I found this op-ed piece written by none other than Bill Ayers. Name ring a bell? He’s the “terrorist” who Obama “palled around with”.
This is for sure one of the most interesting pieces I have read in a long time. The most interesting topic that he addresses comes near the end of the article, where he articulately describes the “guilt by association” culture in the United States. Apparently, having a relationship of any kind with somebody equals shared values. Rather than paranoia setting in, relationships with different types of people should be seen as leading to a more varied, cosmopolitan, and understanding view of our world. He writes:
The dishonesty of the narrative about Mr. Obama during the campaign went a step further with its assumption that if you can place two people in the same room at the same time, or if you can show that they held a conversation, shared a cup of coffee, took the bus downtown together or had any of a thousand other associations, then you have demonstrated that they share ideas, policies, outlook, influences and, especially, responsibility for each other’s behavior. There is a long and sad history of guilt by association in our political culture, and at crucial times we’ve been unable to rise above it.
And then a bit later:
Demonization, guilt by association, and the politics of fear did not triumph, not this time. Let’s hope they never will again. And let’s hope we might now assert that in our wildly diverse society, talking and listening to the widest range of people is not a sin, but a virtue.
More from Mr. Ayers himself: