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Waiting for the End of the World November 6, 2009

Posted by monty in politics.
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health-care-protest1

When did white people in this country get so angry?  Maybe it’s always been this way and I’m just now noticing it, but it strikes me as increasingly bizarre that the demographic that has been in control in this country since, well, ever, now seems to think they’ve lost their country, all because the Democrats want to make sure everyone has access to affordable health care.  How dare they?

I know I’m not the first one to point this out, but I think a lot of it has to do with – to put it politely – the darkening skin tone in this country.  I first became aware of this undercurrent of rage while living in Southern California.  The state’s reputation as being progressive, accepting, and forward-thinking is due primarily to the influence of San Francisco and Hollywood.  Venture outside those areas, though – to, say, Orange County or the desert communities in the central part of the state – and you’ll encounter racist rednecks that would have some Southerners smiling in admiration.  And they’re mad.  Boy, are they mad! They cover their cars with Confederate flags and iron crosses and bitch about Mexicans stealing their good jobs – because, you know, lots of white Californians are lining up to do yard work in Palm Springs.  But, again, it’s based in this weird notion that they’ve lost their country, despite the fact that white people overwhelmingly run the government, the insurance industry, the banks, and just about any other large-scale entity you’d care to name.

obamagrannyAnd now white folks are angry about health care.  The problem, of course, is that they’re not really angry about health care.  If health care was the problem, they’d trouble themselves to actually learn about the bill, do some research, figure out which specifics are most objectionable to them, and then launch a reasoned, intelligent campaign to effect change.  But no.  They repeat the same tired old lis that Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin and Rush Limbaugh and, sadly, Michelle Bachmann and other members of the Republican leadership have been spoon-feeding the more reality-challenged of the right-wing.  You know what I mean: death panels, Obama wants to kill your grandma, the government gets to choose your doctor, and the biggest bugaboo of all: SOCIALISM. Empty, meaningless catch-phrases all, and specifically designed by the right-wing to scare its followers into hating the Democrats more than they already do.

health-care-protest So now we get these hordes of angry white people descending on Washington every few weeks to protest something they don’t really understand.  It makes for good entertainment, and I guess it makes them feel better.  Chez, over at Deus ex Malcontent, does a nice job comparing the lunatic ravings of this week’s health care protest with the comparatively calm and rational protest last week against the meeting of the National Bankers Association.  But therein lies the problem.  How many of you actually knew there was a banking protest last week?  I didn’t.  Say what you will about the Republicans – both the sane and the insane among their ranks – they know how to get press and how to get things done.  While the left-wing splinters into the far-left, the moderates, and the Blue Dogs (who seem to just want to be Republicans but are afraid to come out of the closet), Bush, Cheney, and the GOP-controlled Congress at the early part of this decade would just ram any old thing they liked down the throats of the American voter.  Similarly, leftist protests are either veddy, veddy proper, like the banking one in Chicago, or they’re conducted by unabashed nut-jobs like Code Pink that no one can take seriously.  The Republicans, on the other hand, mobilize their supporters, get ex-politicians to craft strategies for disrupting town hall meetings and find billionaires to bus protesters to rallies. In politics – unlike athletics – the team that wins is the one that wants it more.  And the Republicans, simply put, don’t like feeling powerless.

I don’t know where that leaves us as a nation.  The irrational anger troubles me.  The fact that the number of threats against the president has increased 400 percent since Obama took office troubles me.  The fact that we don’t seem able to have a calm discussion about anything anymore troubles me.  I try – and try much harder than I’m used to – to be optimistic, but what this continually reveals about a large percentage of the American people is that they’re an ignorant, fearful, reactionary, easily influenced bunch.  I think things are only going to get uglier as we gear up for the 2010 midterm elections, and all hell is going to break loose in 2012.  I hope I’m wrong, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t already planning an exit strategy of my own.

*****

And then there’s this.  I didn’t want to devote a whole post to it, but since we’re on the subject of angry white people, I thought I’d share this little bit of spooky anti-Semitic mail I received yesterday.  A few weeks ago I wrote a post about Sarah Silverman, and in the process of researching her I found a really scary WordPress site essentially devoted to anti-Semitic ramblings about the Jewish conspiracy, Jewish inferiority, blah blah blah.  I posted a few condemnatory words about it, and then didn’t want to give it any more attention than it deserved.  Yesterday, on that post, I received this comment, from someone going by the name Jackumup:

Wow you kikesters are true Americans. Free speech by kikester definition means the ability to produce porn for profit with out fear of retribution from the catholic church as they did to your parasitic fore schemers in the 30’s, free speech means to write any accusations against Christians then scream ant-semitism when you are prosecuted, using christian laws against the Christians to silence them by funding your Marxist groups such as the ADL, ACLU, JDL, NAACP
And you wish you didn’t have to hear us tell the truth well, very soon you and yours won’ t have to, The day of the kikester is coming to an end

So, yeah.  It’s good to know I’m part of the kikester conspiracy to take over the world.  At least I’m in good company.

*****

Current listening:

Johnny grace

Johnny Foreigner – Grace and the Bigger Picture

Current reading:

BANR2005-full

George Saunders – “Bohemians” (in The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2005, ed. by Dave Eggers)

Last movie seen:

observe_and_report

Observe and Report (Jody Hill, dir.)

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Comments»

1. thoreauly77 - November 6, 2009

let the dummies beat drums and scrape sticks.

were it not for our mobilization and election of barack i would likely have zero faith in the democrats at this point, and i barely did one year ago, but right now i feel a bit better about it. however, there is no clear, discernible mobilization by us right now (that i can see) for any cause.

and whats with the little nazi guy? that email doesnt even make sense! blah blah jewy kikey blah blah kikey wikey jew blah.

huh?

2. Fred The Great - November 6, 2009

My own realization about politics, through discussions with hyper-liberal friends and ultra-conservative Tea Party going family is this: money still talks. When John Boehner can get on the Capitol Steps and say that Pelosicare is the biggest threat to Freedom in the 19 years as Congressman (which means he’s skipping terrorists, etc), and people cheer, its because they are too dumb to understand that when you are in crippling debt, there goes your freedom. The bill is far from perfect, but when you got no health insurance, you’re screwed. Watch how quickly the conservative code fails an idiot who gets slapped with a $50K bill, no matter how hard you work and no matter how good your insurance is. They’ll about face in a heartbeat.

The bitter old man in me says “Piss on them all.”

3. Katie Reed - November 6, 2009

How can one be Jewish and Marxist? I thought ol’ Marx didn’t think much of religion. Oh wait- most fundamentalist Christians can’t tell people different from them apart so we’re all one big stinky ball of sinners!

Good to know that they’ve finally gotten internet access to the trailer parks, though. Larry the Cable Guy’s blog must be blowing the fuck up.


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