Perhaps my brain is too small to process the information. Perhaps I’ve been brainwashed by the Jew-run liberal media. Perhaps my lack of faith in deus ex machina as the solution to our ills prevents me from seeing the long-term wisdom, but I do not comprehend the irrational fear and hate being spread by the right-wing militia groups. Are they simply upset that an African-American is in the White House? Are they terrified that white-skinned people are no longer the dominant majority? Are they just bloodthirsty radicals who need to shoot their guns?
On a rational level, the obvious question is where was their moral outrage over big government intrusion when the Patriot Act became law. Why weren’t they actively plotting to attack government officials then? It seems hypocritical to endorse certain forms of government intrusion, such as internal spying or sanctioned religious ideology, but then to reject other forms simply because they come from a different viewpoint. Government intrusion is government intrusion. Of course, radicals rarely care to look at things rationally. Emotional battlecries and menacing rhetoric fit more closely to the Tea Party way of doing things.
What bothers me about this is that it undermines the rule of law. I’m not so naive as to think our system is perfect. Yes, a lot of things need work. There are a lot of corruption and inefficiencies plaguing our nation, and if we are to survive and regain our footing as a world leader, we will have to rectify those issues, but our way of life is about settling issues peacefully, through debate and deliberation. The Tea Party militias behave like spoiled toddlers. They didn’t get their way, so now they’re throwing a fit. Nevermind that Mr. Obama was elected legally by a fairly significant landslide. They didn’t get their way legally, so now they’ll bully, threaten, and coerce until they are either get their way or are imprisoned. Guess which one is more likely?
Not all Conservatives are right-wing nuts. Many respect the laws of this land and abide by them faithfully. Many adhere to the principals that if you don’t like the outcome of an election, work harder to win the next one. That’s what happened in 1994. I didn’t like the Contract on America, but I respect that it was born from a sincere grass-roots effort to change the government legally, and I also concede that the balance between that conservative Congress and the moderate White House are what led to the most prosperous economy the world has ever known. That’s how things should change.
I will not lie. This wave of irrational fear and hatred scares me. Irrational hate is what spawned the Holocaust, and while I don’t believe the Tea Partiers represent enough of a threat to reach that level of power, I do believe they are organized enough and crazy enough to do some serious damage before they are put down. If you are someone who is letting the fear and paranoia they are spreading creep into your consciousness, look out your window. There are no tanks in our streets, and other than the Tea Partiers, no armed troops forcing order. The economy is chugging back to life. Our system is still intact, and in the words of FDR, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” That’s true today more than ever.
7 thoughts on “Wednesday Morning Ramblings”
“Are they simply upset that an African-American is in the White House? Are they terrified that white-skinned people are no longer the dominant majority?”
For some of them, I think that’s exactly what’s going on. Activists are out there calling members of the Congressional Black Caucus “n—-r” and throwing homophobic slurs at Barney Frank. And here at UT there’s been a sharp rise in race-related incidents. A visiting black family was pelted with bananas — I assume because they are monkeys? (Gotta love that racist sense of humor).
Don’t forget Bart Stupak –one of the most pro-life members of Congress– being called “baby killer” because he voted for the health care bill right after persuading President Obama to issue an executive order stating that no federal funds would be used to provide abortion!
“I will not lie. This wave of irrational fear and hatred scares me.”
Agreed. We’ve got a president who before the health care debate even began took Canadian-style single-payer off the table. (Whether or not that’s the direction the U.S. needs to go in, that’s a whole ‘nother issue. Strictly from a negotiating standpoint, that’s a bad strategy, though. Even if he didn’t think it had a hope in hell of passing, you always start out asking for more than you think the opposition is willing to concede, right?) Then he compromised on the public option, even though polls showed that 60% of Americans favored the idea, including over a third of Republicans. Then health care co-ops vanished. Dozens of Republican amendments were attached to the bill, including many of the reforms Republicans have been most clamoring for. It passed both the House and the Senate, and the only reason the reconciliation vote was necessary was because of a threatened fillibuster. Besides, the Mistake from Texas loved reconciliation when he was in office.
The result? A health care bill not dissimilar from the one the Republicans offered back in the 90s as an alternative to HillaryCare, and not too dissimilar from the one Mitt Romney passed in Massachusetts. Even the American Medical Association supported the plan, and the Congressional Budget Office said that in the long run the plan will save money.
So is Newt Gingrich a Communist/Maoist/Socialist/Nazi/Fascist/Tyrant? Is Mitt Romney? I don’t think so. But that’s exactly what they’re saying about the President.
I love these signs. I have another link somewhere with more.
I love that they asked for “Public Defender”, they know now that there was an undercover FBI agent. The simpleton Tea baggers keep missing the point. These are the same whiners that were crying when the McCain/Bailin ticket lost. Now that their yelling (because they are haters not debaters) did not stop health care from passing, they are crying again. They think they can scare, intimidate and force others to go along with them by comments like “This time we came unarmed”, let me tell you something they are not the only ones who have guns and not all ex-military join the fringe militia crazies who don’t pay taxes and run around in the parks playing commando, the majority understand that the world is more complicated and grey then the black and white that these simpleton make it out to be and that my friend is the point. So it’s only fitting that their leaders are Sarah Bailin, Victoria Jackson, Michele Bachmann and their turn coat Glenn. So if you are bothered that there are some misconceptions of your group, well then I think you need to be more careful who you invite to give you speeches.
Thanks for the comment.
Here’s the hypocrisy; if even one a photo were jokingly published of Sarah Palin in the cross hairs all hell would break loose. Yet she gets to spew her own thinly veiled hatred freely. After all, she’s a patriot.
Oscar Wilde had some strong words regarding patriotism, and I think we see the embodiment of in militia groups, the tea party, Fox news and talk radio. In my lifetime I remember a Washington DC where people could scream at each other on the House or Senate floor all day and then go work it out over drinks that night. What we have now is unprecedented, except for possibly civil-rights era politics. These people are peers, after all. We elect our representatives to get things done, not constantly run for re-election. That goes for both sides of the aisle. We forget that we can fire all of them at any time. It may well be time to clear both houses completely; peacefully, democratically and by the vote.
Part of the problem is the 24-hour news cycle. No matter who you believe controls it, there simply isn’t worthy and important news going on 24/7. The result? Air, electronic and print time devoted to pundit-driven opines and celebrity newscasters, all masquerading as news. In my mind this goes for virtually all media news outlets, right or left leaning.
As long as it sells and gets ratings, we’re going to see this kind of nonsense continue. Sadly, the more information we have access to on a daily basis as a society the less capable of critical thought we seem to become.
The People have the opportunity to issue a referendum this November. Hopefully, the losing parties will take it to heart and not continue to scream “foul” and “you lie!” There is the chance to send the loud minority packing and tell these folks to get down to business fixing our economy and our abominable education system, which is an embarrassment for a nation of our stature. There’s too much work to do for these folks, -again on both sides of the aisle, to waste time pouting and fighting. I don’t like everyone I work with either, but we still have to get things done. We’re still accountable.
Finally, don’t fear the hatred of the few, powerless cowards who talk loud and proud until the windbreakers come swarming. In the words of another prophet, “none of them can stop the Time”. That, in the end, is why they are so afraid.