I would have to agree with President Carter’s assessment, when he says that racism lies at the core of the current venomous attacks on President Obama. (To be clear, Carter said that he was talking about a “radical fringe element”, rather than all people who oppose Obama’s policies). While the extreme language and behavior of many people involved in the Tea Party movement in addition to the rantings of people like Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh has been veiled in manufactured political causes, they are clearly driven by anger that a black man is sitting in the White House. At best, they are attempting to tap into the undercurrent of “white man’s anger”, especially in the southern states, in order to score political points. We also have people like Michelle Malkin attacking Mrs. Obama, and a pastor in New Mexico preaching that the President and his family should die and go to hell. All of this is symptomatic of a concerted effort to de-legitimize Barack Obama’s presidency before he has even been in office for one year.
When people refuse to listen to reason and continually ignore the facts as they are presented to them, then hallucinate nefarious schemes such as death panels, secret nationalist armies, and concentration camps for political enemies, we are witnessing the kind of ignorance and fear that are the building blocks of bigotry. When people scream, “I want my country back!”, they’re really saying that the President of the United States isn’t a true American. When they walk around carrying signs that say “Bury Barry with Teddy” and hold up forged Kenyan birth certificates, they’re saying that they truly believe the President is the enemy. One man even stated on camera at a Tea Party rally that Obama was more dangerous to the United States than Osama Bin Laden. This is not rational behavior, and it’s edging closer to sedition every day.
This monster has been created by the right-wing of the Republican Party and the Tea Party movement, whose organizer is a blatant racist. On his website, he refers to the President as an “Indonesian, Muslim communist thug”. Like any good propagandist, he hand-picked each of those words to push the most sensitive buttons without regard to the fact that none of them have a thing to do with reality. Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh and Michelle Malkin are the incendiary personalities who are inciting these crowds with their strident and almost comical accusations. At a certain point, this country is going to have to deal with them, just like it dealt with Joseph McCarthy, another political opportunist with a sick agenda.
If you think Joe Wilson would have yelled “You lie!” to a white president, you’re on crack. Mr. Wilson, a member in good standing of the Sons of the Confederacy as well as other organizations with ties to white supremacists, is an overt racist. He has also been a staunch proponent of making the Confederate flag the standard for his state. On top of violating decorum during a presidential appearance before a joint session of Congress with his Tourette’s-like outburst, he was just plain wrong. All five of the reform proposals currently before Congress contain ‘verification’ provisions. Just because those provisions don’t go as far as he would like them to go does not mean they are not there. The Republican amendments which were voted down required that emergency room doctors and nurses refuse treatment until an incoming patient’s status had been verified by some unnamed bureaucrat. Imagine a situation where a bleeding child who has been hit by a car is brought into ER and somebody who looks like Joe Wilson steps in and says “Don’t touch that child until we make sure he’s not another Mexican trying to get free health care.” Preposterous.
The longer that the Republican Party remains in denial about the emergence of racism within its own ranks, the sooner this country is going to have a one-party system. The problem is that the GOP actually relishes this grotesque phenomenom because it is energizing its notorious right-wing base and creating doubt among more impressionable independents. For that reason, you will never hear Michael Steel admit that there is any racism going on in the Republican Party and that all these lunatics at Tea Party rallies are just hard-working Americans who hate President Obama’s policies. Of course, we’re talking about the policies as characterized by the likes of Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh and Michelle Malkin.
Here is another interesting and eye-opening video which compares Canadian health care to the U.S.: