Tuesday, March 23, 2010

It's Time to Tell It Like It Is.

Since the election of Barack Obama as president, a current of anti-government hostility has swept across the United States, creating a climate of fervor and activism with manifestations ranging from incivility in public forums to acts of intimidation and violence

What characterizes this anti-government hostility is a shared belief that Obama and his administration actually pose a threat to the future of the United States. Some accuse Obama of plotting to bring socialism to the United States, while others claim he will bring about Nazism or fascism. All believe that Obama and his administration will trample on individual freedoms and civil liberties, due to some sinister agenda, and they see his economic and social policies as manifestations of this agenda. In particular anti-government activists used the issue of health care reform as a rallying point, accusing Obama and his administration of dark designs ranging from “socialized medicine” to “death panels,” even when the Obama administration had not come out with a specific health care reform plan. Some even compared the Obama administration’s intentions to Nazi eugenics programs.

Some folks say some of these assertions, are motivated by prejudice, but more common is an intense strain of anti-government distrust and anger, colored by a streak of paranoia and belief in conspiracies. These sentiments are present both in mainstream and “grass-roots” movements as well as in extreme anti-government movements. Ultimately, this anti-government anger, if it continues to grow in intensity and scope, may result in an increase in anti-government extremists and the potential for a rise of violent anti-government acts (like the guy who flew a airplane into the IRS Building down in Texas).

The angry protests at town hall meetings seemed to give a “green light” to expressions of anti-government and anti-Obama hostility, as when South Carolina Representative Joe Wilson shouted “You lie!” to Obama himself during a speech to Congress in September. Tea Party events in September, especially a large rally in Washington, D.C., itself, were characterized by extreme sentiments, including Nazi images, racist imagery, and imagery that implicitly or explicitly promoted violence. Other events held across the country saw such high level of anger directed at the president as well

Two attorneys, Philip Berg of Pennsylvania and Orly Taitz of California, have been particularly active in spreading the “birther” arguments, as has an on-line right-wing newspaper, World Net Daily. Birthers” claim that Obama is not a legitimate president because he allegedly was not born in the United States (as the Constitution requires), but rather in Kenya. (Obama was born in 1962 in Hawaii, Hawaii became a state in 1959), so that should put that argument to rest, but it has not.

At events like the Tea Parties & others, and later sequels, anti-government sentiments and conspiracy theories accuse, with a common theme being that somehow Obama had “stolen” the country from Americans & last summer, when a various anti-government protests and disruptions occurred at town hall meetings organized by senators and representatives across the country to discuss healthcare reform. These events became a hot bed for anti-Obama protests and stunts, with some protesters angrily launching verbal attacks against the president as well as other officeholders.

And now calls for the president to be assassinated are growing & now his family are being target as well. If all of these actions keep up, there is a very strong likelihood that some will try to harm the president, the first family, or even try some evil act towards the government. I'm don't condone violence against anyone & I don't get caught up in wild, crazy, off-the-wall accusations by a few. As a christian man & a young deacon, I pray for them as well as others who are subject to the threats of a few wackos out there.

Civility has gone out the window. I just hope it comes back soon before its too late. I'm very disturbed by what I see right now in the U.S. Where is the middle?


Slyram said...

Nice essay and I share your concerns with the tenor of the public debate. Reasonable people can strongly disagree but fostering a certain mood from either side could lead to the unimaginable. You are a young man and don’t remember the ugliness of the South of my youth; but, don’t sleep because those feelings never really went away. Like virus, they are living in the body and waiting for the nutrients and opportunities to reappear.

I respect our system of government and remember the patience we displayed as we waited for rights that should have been ours in 1776—those rights got to rural Georgia around 1976. If the nation elects a president and congress that takes directions you don’t like, the voters can act in November but this “they are listening to me” stuff are the words of egomaniacs who think they are more American that others.

I visit your blog regularly and find the Georgia political history parts interesting. We study history because it has a way of repeating itself and when ugly things like domestic terrorism occur the good folks deny any involvement. But, their words lead the sick-mined to act. Let’s avoid a second Civil War---the most dangerous threats to American might be domestic and sitting in front of a mic.

Keith McCants said...

I always wonder what is driving these folks to say or do some of the things they are doing right now. I have heard some compare the healthcare bill to 9/11. Unbelievable! I wasn't a supporter of the bill due to its complexity & its uncertainty, but the way people are reacting to its passage is a great cause of concern.

Ypu're right that the ones who are saying that they're aren't listening to me think that they are more american that anyone else. I agree with that. I have never, ever seen a public so opposed to a president, or what he's trying to do so, extreme in my short lifetime.

The phrase I hear is "Take my country Back", or "I want my country back". Well, where has the country gone is the question I ask? I'm conservative, but independent in my views, so I don't get all caught up in all of the hoopla of supporters & critics of the president. I just wnat to see a return to civility before its too late. Things are spiriling out of control.

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