There is most definitely a war being waged in this country of ours, and it seems to be rapidly on a course that will become nuclear. I am not talking about the so-called “War on Terrorism.” Should this new war of which I speak continue to escalate unchecked, the United States will be a country that can no longer be effectively governed. For anyone who feels this is hyperbole, all they would need to do is look at what is happening at this time.
The so-called “Health Care debate which in reality is anything but a debate, has shown the presence of such hatred for the President that any intelligent give and take is impossible. There is instead, name calling of the most vicious sort. Because of a proposal for Universal Health Care in the United States, the President is accused of being a Nazi, and is pictured as Hitler, complete with Nazi uniform and the hated swastika. The Libertarian followers of the ex-convict Lyndon LaRouche have teamed up with the Republican Conservative movement to make any calm exchange at Town Meetings next to impossible.
The vocal opposition is not a part of a grass-roots movement. It is not a matter of a constituency that has read the Health Care proposals and what they can do for the country. It is instead a fully orchestrated effort on the part of those whose main consideration is to see this President fail. Talking (shouting) points have been given out. Signs have been distributed, and some of these are the ugliest seen in recent memory. The President has been hanged in effigy, a remarkably racist way to protest. Hate-speak has been propagated by Limbaugh, Beck, O’Reilly, Michael Steele and at least a score of others. The invective has been picked up by the “ditto-heads,” and subsequently, too many of us have had our heads turned, and our own support for both the President and this essential bill has started to erode.
We are at a crossroads.
Do we allow Fox News and Rush Limbaugh to become the de facto group that governs the United States of America? The country voted for change, and that change in this important area is being blocked by those who would perpetuate their lies about Death Panels, lack of available care for elders, lack of available care for Republicans, enforcement of (fictitious) rules against choosing your own doctor, rationing of care, and the slander against the far superior Health care systems of the UK, Germany, Sweden, France, Canada and others who have put Universal Health Care into effect. We need to realize that the main reason for most of the opposition to the President’s proposal is that it is just that: The President’s Proposal.
This President has not been in office for eight years. This President has not, through major lies, led us into a war that devastated a country, killed thousands of our young people, maimed others in unknown numbers, and wiped out many thousands of civilians and laid waste to a culture. This President did not gut many of our Rights under the Constitution. This President has not played one side of the political spectrum against the other. This President did not ignore an economy that was being laid waste by greed, an economy that was being laid waste because of ineffective government oversight. That was, we should remember, the previous President and his administration……. The administration that enjoyed the praise of the same group that now fosters all of this hate.
President Obama is the President we elected less than a year ago. This is the President who captured our thoughts, resurrected our ideals and promised us a change. Now in his first major effort we are about to see him cut off at the knees. And make no mistake about it, it IS personal.
If you think for a moment that it is not personal, look at this week’s brouhaha. The President planned to make a short web-speech for the students of the country. One would think that the President addressing school children would be a good thing. As a child I was taught to respect the President and our government. Yes, political differences do come later, but as a child, isn’t respect for the government a part of innocence? How can parents or school officials instill such distrust in a youngster because of their own political leanings or prejudices. There is something about this that is not morally right. How does one explain to a little one that they will not be going to school because the President is speaking over the web.
Do we remember that when our previous President actually visited schools and by example taught the children they could read from a book while holding it upside down? There was no hue and cry that would have him dishonored and have the students not show up because he was to be there. To bring children into this fight is unconscionable.
I do believe the far-right is at war with this President. Rifles, revolvers, automatic weapons, all of these have been brought to Town Hall Meetings where the President is present. What reason could there be for their presence, except to provide a means for intimidation of the crowd. I shudder to think what might happen if someone or something enflames that same crowd. There is no way, legal or otherwise, that a thinking man or woman should be anywhere in proximity to any US President while carrying a firearm.
I am a gay man, and as such, I am very afraid to think what this opposition to any Barak Obama proposal might mean for future social legislation in this country. I am worried about the course of GLBT Rights and the promised reversal of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and the hateful, unworkable “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” Will hate-speak block these in the same way health care reform is being blocked. Gay Rights Issues are more controversial in many ways, so it could be that what you are seeing now is a harbinger of what is to come in the next years. If people are not willing to rise up against this unreasonable and unreasoned onslaught being directed at every move this President makes, then what we reap will be more of the same things we experienced during the Bush years. We have an obligation not to remain silent, or when the legislation dear to our hearts is proposed, we will be victims of this same flaming from the fanatics to the Right..
I cannot believe this is what the majority of voters are looking for. We can either act, or live in a world where any hope of effective government has been hijacked and we are left in the smoldering ruins of what truly was a “Noble Experiment.”