Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Fear and Loathing - The New American Vision

At some point, we have to decide as a country that we just can’t have this: We can’t allow ourselves to remain silent as foaming-at-the-mouth protesters scream the vilest of epithets at members of Congress — epithets that The Times will not allow me to repeat here.
It is 2010, which means it is way past time for decent Americans to rise up against this kind of garbage, to fight it aggressively wherever it appears. And it is time for every American of good will to hold the Republican Party accountable for its role in tolerating, shielding and encouraging foul, mean-spirited and bigoted behavior in its ranks and among its strongest supporters.    

Bob Herbert, NYT, 3/23/10

 Honestly, unless you've been monitoring the ticking time bomb that is the far-right media in recent days, you probably don't appreciate how frighteningly possible that cultish scenario has become, as the GOP Noise Machine, led by Fox News, publicly suffers a nervous breakdown. It's a mental and emotional collapse that's been advertised in recent days as cablers, radio talkers, and right-wing bloggers have reached for increasingly hysterical, often blood-curdling rhetoric to describe the irreversible atrocity -- an incurable, metastasizing malignancy!! -- that's about to seize and destroy the United States in the form of a bill to expand health care coverage.

Eric Boehlert, Media Matters, 3/23/10

Okay, I'm getting scared now.  I've been a political junkie ever since Adlai Stevenson lost to Ike for the second time in a row.  I wasn't even old enough to vote, but I cried my eyes out as much as if I'd been watching my best friend go down for the count.  I've followed politics all my adult life, sometimes rabidly, sometimes just out of the corner of my eye, but I can safely say I have never seen anything like this monumental 15-month temper tantrum egged on and cheered on by the Republican party and, yes, the mainstream media.

Are the crazies really in the majority?  Are they so powerful these days that what we're seeing--the vicious, frothing attacks on care for the poor and the sick, on blacks, on gays, on disabled protesters, on 11-year-old grieving kids--is now the American norm?

From the coverage bombarding us, it would seem that way.  The rabid crazies are being fed their favorite dish--publicity--and, gluttons that they are, they're eating it up and going after more.  They understand how it works--in order to get more they have to give more, which means that each time they're out there in front of the cameras they have to step up the action.  More hate!  More fear!  Louder!  Louder!

This is what the media have never understood--their complicity in all of this.  They're feeding these monsters, goading them, energizing them, when the way to starve them out of existence is to simply ignore their cries for more. 

Where are the signs of support for real reform in this country?  Nowhere to be seen.  The SEIU (Service Employees International Union), on their Labor's Lens page, highlights numerous demonstrations, protests and vigils by union members and supporters.  I had to go to their pages to find them. I didn't see them anywhere else.

As I write this, President Obama is signing into law the beginnings of health care reform.  With our help, he'll be able to strengthen it and give it some real teeth.  Our patience is at the limit because the need is so urgent, but there is urgency in putting our support behind our leaders now.  It's the only way to counter the factions so desperate to take down this president they're willing to destroy any chance for millions of Americans to receive adequate health care.

If we're ever going to bring our vision of America back, we have to vanquish those who are standing in the way of repairing and nurturing our country.  We have the power to do that by exposing them for what they are.  They do not represent our America--not now, now ever.

Pass it on.



  1. Can I ask... exactly WHAT is it that Republicans are afraid of??? Seriously? For argument sake, let's pretend this is a Socialist agenda. What "BAD" thing will come of every American having health care?

    Is it about money? Cause if it is.... then WHY didn't they STOP BUSH from spending trillions on a war? Why didn't they STOP the FED from allowing Banks to loan money to people they knew couldn't repay them?

    Is it about "Control"... wanting Gov. to stay out of our life?

    If it IS... then why do they (right wingers) want to STOP people from deciding to have an abortion, or STOP people from getting married to the person they love just because they are the same gender? Wouldn't the Government be invading the most intimate of privacy with THOSE kinds of policies?

    My answer... to my own question...

    I think... it's a form of racism and homophobia plain and simple. It's about intolerance and hatred of people not like you.

  2. "I think... it's a form of racism and homophobia plain and simple. It's about intolerance and hatred of people not like you."

    Exactly. And the Republicans latch onto it and run with it--to their advantage up to now. I've always been baffled by the popularity of singularly nasty people like Limbaugh, Beck, Coulter, etc. Spewing lies and hatred have made them millionaires. They have followings like no other political commentator and Fox "News" holds the number one spot consistently.
    I can't get beyond that, and it's what gives me nightmares.

    Great comment, all aspects of it. Thanks.

  3. We've become a society entertained by reality TV, drama and lies sells. Bravo on identifying the sale of hate and fear you really are right on with that. A form of arrogance, perhaps, but I believe it’s the loss of control/power which is followed by self caused chaos within the party. We need more bloggers like you, more mighty voices who place real reform in the forefront and just a plain old sensible conscience back into this country. That's my hope and I now believe I have hope. Educate by being a wise consumer, even in your choice of media viewing. Thanks for this; I always enjoy your blogs. ~nancy

  4. Nancy, you're right that the loss of power is almost more than they can bear. That's fine, but they're condoning and, in some cases, encouraging violence, whether they'll admit that or not. Their recklessness really does scare me. I don't think the Republicans fully understand the lengths to which their followers will go in order to get the country back for them. If they did, they would never be egging them on the way they are.
    Love your comments. Thanks for writing.

  5. Ramona, I was led here after posting the HuffPo article written by Jim Wallis, "What Glenn Beck Doesn't Understand About Biblical Social Justice."

    I believe Glenn Beck to be a dangerous sociopath who is still hanging long after rotting because our morally bereft, profit-centric infotainment culture feeds on the muck.

    It's nice to meet your blog. I like it. I will wander around a while.


  6. Hey, Mettawoman, nice to have you here. I may have to steal that paragraph that begins "I believe. . .". That is priceless!

    But I'm confused. HOW did you find me again? Oh, never mind. I'm going to have to go looking for that Jim Wallis piece. Sounds interesting.

    Wander all you want. Stay as long as you like. Come back any time.

  7. Ramona,
    Voices of reason in an esclating climate of hate, fear, and frankly just plain bad manners. Your blog has lifted my spirit! It is good to know that there are others like me, I live in SC and we certainly didn't move here because we like the politics.
    Thanks for being here.

  8. Welcome, Andrea. I'm in So. Carolina right now, near Myrtle Beach. We're snowbirds getting ready to head back to Michigan, but we've been coming down here for about seven years now. The politics down here are pretty bizarre (But Clyburn stays--yay!), but they're not much worse than Michigan.

    Michigan used to be a pro-Democrat, union state--as blue as our beloved great lakes--but it's changing for the worse now. I live in the U.P and it's becoming a scary playground for the militia crowd. Unemployment and poverty have just about done us in. The anger is palpable, but misplaced, as it is everywhere, and that's what we have to work hard to change.
    Thank you for caring about our country. We so need to work together on this.


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