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When Will GOP Leaders Denounce the Pyromaniacs?

By       Message Robert McElvaine       (Page 1 of 4 pages)     Permalink

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Threatening as they are, the fires burning around Los Angeles are not the most dangerous flames being fanned by hot hair in America these days.

"There is a coup going on," Glenn Beck lied to his radio followers on Monday. "There is a stealing of America, and the way it . . . has been done [is] through the -- the guise of an election."

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Mr. Beck's incendiary and absurd charge is but one among a growing cacophony of extremely dangerous, radical nonsense being regurgitated by right-wing commentators, with the active or passive complicity of leading Republicans. They are playing with fire, and if they do not cease, someone -- or, quite possibly, the entire nation -- is going to get burned.

It is time for every voice of decency in America to be raised in unison to say firmly and unequivocally: "STOP!"

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The venom being spewed against President Obama by Republicans and the screaming heads of Faux News and talk radio -- "Communist!" "Nazi!" "Death Panels!" "He's a secret Muslim!" "He's not an American citizen!" "He wants to kill Grandma!" "Take OUR country back!" -- goes far beyond the bounds of political debate. So does the carrying of firearms to appearances by the President.

Do these wild-eyed people on the right really want to reap what they are sowing?

What they are sowing is unmistakable. If you lead people to think that a black Communist-Nazi-Muslim-racist President who is not an American citizen and wants to euthanize old people has stolen America by taking power through a coup, you cannot fail to know what you are saying to your gullible listeners.

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Nor can you fail to know what it is going to lead some of them to think it is their patriotic duty to do.

We've Been Down This Road Before

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Robert S. McElvaine is a professor of history at Millsaps College and the author of ten books. He is a frequent contributor to the op ed pages of the major national newspapers and blogs for the Huffington Post. His latest book is "Grand Theft (more...)

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