OSC’s Afterword to Empire
The audio version of Orson Scott Card’s latest book, “Empire” (reviewed here) contained an afterward where a lot of what he said really hit me as just common sense. But how he phrased it needs to be heard by any and all involved in politics. From the top level “Right wing crazies” and the “Leftist Commies” to the people who barely follow the political landscape.
After I listened to the book (and afterword), I really wanted a copy of the afterword, but couldn’t find it. So I sent a request to OSC through his ornery.org site to see if I could get a hold of the text. I never heard back, but when reading the last article on his blog, I noticed a new link to the side. “Read Orson Scott Card’s afterword to Empire” — sure enough, it was posted.
Seriously, everyone should read this afterword. Here’s a small excerpt (the last three paragraphs):
Or, maybe, we can just calm down and stop thinking that our own ideas are so precious that we must never give an inch to accommodate the heartfelt beliefs of others.
How can we accomplish that? It begins by scorning the voices of extremism from the camp we are aligned with. Democrats and Republicans must renounce the screamers and haters from their own side instead of continuing to embrace them and denouncing only the screamers from the opposing camp. We must moderate ourselves instead of insisting on moderating the other guy while keeping our own fanaticism alive.
In the long run, the great mass of people who simply want to get on with their lives can shape a peaceful future. But it requires that they actively pursue moderation and reject extremism on every side, and not just on one. Because it is precisely those ordinary people, who don’t even care all that much about the issues, who will end up suffering the most from any conflict that might arise.
Now go read the rest.