Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Just Say No

History. Sometimes it's a terrible uncomfortable thing.

We see a black President in 'our' White House and we'd like to wish away Article 1 Section 2 of 'our' Constitution which considered black men and women to be three fifths of a person. With the election of Barack Obama white America would like to believe that racism no longer exists. And too many white Americans are practicing the same sort of denial that today's most rabid anti-Semites enjoy when denying the Holocaust.

Sure, they'll tell you, slavery was bad. But, it's been a hundred and fifty years since Lincoln freed the slaves. They forget that it was the assassination of JFK that spurred LBJ to push, and he pushed some Representatives and Senators to the brink, for the Civil Rights Act in 1964.

Glenn Beck is now doing everything in his power to stir up hatred for the President and for Liberals every night on Fox and on his radio broadcasts. Hate and fear. He says that the President is a racist. And he says it to the 2 million viewers who can not get enough of his message. Glenn Beck feeds those who hunger for his hate speech and he panders to those who can't take their eyes off the train wreck that's coming. And Glenn Beck knows it.

But Glenn Beck isn't as dangerous as those who defend him. Glenn Beck has as much right to free speech as anyone in America. That does not mean that his freedom of speech comes without cost. It does not mean that those who disagree with him should not do so loudly. And it doesn't mean that those who defend his rants and his insanity aren't as responsible as he is for the consequences of his daily dose of prodding the mad dogs who live among us.

Anyone who doesn't believe that speech has consequences only has to look at Nazi Germany and Adolf Hitler. Germans weren't marched into uniform at bayonet point. They did not pin deaths head insignias on their blouses and begin collecting Jews and other 'undesirables' because they were afraid to stand up to the government. Germans and Austrians heard a message that they themselves believed to be true and they rose up like so many zombies to carry out a horror that to this day is almost unimaginable.

Hitler told them that what they did they did for the good of Germany. And they believed him. And we don't like to talk about that.

Pictures of Obama with Hitler mustaches brought to Town Hall Meetings are defended as 'free speech' by Fox and Rush. When the Speaker of the House points out that some protesters are bringing signs with swastikas on them she is attacked by Fox and the Right Wing radio entertainers for insulting good hardworking Americans.

A man who wants to provide affordable health care to all Americans is not a Nazi. Those who would paint him as one may not be either, but, they are certainly on that path.

Fear of change. Fear of blacks. Fear of Liberals. And certainly fear of Jews. Don't ignore the nightly attacks by Fox on the President's Chief of Staff. Fear. And from fear, hatred. What follows?

History can scare you. And it should. Movements grow from words and from fear. You've heard that no revolution marched on a full stomach. But revolutions and worse have marched on the bones of those they were taught to fear and hate by people like Glenn Beck and Shawn Hannity. Hiding behind the flag does not make you a patriot.

Those who work to divide are the enemies of all Americans. We should all feel free to voice our opinions and to live our lives according to our beliefs, but, when we leave issues at the door and lie and do it just to frighten the ignorant and the feeble minded we have crossed a line that all civilizations depend on.

Calling the opposition Nazis isn't fair. According to FOX. Unless it's a FOX entertainer calling someone a Nazi. Or Glenn Beck, presenting a special on Eugenics. Saying in no uncertain terms that he doesn't believe that Eugenics is coming. Glenn Beck just wants America to understand history. And what might happen when a nation with socialized health care experiences an economic crisis.

Frightening. Especially if you're an elderly person who doesn't understand that Medicare is a government program. Or a Right Wing Republican who doesn't remember Ronald Reagan telling America that Medicare would end freedom and The American Way.

The pandering Republicans won't say that Medicare is bad. They depend too much on retirees. They instead will say that the way Medicare is managed is bad. And they will say that the government can not manage health care.

When insurance companies and Republicans agree on the types of Health Care Reform that America needs isn't that the moment when we tilt our heads? Isn't that the 'oh' moment?

It is past time to just say no to the politics of big business and myth of the Free Market. Time to flip the channel past FOX. It is time for change.

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