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Sep 10, 2009

Apalled

I rarely listen to NPR although I love it. Generally, there is too much noise in the car and I struggle to hear the words- too often, I would find myself trying to rewind the radio- yeah, can't do that. In the evening I'm too tuckered to give NPR the brain power it deserves.

This morning however, I was able to listen to much of 'Fresh Air' as I drove around trying to get Julia to sleep before attending preschool this afternoon. The three in the car were relatively quiet, snacking and looking about. I listened and caught myself, mouth hanging open, jaw agape.

I purposely waited until tonight to write. I was hoping to make sense of it all. I can't.

According to this program, this author, Max Blumenthal, the coffers of the republican party are filling up, the money is being collected, the people are joining the grass roots republican movement. It is a machine that is being built upon rhetoric being pushed by fringe groups and adopted by mainstream republicans. IT IS OUTRAGEOUS!!!

There are accusations that Obama wasn't born here- "the birthers". Obama is being compared to Hitler, Stalin. He has been accused of trying to create concentration camps for right wing dissidents. This rhetoric is being reported and preached on popular right wing christian radio shows. Whatever can be done is being done to discredit Obama. He is accused of hanging out with terrorists, becoming Marxist.

The militia movement is on the rise. Conspiracy theories abound.

It is frightening. Because he is black, because he is a democrat, because he wants change...??? What are these people so afraid of? Why are they so filled with hate? I am having a difficult time not linking any christian, right wing, republican with this line of thinking. This crazy, hate filled, nasty way of thinking.

I am not these people- I don't claim to be anything like them. Not long ago I was clearly against Bush's politics, the war... I was not alone. But at no point, did I believe Bush to be a bad man. In fact, I was sure to be clear about that view.

If these extremists are unhappy with the current US president, so be it. There is free speech. They can say whatever they want. So can I. The scary, absolutely frightening part, is that this crazy way of thinking is being accepted by mainstream media, mainstream people. It isn't staying where it belongs, in the wings, the thoughts of a few, the crazy. Comparing, likening Obama to Hitler is being discussed on radio shows around the country- not just dismissed as lunacy.

I don't get it. I just don't get it...




4 comments:

Tracey - Just Another Mommy Blog said...

I don't understand it, either. The need to be cruel or ridiculous only makes it harder to be taken seriously and GET THINGS ACCOMPLISHED. If you're holding a picture of Obama with a Hitler moustasche, will that change his politics or simply alienate him from listening to your point of view? You know?

Gah. People are making me a little peeved today...

Melissa said...

I think it's horrifying that people are comparing Obama to Hitler, and it's great that you were careful to separate your disagreement with Bush's policies from any judgments on his worth as a human being, but ... many, many people were not so level-headed.

It's simple to find hundreds of examples of people (both common people and news stories) comparing Bush to Hitler. Here's a link to the first site that came up on my Google search, but it's just one of thousands. http://brain-terminal.com/posts/2009/08/20/hitler-comparisons

Such vitriolic name-calling is an awful thing to do to the current president; it was an awful thing to do to the previous president.

I don't know when we lost our ability to disagree with each other intellectually without seeing the other side as EVIL, but it happened long before Obama was president. Although NPR was less concerned about it (and Fox News more concerned about it) with Bush. Surely you noticed?

sweatpantsmom said...

I think I heard that same show on NPR, and had to turn it off. I agree that the scary part is that this type of thinking really is seeping out into the mainstream - I can't even begin to tell you the things I heard before the election from people who I had previously thought were reasonably sane.

honestybecomesme said...

Tricia,
Your blog is great... I appreciate your candor so much.
And I want to say as a conservative Christian who sometimes agrees with the republican party and sometimes not I'd like to warn you of just listening to one source for information. I love NPR as well, even though I would consider myself "sort of republican". I love getting other view points and keeping a balanced view. I watched a movement happen with Bush- people who didn't like him much in the begining became down right hateful at the end. Like you said- every one has the right to disagree but hateful attitudes and propaganda used to induce fear is wrong. I saw the democratic party do this. They used fear as a tool just as the republican party did. People now are scared- they have a President who inherited a MESS and is trying to deal with it while changing some very costly and serious problems with our country. I'm originally from northern Indiana where the unemployment is 20 percent- all they know is that President Obama promised them jobs and now they've been given money that they know isn't really ours- it's debt and they're angry. There's a lot of ignorance and people are fearful. I would just urge you to use caution with your labeling. I am a conservative Christian who who believes the Bible is truth- please do not put me in a box. Like you, I can disagree with a person's lifestyle and beliefs but still have respect for their person-hood. I would also strive to not assume that just because one or a few groups of people are saying something, such as Obama is like Hitler, that there is this tital wave of ignorant fanatics ready to sweep over you in the name of Christianity and right-wing fundamentalism. There is not. I listen to Christian radio every day and though I know these people do exist, have never heard anyone compare Obama to Hitler or call him the "anti-christ".Just like President Bush, a very unlucky president who did not always make the best decisions, is not a barely human monster, neither is Obama a communist ready to strip us of all our civil liberties. I have found the best way to kill ignorance is compassion, kindness even though insulted, and education.