One excellent dKos diary from the weekend was: "What Do YOU Think?" by Granny Doc. As she says, everyone has an opinion these days and with our 24x7 media, so much opinion is based on our gut reactions or just hearing someone else you agree with express their opinion. But Granny Doc was someone who taught in the University and she'd ask the follow-on question guaranteed to make someone work harder for their stance. Once they gave her their opinion, she asked, "Why?" She asked them to "Defend your position and tell me why you hold that view."
Today, when we have the pollsters and the media asking the public to give their opinion on Arizona's new anti-immigrant, anti-hispanic law, it would good time to make people explain their position and why it is okay to discriminate against people with brown skins. (One should ask, "Would it be okay for you or your child to be stopped because they suspected you of being here illegally?" Why not?)
It would be a good time to ask why the constitution was designed to protect the rights of the minority from the majority. What happens when these protecting the rights of the minority are not available?
And it would be a good thing to make sure people understand what they give up for themselves and their children when they think it is okay to take away the right to be free of police shakedowns to those "others", the scapegoats for a bad economy and a dwindling future that too many Americans face today. Indeed, getting rid off immigrants will not improve the life of Americans. So the question is: what would work? What can we do together to make things better?
Yes, people are angry. But because there is no honest accounting on what brought us to this place and what truly can be done to help resolve the anxieties, or even help them with their personal tragedies, it is easy to redirect their anger to blame the immigrant, to blame the guy who doesn't have a job, and to blame the poor who need more from us during these hard times. The right knows this and they use demagoguery to make sure that the anger will be focused on their chosen scapegoats. After all, it is how they gain power.
Asking why could go a long way to helping people see their anger is misdirected and that there is a better way for all of us to shape a future that works for vast majority of Americans. But it won't be found drinking the dregs of hate at the feet of Glenn Beck or Sarah Palin.