Reaping the whirlwind…

So, as I’ve written many times before it appears the efforts by the right wing entertainment complex and Republican political establishment to whip up anger among elements of the population is leading to extremist activity.

Concern about possible violence also escalated Wednesday after a severed gas line at the home of a Democratic lawmaker’s brother was discovered.

Conservative activists in Virginia posted the home address of Perriello’s older brother — believing it to be the congressman’s address — when suggesting in Web postings that those who disagreed with the Democratic lawmaker’s vote should “drop by” to make their opposition clear.

Now, I’ve always felt that demonstrations (even passionate ones) are clearly part of free speech and should be allowed.  While demonstrations outside someone’s home may be socially out of bounds, so long as local laws are being observed they’re fine (after all, this is a favorite tactic of animal/environmental activists).

Remember ladies and gentlemen, we’ve still got 3 (or 7) years to go in an Obama administration and there’s no sign that the rhetoric (both official and unofficial) is about to get toned down.

And how, exactly, will things defuse when we have about one fifth of the population who believe absolutely crazy shit?

  • He was not born in the United States and so is not eligible to be president (25%)
  • He is a domestic enemy that the U.S. Constitutions speaks of (25%)
  • He is a racist (23%)
  • He is anti-American (23%)
  • He wants to use an economic collapse or terrorist attack as an excuse to take dictatorial powers (23%)
  • He is doing many of the things that Hitler did (20%)
  • He may be the Anti-Christ (14%)
  • He wants the terrorists to win (13%)

Now, my understanding is this poll was far short of perfect but really.  How are these people managing to get through the day without soiling themselves?

At this point, if something happens (hmmm….April 19 ring a bell?) I’m sure there will be a whole lot of people on the right stumbling over themselves to express their shock and condolences but there will be a clear line between their rhetoric and any extremist activity.

Who am I kidding?  They’ll deny any connection or claim it was the work of liberals.

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3 responses to “Reaping the whirlwind…

  1. I don’t disagree with you about the danger involved in this situation. But it seems to mirror things that were said by left-wind extremists during the Bush administration.

    What I find alarming about the US is the depth of hatred and anger that is routinely and openly expressed by people on different sides of any number of “debates”, e.g., healthcare reform, Israel, Iraq, WMDs, torture, terrorism, climate change, energy, etc.

    Where’s the “middle ground” in all this? They seem to lack a voice.

    • You’re right. Goofy, threatening and exaggerated rhetoric is not the exclusive domain of either of our political wings.

      I would say the difference is that the Left does not have a tradition (or at least a recent one) of militant language from elected officials. While there may have been some accusations of fascism or 9/11 conspiracy theories by some of the more hot headed Democratic members of congress I don’t think there was any talk about ‘revolution’, ‘watering the tree of liberty with the blood of tyrants’, or using the imagery of armed conflict in ambiguous ways that allow for literal interpretation.

      I really think that’s the key difference. When the ideological leadership refuses to restrain itself you can only expect your followers (who, we assume will be less likely to see nuance or shades of gray since they tend to get watered down versions of any particular issue) to be even more radical.

      Further, the ‘right’ has a much more impressive record of violent action over the past several decades. The Left generally confines itself to economic activity (although particularly in the West there are numerous incidents of intimidation by animal rights activists – although few, if any, actual injuries). The Right, however, has built up a significant body count.

  2. Good points. The language that right-wing nut-jobs use is pretty alarming, as are the attacks that they carry out.

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