This was the inevitable piggy backing of the Arizona law that at its core speaks to an arrogant disdain for constitutional boundaries, individual rights, and the movement to subvert the Fourteenth Amendment that is now encouraged by national Republican leaders. The national polls show that a majority of Americans now support Arizona's approach to immigration. And political pundits have been beating down on Obama for not buckling to the so-called "will of the people."
That same argument was made during slavery time when owning Black people was the law of the land. Had Gallup polled the American public back then as to if slavery was right their polls would have returned near record numbers in the affirmative. But it was wrong, inhuman, and brutal no matter the rationale. Heck, even Jesus Christ failed the popularity contest for what was right. The point here is that not because a poll says that public opinion is on the side of Arizona's racial profiling pseudo-immigration law makes it morally right. A majority of people can be wrong and on contentious an issue as the Arizona law they most certainly are.
Over a quarter of a century ago a Democratic governor commenting on the rancorous political climate in The United States at the time opined "we put all the hate groups in one pot and let it boil." Today, that pot is still boiling, is more toxic than ever, and now has technology on its side. Infact, it has spilled over into mainstream America and has poisoned the atmosphere in a way not seen or witnessed before.
No issue is sacred in these times. Taking genuine problems and people's fears and mixing that up with bigotry and hate is now the recipe to win elections and regain political power. As wrong-headed and counter-productive as that sounds it is now the driving force in US politics today as bigotry and racism are now almost accepted in mainstream American politics as the public, beaten down, confused and angry, have become immune to the toxic hate brew.
I believe that politics is the honorable pastime of the people and that it is basically a good and decent profession. But it has been subverted, sullied and dirtied by people who have forgotten what it is to be a servant of the people. Arrogance born of long incumbencies has dictated how politicians behave on a daily basis. There is a chilling disregard for the core principles that this country was founded on. Increasingly, this intoxicating political brew has created a kind of moral bankruptcy in both the Republican and Democratic parties.
In recent times Americans have had to witness the painful saga of an obscene public political squabble between a president fighting to do right by the American people by passing healthcare reform, a jobs program, an economic stimulus package to drag America out of a crippling recession the worst in 50 years - and the obstructionist policy that prolonged the pain of millions of Americans out of work. Now we see a renewed attack on the Constitution that would if they get their way make children born in the USA to undocumented parents non-citizens.
This is simply a debate to score partisan points by attacking the most vulnerable in our midst. It is a debate predicated on division, discrimination, bigotry and anger aggravated by the very difficult economic situation. In New York City we now have the politicization of the proposed building of a mosque close to Ground Zero. This event has drawn the ire of Republicans who oppose its building.
The sad thing is that the proposed site for the building is privately owned. The opponents of the project have been stirring up the dangerous brew of shortsightedness, bigotry and political opportunism to whip up community opposition. These calculating politicians have spun this simple proposal into a referendum on Islam, obliquely equating a noble religion with terrorism and unfairly stereotyping it along the way. By scurrilously whipping up fear and resentment and rubbing the still raw wounds of September 11, 2001 these political leaders believe that public outrage will win them elections. They have thrown out the long American tradition of religious freedom and tolerance.