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Is America Safe From Itself? Op Ed

April 5, 2009

With a sigh of relief, the election was over and hope was a welcome fragrance after the smell of the past eight years.  The sad state of the economy would finally be addressed in earnest.  The hard work of folks, prepared to evacuate, successfully prevented a new totalitarian regime.  Finally, hateful voices were drowned out by cheers of joy.  But wait!  There’s more!  Those hateful voices were only drowned out, they never went away.  They are seething and even more hateful now.  Words broadcast from hate radio, right wing blogs, and a certain ultra right wing television network, are actually endorsing a revolution inside their own country.  They want a civil war.

Again, these extremists are not satisfied with just being bullies, they want to be conquerors.  They see themselves as warriors for their narrow, frightening dogma.  A recent Op Ed from New York Times columnist Charles M Blow has described the problem.

Pitchforks and Pistols

They’re (Right Wing) apocalyptic. They feel isolated, angry, betrayed and besieged. And some of their “leaders” seem to be trying to mold them into militias.

At first, it was entertaining – just harmless, hotheaded expostulation. Of course, there were the garbled facts, twisted logic and veiled hate speech. But what did I expect, fair and balanced? It was like walking through an ideological house of mirrors. The distortions can be mildly amusing at first, but if I stay too long it makes me sick.

But, it’s not all just harmless talk. For some, their disaffection has hardened into something more dark and dangerous. They’re talking about a revolution.

Some simply lace their unscrupulous screeds with loaded language about the fall of the Republic. We have to “rise up” and “take back our country.” Others have been much more explicit.

Chuck Norris, wrote earlier this month on the conservative blog WorldNetDaily: “How much more will Americans take? When will enough be enough? And, when that time comes, will our leaders finally listen or will history need to record a second American same_differencemidRevolution?”

Glenn Beck, keeps warning of an impending insurrection by saying that he believes that we are heading for “depression” and “revolution” and then gaming out that revolution on his show last month. “Think the unthinkable”

Representative Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, urged her fellow Minnesotans to be “armed and dangerous,”

As the comedian Bill Maher pointed out, strong language can poison weak minds, as it did in the case of Timothy McVeigh. (We sometimes forget that not all dangerous men are trained by Al Qaeda.)

Then counter argument to Charles Blow’s editorial comes from Rick Moran of The American Thinker:

Blowhard NY Times contributor a paranoid loon (Updated)

Perhaps he (Charles Blow) is the official liberal hand wringer. Or maybe he is the designated hysteria monger for the left.

Whatever he does, it is apparent he needs a change of underpants after trying to scare the crap out of the left with visions of bloody revolution, right wing terrorism, and conservative mobs running amuck:

Mr. Blowhard is a liar. If he read more conservative commentary than what he has linked above, I will eat my William F. Buckley Memorial Skimmer. If he had, he would not have had a column to write. No one at NRO has called for a “revolution.” No one at The Weekly Standard has written anything remotely resembling a tract that pronouces conservatives “isolated, betrayed, and besieged. I haven’t even heard Rush Limbaugh urging conservatives to pick up a pitchfork and head to Washington. Nor has Mr. Blow read American Thinker, Pajamas Media, Powerline, Hot Air, Instapundit, Hugh Hewitt, Townhall, Outside the Beltway, or most of the other top 50 conservative blogs that, if not always objective in tone and substance, certainly fall far short of advocating or promoting “revolution” or “garbled facts” or “twisted logic” and most especially “veiled” hate speech.

To my mind, there is little difference between Beck and Blow – neither ventures to argue using a logical framework for discussion nor do either of those two gentlemen grant their political opponents any legitimacy whatsoever.

So, as the controversy continues.  Each side will expose the extreme words of the other by using quotes, distorting content and emphasizing the worst scenarios.  As much as I want to see America pull to the middle, I feel the alignment still needs work.  I hear the words, too often,  “We want Obama to fail”!  Republicans in both houses of congress are bound and determined to obstruct Obama’s agenda any way they can.  What totally eludes me is that it is not about personal agenda anymore,  we just escaped from that mindset.  This is about saving America.  That’s where all of us live.  The America we have sold to the world for so long, is why so many “Illegal Immigrants” risk everything to get here.  They bought the advertisement, and now America has become expert at ‘bait and switch’.  To save America we have to accomodate laws that address the unattended disparities that have become a nightmare.  Immigration needs a lot of attention because it is related to the ragged economy.  Drugs are another grand bait and switch issue.  Drugs are fine as long as the right people profit.  FDA and Big Pharma kill just as dead as crack and heroin.  Education is a mess because it is too expensive for too many, and too few students take education seriously enough to compete with other countries.  Why else would we have to import so many scientists and engineers?  America has mined the brains of other countries to maintain its competitive edge on the world market since WWII.  Now, Americans are embarrased when many return to their native countries to compete with us.

With my own ears and eyes, hateful rhetoric is tolerated in my own region.  Hearing hateful and threatening commentary, I admit cowardice and remain silent for fear of bringing attention to my disagreement.   Reason and deeper logic, where are you?  Trying to have an educated dialog is out of the question.  Most of the vociferous haters distrust anyone who tries to open constructive dialog … “git yer guns and dogs, lets join the militia”.  This confirms my fears and endorses my silence.  After all this country has been through lately, civil war is not an option.

The origins of Right and Left wings of politics began in the French Revolution.  America has modified these terms to describe two sides of the political/philosophical spectrum.  The extremes of each side appear to resist discussion.  The only hope is for more moderate voices outnumber the extremes.  I listen to the right extreme and they listen to the left extreme, and somewhere in the center there must be US!.

Individual political spectrum

Governance political spectrum


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