the dark abyss of annihilation.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

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