Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Voices of reason need not apply . . .

by Michael Ferraresi - May. 4, 2010 04:03 PM
The Arizona Republic

The widow of a Phoenix police officer who was fatally shot three years ago by an undocumented immigrant said Arizona's new law would have done nothing to save her husband's life had it been in place in 2007.

Julie Erfle, whose husband Nick Erfle died in a central Phoenix gunfight after he and a partner stopped a man for jaywalking, told Channel 12 (KPNX) and The Arizona Republic that policymakers need to cut through the "rhetoric" and "fear-mongering" to try to achieve an immigration-enforcement solution that would better protect police officers - not only from violence, but from the perception that they engage in racial profiling.

It's a shame that rational views like Julie Erfle's have been marginalized by conservatives in the Arizona immigration bill conversation. One would think that the voice of someone whose life has been fundamentally and directly impacted by the issue being debated might carry some relevancy and importance.

She also criticized the bill's supporters for using her husband's name to benefit politically and financially by luring campaign donations that lead to votes.

Ahh! And then we get to the heart of the matter don't we? The Terry Schiavo case should have been sufficient evidence that hard-core conservatives will not hesitate when it comes to cynically politicizing and financially benefiting from narrow cultural wedge issues. I am convinced that they thrive on the ability to divide people and inflame emotions, and particularly so if it advances their ideological agenda in the least.

When conservatives talk about a "cultural war" taking place in America - there isn't much exaggeration in that statement. Accepting that, the issue then comes down to who will be on the right side of history in that "war". And if past history of issues like civil rights, child labor laws, women's suffrage, corporate regulation, foreign policy and waging war, and economic governance are clues - perennially being on the wrong side of history appears to be a bitter badge of honor to the right-wing crowd.

All the more reason to fight them on every front and fight them hard.


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