It appears as though America is divided as much as ever. On one side we have the supporters of the charismatic President Obama who are so fervent in their loyalty to him the phenomenon can be likened to adoration of a rock star. On the other side we have his opponents who are just as fervent, fierce actually, in their opposition to the President. The opposition appears to be led by entertainers, not journalists, men such as Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, Jim Robinson, and leading newspapers such as the Washington Post, and a popular news source, Fox.
Liberal and progressive writers and broadcasters heap praise on Obama to the point where they are no longer watchdog journalists but cheerleaders. At the same time, Obama's detractors are attempting to outdo themselves in expressing their distain for what they consider a socialist or communist President.
Before I go any further, I should point out that I am not a progressive nor a liberal. I am a card-carrying Republican, a self-described moderate conservative.
I have also been a strong opponent of President Bush since March 19, 2003, the day America invaded Iraq.
As a moderate, I recognize the need for some type of federal stimulus to the economy.
As a conservative, I am appalled by the horrendous spending of federal dollars we have to borrow, and that this spending is without proper constraints on the recipients of the largesse.
I share with my Republican brethren the dismay of too much in so little time creating a legislative gridlock, all of which creates a scenario that can result in too little study and research into what we are doing.
That said, what is so ominous is that the rancor of divisiveness appears more harsh now than during the Bush administration, a period of strong antipathies between Americans.
Why is it more harsh than when Bush launched an illegal invasion of Iraq based on false pretences and usurped the U.S. Constitution, including the suspension of habeas corpus, the hallmark of any democracy?
Despite over 4,200 dead American troops and over 35,000 wounded and over a trillion dollars in wasted treasury, in essence the war in Iraq affected only a small percentage of Americans.
Contrasted to today, the economic perfect storm is affecting nearly every American. Many have lost their jobs. Many have lost their homes. Everyone with IRA's and 401K's have seen their retirement savings cut in half, or worse, and are re-adjusting their retirement plans, meaning they are going to have to work longer than expected.
Unlike the crisis created by the Bush administration which affected a few, the global economic meltdown is affecting the many. The ominous nature of our current crisis is that we should be pulling together, not pulling ourselves apart. One is reminded of the old saw: "We will hang together or we will hang separately."
And yet, the dialogue today is becoming more strident, not less so, almost to the point of being hair-raising as the "entertainers" try to outdo themselves.
Take, for example, Jim Robinson. Robinson is the editor of the right-wing Web forum, Free Republic. Recently he stated, "Unfortunately, we are saddled with a communist sympathizer in the White House. I don't know whether or not he's an actual card carrying commie, but he's definitely an America-hating, anti-capitalist Marxist leftist who thinks communism is the way to go."
Some of us are old enough to remember when the label, "communist" or "commie" was not some outmoded term as it is today. We come from an era during which "communists" such as Stalin, Mao Tse-Tung, Fidel Castro were not idle threats to our way of life, but real life threats to the entire Western democratic civilization. Robinson's use of the term to describe our President is beneath contempt.
Dare I use an aged term to describe Robinson? Fascist would be most appropriate.