Now, let's fire up the Shut'cher Gobbige Mowf Wayback Machine...
It's the next great Battle Cry of the Stupid Conservative.
What do all of these people have in common? They, and others like them, have been complaining as loudly as they can that because of Barack Obama's Presidency and his daring to reform health care, he is transforming America in ways that make them sick. They have all been grabbing open mikes and shrieking into them that "This is not the America I grew up in!" These folks have corrupted legitimate town-hall discussions that the Democratic Party members are trying to sponsor. The very idea of health care reform for people who can't afford health care is so ghastly, so unimaginable, so downright heinous that it's just... just... it's just unamerican, that's what it is. At least, that's what the people who utter these sentiments would have you believe.
This post isn't about the merits of health care, or the pluses and minuses of the Single Payer Option. This post is about hatred. Violent, intense hatred that is bubbling its way to the surface... hatred that is formed in a cauldron of ignorance, boiling into a witches' brew of potential violence and unrest, being stirred by witches straight out of Shakespearean lore. What is it that have their collective panties in a huge bunch? Is it health care? Is it war? Is it the economy? None of the above, my friends. The thing that has angered up the blood of these people... the thing that has some white people feeling like America is being snatched from them (the irony of them complaining about America being taken from them is so rich that it oughta be poured on pancakes and served with cheese eggs and sausage or bacon... now I'm all hungry... but I digress)... the common denominator that has all of these people showing up at health care rallies carrying GUNS...
...to these rallies... the common denominator is an African-American President of the United States.
These people want us to believe that they're being good, patriotic citizens who are exercising their rights to free speech. To them, I say "Shet'cher gobbige mowf!" The fact is that I don't care who you are, or where you're from, you bring a gun as a SHOW OF FORCE. You bring a gun if you feel SERIOUSLY THREATENED, and not just because a liberal President wants to make sure that an unemployed person won't go bankrupt because they have to go to the doctor. The person on the right was carrying a sign quoting Thomas Jefferson. The quote is pictured here:
Now, on the surface, a quote from Thomas Jefferson is downright patriotic. But the ominous undertone of this sign is getting everyone's attention. You see, this quote is very popular among the right-wing militias. It was also on a t-shirt worn by Timothy McVeigh. Some things may be coincidence. This, however, isn't one of them. A man coming to protest health care sponsored by the President by carrying a gun and a sign with a slogan favored by a domestic terrorist? Sheer coincidence? Right, and I have some oceanfront property in Chicago that I'm willing to unload, cheap.
Back to the original point here, these people are angry that a Black man has gotten way past uppity to the point where he is taking America away from them. These people lament about the America they grew up in... you mean the America with attack dogs and firehoses turned on Black people, Black churches bombed with horrifying regularity, lynchings being as commonplace as church meetings? You mean the America where women were seen at their best when they were barefoot, pregnant and in the kitchen? The election of President Obama appears to be the crowning moment of privileged white people's tenuous grip on America. They want to go back to the days of "Pleasantville" and "Andy Griffith", and they want ALL of us to believe that America was better then.
Ask Emmit Till about that America. Ask Malcolm X. Ask Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King. Ask the four little girls who were attending church in Alabama. Ask the thousands who became the "Strange Fruit" that Billie Holliday sang about.
What's that? You CAN'T? Gee, I wonder why. After all, they were just as much a part of "that America" as the images of "Happy Days" and drive-thru diners. The horrors of violence for the sake of keeping the status quo is just about as American as apple pie.
It seems that the election of President Obama has gotten these racists to be bolder about their racism. It began to rear its ugly head during the campaign (there are plenty of videos of Palin/McCain supporters spewing their ugliness in the form of "kill him" and "terrorist"). And as Obama continues to move forward in his Presidency, the cute little whispers by the neo-cons have become all-out rallying cries. They feel that the President isn't a U.S. citizen. They feel that he is secretly a Muslim... or a practitioner of Liberation Theology. "Their America" now has a Black man as a commander-in-chief, and they are scared. They are angry. And as these rallies (again, HEALTH CARE REFORM rallies) demonstrate just how mad they are. Mad enough to accuse the President of ushering in a terrible wave of socialism. Mad enough to say "Heil Hitler" to a Jewish man who was supporting Israel's nationalized health care. Mad enough to shout that their country is being taken away.
Mad enough to carry loaded weapons to a health care rally.
Now, when Bush was President, the Left gave him a lot of "Hitler" grief. But I think that the difference between the Left and the Right is that the Right has more elected officials and serious media sponsors to support, promote, and disseminate the dangerous propaganda that's polluting political discourse. When you have elected officials, people like Lou Dobbs and Sean Hannity, and industry lobbyists all working together to undermine the efforts of the President and paint him as an enemy of the people or some sort of exotic foreign outsider causing trouble, things can only get worse. Very tragically worse.
Just think... with the last administration, people got arrested for wearing ANTI-BUSH T-SHIRTS. Now, you have protesters coming into the picture armed and ready for a fight... even if they have to be the ones that start it.