Sunday, August 22, 2010

What's at stake in November

My commenters at DetNews freaked me out this morning. I've known some of these guys for years and while I've been irritated by their capacity for cognitive dissonance, I considered them bascially good people. But today, in response to my latest post in a series on the violent rhetoric of the far right, more than one actually told me that "killing for liberty" is not only okay, it's justifiable. So they've gone from claiming they don't condone violence and that these are just "lone wolves" to it's okay to kill your fellow Americans who don't subscribe to your political ideology.

Over the great orange Satan, this poster touches on the same metamorphosis and expresses some of the emotions I've having over this development. Worth reading in full, but here's some of the salient points:
The question of protecting the nation or the principles on which it was built is no longer the focus of "conservative" arguments -- it's not even a side note -- because this group no longer makes any distinction between the common good and their own self interest. They have reached the conclusion that their success is worth any price, even if that price is fatal to the founding principles of the nation. They have no canon but victory, no concept of restraint.

What we're facing in a few short weeks is a critical test; one that I believe may do more to determine our future than any action inside our own borders for over a century. ...It's the idea that personality can outweigh facts, and that force can author "justice" as well as any law. It's the conviction that those with hard-won knowledge are dangerous, and need to be overruled by "common sense." It's the view that history has an unfortunate bias, one that can be adjusted with a careful "correction" of the textbooks. It's the doctrine that only a portion of the populace is Real Americans deserving of liberty, and the rest must be dealt with as enemies. ...

Those that have taken the place of the traditional Republican Party (and the once reasonable politicians who have thrown over their long held ideals to grovel for these new masters) are not just battling with some aspects of science, they're waging war on reason. Not just tinkering with immigration policy, but sharply narrowing the meaning of the word "American." What's at stake isn't whether laws will be passed favorable to our positions, or whether laws will be passed that we don't like -- the real question is whether the United States will continue as a nation of laws.
GOPers create wedge issues of hate every cycle, but this one suddenly seems much more dangerous to me than ever before. I don't actually think most of the blowhards of the far right have the courage to actually go out there and face death for liberty, but it seems they're willing to cheer from the sidelines to encourage the crazies who do.

Maybe it's just that this cold is making me feel weak and crummy, but today for the first time, I'm really scared in a way I've never been before.

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