I rarely blog, and I've never blogged about politics before. But I'm troubled by the response by some prominent politicians and pundits to the recent attack in Paris and the shooting in San Bernardino. Republican presidential candidates are actually talking about profiling Muslims and denying asylum to Syrian refugees. Have we learned nothing from something as recent as the unjust arrest of Ahmed Mohamed for bringing a home-made clock to school? This passage from the 2004 remake of the movie The Manchurian Candidate perfectly captures the way I believe we should respond to the recent attacks:
"We need to look inward, attend to our own house. The danger to our country is not only from some terrorists at large, terrorists who, by the way, we've helped engender with twenty years of failed foreign policy. No, the real danger is from suspending civil liberties, gutting the Bill of Rights, allowing our fear to destroy our democratic ideals, because once we start overturning our constitutional protections, our enemies have won."
In the movie, those words are spoken by a senator who is campaigning for the vice-presidential nomination at his party's national convention. It's probably too much to hope that President Obama will quote this passage verbatim in his Oval Office address this evening. But I do hope that he will encourage us to not give into our fear by compromising the values on which our nation was founded. It's a message that I believe all Americans need to hear now.