Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Hatred, a new American family value?

Hatred is easy. Hatred requires no thought, no research, no hard decisions. It just needs you to be angry and ignorant.

Americans are mentally lazy. Oh, they can work their asses off at their job, in their homes and in their recreation but within their brains, they've taken a nap. They don't want to think about the hard stuff like politics and issues and shit happening on the other side of the world. That stuff is hard so they outsource the decision making to others.

Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh provide an easy place for those decisions to be made. In return, they give these people a place to voice their anger and to lay blame for all the shit happening in their lives. No need to look at the facts because Beck and Limbaugh will provide them too.

Once upon a time, the average American citizen was a person of reasonable intellect. He fought in the big wars, came home to college, got a good job in the big factories, made a decent living and gave back to the community. He/She raised their kids to be wary of strangers but give people a chance to prove themselves. This is called progress.

But you can't get stinking rich off the ignorance of people if the country trends progressive. Enter the GOP.

From the administration of Herbert Hoover to the 'Contract on America' of Newt Gingrich, Republicans have taken steps to keep Americans from realizing their potential. To the Republican mind, 'Progress' is backward thinking. To be progressive is to be anti-American, an enemy bent on destroying the country and killing puppies for sport. To arrive at this thinking, they've skillfully crafted campaigns of ignorance and name calling, fomenting hatred of those who are different and fostering suspicion of everything that doesn't fit their narrow view of what's right. Hatred has found its champion.

The drumbeat has been loud and constant. The first sounds came from Barry Goldwater's campaign in 1964 but failed to gather the storm. Lessons were learned and methods were changed. When Ronald Reagan became president in 1980, they had their man. The drum beat of hatred and ignorance had found its orchestra.

Now, in 2010, we live with the drum beat constant in our ears. The Media has been beaten down to where they follow the beat on every broadcast, every page, every story. Not an issue goes by where the Media doesn't frame each report through the lens of the Republican hate machine.

We have enemies abroad that seek to do us harm. They attacked us and have taken lives here at home and in the deserts of the Middle East. They don't number that many, not as many as we would assume considering the casualties they've inflicted upon us. Considering the scope of what we've been fighting, the prospects of victory seem simple but frustratingly out of reach. Our enemies attacked us on Sept. 11, 2001 for reasons that seem bullshit on the surface but still knocked us on our ass. We had placed troops in Saudi Arabia at the behest of the Saudi government much to the consternation of the radicals in the Muslim faith. Saudi Arabia is their holy land. Would Catholics like the government of Iran to send troops to set up shop in the Vatican? Would the Baptists sit by and allow Libyan troops in Lynchburg, VA?

This doesn't validate their reasoning, nor does it absolve the radicals from their crimes against humanity. It just exists as evidence of what they believed.

Our response was swift but got off track almost immediately. Instead of attacking Al-Qaeda, we attacked Islam. The Republicans took the worst terrorist attack against Americans on American soil and perverted it to attack people who were merely of another faith, different but an easy target. They really held no animosity at Muslims but saw an opportunity to get stinking rich from the drum beat of hatred and ignorance they controlled. Start a war against Iraq, a country not involved in the 9/11 attacks but home to a lot of oil and a ready villain in Saddam Hussein. Our war in Afghanistan, which was in response to the attacks was placed on the back burner, even when we were so very close to catching the prize - Osama bin Laden, the leader of Al-Qaeda, himself.

For eight years, the administration of President George W. Bush, went to extraordinary means to craft the drum beat, make it louder and more intense. We saw Islamic enemies in every crowd, behind every tree, in every Mini-Mart. Violence against innocent people, immigrants and Americans alike, who followed Islam rose considerably. The mealy mouthed Bush went on the air to tell people that not all Muslims were evil but his words were shallow and weak, never intended to silence the drum beat. They were only intended to frame the issue and provide cover for the Republicans in the campaign of hatred and fear. Using this hatred, the Republican Party and their allies profited big time. Billions of dollars found their way into the open arms of those who beat the drums the loudest.

Now, we sit here on the raggedy edge of this campaign. Nothing Progressives have done since the election of Barack Obama has quelled the hatred. The Media still cowers in fear of going up against the drum beat. They drank deep from the kool-aid and won't do anything to anger the GOP hate machine. Without the Media, our words of hope and cooperation fall on deaf ears and do nothing but give the Republicans fodder to frame us as naive or worse collaborators with the enemy.

Ignorance and fear are not new to humanity, nor will they be leaving us very soon. Gather more than five people together and soon ignorance will rear its ugly head. Ignorance in humanity is as natural as taking a dump, but just as we've learned not to take a dump anywhere we please, we can learn not to dump our ignorance around as well.

Stupid comes naturally, you have to learn not to be. And, unfortunately, that's too hard for some Americans.

Update: One Fly has commented that it's not 'some' of them, it's more than we realize and they are proud of their stupidity. I absolutely agree. A stone is a stone and will never be a fish. There are some folks that will always be a stone - cold, hard, incapable of moving, only occupying space until gravity and time wear them down.

So Mote It Be,
David A.