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PARTISAN EXTREMISTS WANT TO KEEP US DIVIDED!

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Monday, July 31st, 2023

Baton Rouge, Louisiana

PARTISAN EXTREMISTS WANT TO KEEP US DIVIDED!

Is this never going to end?  Both left and right wingers continue to lash out with charges filled with rumors and innuendo on issues that seem pretty reasonable to me. I don’t know about you, but I’m getting sick and tired of politicians, and some columnists in the news media stirring up controversy that goes beyond what reasonable people believe. Isn’t it about time that we quit thinking about every little disagreement having two sides where you are supposed to agree or disagree? Life is more complicated.  It’s not always black and white. (Oops, can I still use that phrase?) Sometimes the color should be red, white, and blue.

Let me give you a few examples of how one side of the political spectrum can go way overboard. In my column last week, I wrote about country singer Jason Aldean’s new song, “Try That in a Small Town” that has critics unhinged. Liberal voices charge that the song is a violent retribution against outsiders. That’s ridiculous. To me, it’s simply about taking care of our neighbors, respecting our country, being loyal and patriotic. Anything other than that is way off the mark.

So what do we have this week?  This time, it’s the right-wing conspirators who are up in arms. What has stirred up their dander?  It’s a movie. Not just any movie, but the film that is breaking all records for box office success. It’s Barbie that is causing all the backlash. That’s right! A film about a doll has many right wingers shaking in their boots over the damage this film may cause to millions of Americans.  That’s what they are saying. I kid you not.

Here’s what reviewer Sarah Vine says in The Daily Mail.  “It’s a deeply anti-man movie.  Every male character is either an idiot, a bigot, or a sad, rather pathetic loser.”  I don’t know about this. The Ken doll seems pretty content in his dealings with Barbie.

Then there is a conservative Texas Senator Ted Cruz, who has charged that the Barbie film is pushing Chinese propaganda. There is a map in one of the scenes, that some like Cruz say the background pictures show disputed territory in the south China Sea.  I looked at it, and all it shows is squiggles and dotted lines that, using Shakespeare’s words, “All signify nothing.”  But that has not stopped Cruz from running to one media outlet after the other with this conspiracy theory.

And we have right wing congressman Matt Getz, who expressed concern that Barbie “neglects to address any notion of faith or family.” Hey Matt! If you haven’t noticed, she’s a doll.  And the congressman’s trepidations did not stop him from dressing up in pink and taking along his wife to attend a Barbie party at the British Embassy in Washington.

The film also received the wrath of conservative radio commentators such as Ben Shapiro, who burned Barbie dolls in a YouTube video.  He then called Barbie a “flaming garbage heap of a film” and “one of the most woke movies I have ever seen.”  But then he went to see the film and dressed up like the costar of the movie. Hey Ben. It’s just a MOVIE!

 So just what has all of his criticism done at the box office for Barbie?  It grossed more than $200 million at the U.S.  box offices in its first five days in theaters, shattering the record for biggest opening for a film, and has headed towards $500 million in ticket sales worldwide.  I’m sure the producers of the film are cheering on their critics who are keeping the film in the news and giving it massive publicity.

Here’s the bottom line. These partisan extremists on both of the left and the right want to keep America divided. They feed on division and dysfunction.  We should be able to have a difference of opinion without the extreme exaggerations that we see in our country today.  Listen to the country song one more time, and go see the movie. I liked them both without even thinking about any political interpretations. I hope you do to.

Peace and Justice

Jim Brown

Jim Brown’s syndicated column appears each week in numerous newspapers throughout the nation and on websites worldwide. You can read all his past columns and see continuing updates at http://www.jimbrownla.com. You can also listen to his regular podcast at www.datelinelouisiana.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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