So as the debate on health care reform wages I have to look at one aspect of this which really makes me fear for my country and the direction in which it is going. This may seem similar to a former posting in regards to election bantering and fear mongering trying to make people think President Obama was a Muslim, and even more outrageous, that being so was bad. I spoke out against Sen. McCain and at the time, and his lack of ability to quell these outrageous claims which could turn violent placing the now President’s life in danger.
But now this idea has been taken a step further during the debate on insurance reform. Right now, at least 4 congressman and senators have had death threats placed on their lives. Let me repeat that in case you didn’t catch that, they have HAD DEATH THREATS PLACED ON THEIR LIVES. With a past that has greatly harmed the political and social integrity of the United States before with assassinations of such leaders as Abraham Lincoln, William McKinley, John F. Kennedy, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Jr., Robert Kennedy, Harvey Milk, and the attempted assassination of Ronald Reagan this needs to be removed from the discussion immediately. Every single one of these killings or attempted killings has sent shockwaves through their respective communities while alienating and dividing the nation.
But this is not just a movement that has come from a grassroots, radical, right wing fringe. It has even been perpetuated by pundits gracing the screens of Fox News but even worse, from across the aisle from Republicans. First, lets look at the fine journalists at Fakes News. First, Glenn Beck. Recently he has stated that the reasoning behind the push for change including healthcare is part of a guise of reparations. I don’t even think I can form a response for that lunacy, other than to only point the sponsors who keep pulling ads from his show. In honesty though, the idea of bringing up reparations in this debate (which President Obama is openly against as he has stated before) has only one purpose, to play into the hands of those who see race as a division and play into the fear of those who have extreme racial tendencies (Neo-Nazi groups, KKK, etc.) But he even made the inference to poisoning Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi by poisoning the wine which they were sharing (which was really an intern/staffer wearing a Pelosi mask). So we see Glenn Beck openly joking about the murdering of an elected official. I thought he was pro-life? Well maybe he is for abortions in the 140th trimester, just not the first 3. Now if the idea of a democratically elected official being poisoned (although a joke) does throw the idea of political assassination into the realm of humor, should we be allowing this on the public stage?
Now we have Dick Morris who stated that “blue dog” Democrats needing to be, in his own words, “terrorized” into voting against this bill and against reform. It is interesting to see the party who used the fear of terrorism to act against our civil liberties now use the same people to terrorize elected officials. Let me state this to be clear. Regardless of your political views, this nation was formed on the basis of democratic transgression where through civil discourse we make our voices heard in regards to current issues. Terrorism is not civil discourse and works against everything this nation stands for. So to those who use terror tactics today, and claim they want their country back; from you, I want my country back.
Now we see politicians playing into the same tactics which are working against political reason and just spurning the hate-speak even more. Senator Chuck Grassley who has worked across the aisle to see healthcare reform passed and sensibly, has now switched to pandering to the crazies who think Obama will personally line up the old people of this nation and shoot them down himself. Stating that people “should be afraid” of the healthcare plan only adds to the hysteria which we are currently seeing in town halls across the nation. Taking a total 180 on his original stance, Grassley is treading a fine line of losing his base and with a fairly strong contender in 2010 Grassley could see this become his break issue because of his playing into the fear politics which for some reason has become standard operating procedure in the Republican Party.
Now the bigger issues which have been raised all work together to create a cocktail for destruction, not just disruption. Fear, racism, and terror tactics are all turning into devices which can only lead to one thing at the rate they are going, violence. I’m not using this as a way to spread fear, but that we as citizens need to recognize this not as democracy in action, but democratic inaction. But what we have seen is the threat of violence thus far. Yesterday in Portsmouth, NH where President Obama was holding a town hall of his own, there was a man who was standing outside with a gun strapped to his leg holding a sign reading “It is time to water the tree of liberty” in reference to Thomas Jefferson’s famous line stating that it is sometimes necessary for the tree of liberty to be watered with the blood of patriots and tyrants. Today, outside of a town hall held by a Democratic congressman, there was a man holding a sign stating “Death to Obama.”
What have we become? Are these people truly happy with the America they are willing to create? These are the same tactics which have been used the extremist pro-life movement to kill doctors who perform abortions, who face threats like this every day. And sometimes, as we just recently saw, they act much as how George Tiller was murdered as he attended church on May 31. We see references to Obama as Adolf Hitler or a Nazi, even Representative David Scott of Georgia receiving death threats calling himself and President Obama as niggers and vandalizing the sign to his office with a swastika.
What we are seeing is un-American. Regardless of party lines, using hate and terror to persuade people to vote against legislation is a mob action, the same way if unions went to go terrorize a Republican in voting against a bill. Now we what we as American’s need to do is stand up against this nonsense. I spoke last time about Bill Pierce who wrote The Turner Diaries which spoke of a racial civil war which inspired Tim McVeigh to bomb the federal building in Oklahoma City. By spurning this type of mindset, those who propose such things are just as guilty as those who commit the act in my eyes. Before this gets taken to far we as citizens must be willing to address this matter for what it truly is. In denying what is happening, we only allow it to fester like an infection, until it spreads to far from us to be able control and it takes over the once healthy body.