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You've Got To Hate ... Forget The Issues!

By       Message Jon Faulkner       (Page 1 of 1 pages)     Permalink

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Monsters, if they expect to frighten anyone, must have some human qualities. They can’t scare us if we don’t recognize ourselves in them. Monsters know we use them to tell the truth about ourselves. We expect - demand - a performance, and when it’s over we are free to celebrate our rejuvenated innocence, our blamelessness. The monster invites us to see through its eyes. That is why there must be fences around high places. We want to look, and fall.

The south and the interior of the country voted for Bush, and despite the necessity to steer away from more economic, international and domestic disasters, they will vote for McCain. Any sane person has got to wonder if soup is washing around in the heads of these Red State folks. Eight years of bailouts culminating in the biggest one of all time, the $700 billion giveaway to the banks. The body counts rising daily from two illegal wars that were dumped on the nation by a string of outrageous lies from the highest officials in government. The ramifications of that will reverberate for many, many years as the Iraqi’s and Afghani’s count their dead and other Muslim nations understand that the U.S. has never been, and will never be, their friend. But these issues are not the republican voter’s priority. Keeping a democrat out of office is. They will happily chop their noses off to spite their faces if Obama can be kept away from the White House.

Exxon rakes in record $12 billion dollar quarterly profits as consumers pay Exxon’s taxes at the pump, and that’s only one corporation taking obscene profits. There’s Bush’s withdrawal from the ABM Treaty. Since incurious George elbowed his way into office, the national dept, the budget deficit, and the trade deficit, have all taken off like Fourth of July Rockets. His signing statements may be the only creative thing he’s ever thought of as they undermine hundreds of federal laws. Eight years of Bush have eviscerated the U.S. Constitution, and for the first time in over 100 years, military forces have been domestically deployed in the event, or the anticipation, of civil unrest.

To put it in very simple terms that anyone can understand, eight years of Bush have left Americans holding their collective butts after Bush and Co. have had their way with them. McCain/Palin promise more of the same, and the south and the Midwest can’t wait for their next hammering. Limbaugh, the apoplectic O’Reilly, and others of their ilk, keep republican supporters in a state of constant angst, intentionally disregarding the issues, and insuring the continued hatred of democrats. It works well, but it’s poisonous for the nation’s health.

Elections are no longer about policy, or the wanton betrayal of America by its elected “leaders.” It’s about two sides that have drawn apart in a nation that used to celebrate diversity and debate. The two sides have become polarized, endemically oriented to particular regions of the country. They have aligned themselves against what appears to each as an enemy, while failing to recognize that democracy works because of differing points of view which should, in the interests of good government, be respected by those who would make the nation’s laws. The Republican Party has been largely responsible for the openly contemptuous disrespect that they project across the aisle. The democrats fight back, still believing that courtesy and good manners are an essential part of successful communication. The republicans wouldn’t have it any other way as they take the democrats considerations and beat them upside their heads with them.

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The U.S. must do better than this if it’s to be accepted in a world of differing perspectives. It’s not that simple for McCain to say “I can find Bin Laden so vote for me.” A divided nation is weak. When its people can’t come together United, as in States, there is a great trouble in the land. Michelle Bachmann is a republican congresswoman running for reelection in Minnesota. She’s so anxious to exploit right wing hate that she stuck her foot in her big, stupid mouth while gargling, “there ought to be investigations to root out anti-American thoughts.” Orwell and the thought police? The cherubic Newt, raising his scaly, ugly head, was quick to jump on the hate train. He called for a "reexamination of free speech, saying a “different set of rules to prevent terrorism” is necessary. Ms. Bachmann, not to be outdone, allowed how Barrack Obama holds “anti-American” views. The right wing has stumbled upon a technique whereby it can influence republican voters in a whirlwind of hate and invective. Congratulations? Or please find time to examine your emotional imbalances? Whatever you do, try to put your biggest, most pointy thinking cap on, and understand what you’re doing to the nation you profess to love.

That conservative republicans hate liberal democrats is no secret. Ann Coulter, Bill O’Reilly, Rush Limbaugh and others, broadcast a constant barrage of misinformation designed to bring out the worst qualities of their listeners. Sarah Palin deliberately incites her audience to anger and hatred to the point that her audience calls for the killing of the opposition candidate. The Fairness Doctrine was done away with by the Reagan Administration, and that move opened the door for hate radio and television, and the republicans lost no time in exploiting it. It spread to the Evangelical Christians whose preachers spread the hatred to their congregations, calling democrats such things as baby killers, un-American, and immoral.

Newt Gingrich assembled lists of words and instructed republican politicians to use the words in conjunction with any communications they might have with their constituency. Betray, cheat, decay, disgrace, endanger, greed, traitors, and of course the ever popular liberal, are only some of the pejoratives the republicans use in their attacks against democrats. Some of Newt’s code words applied to himself. He was faced with no less than 84 ethics charges, as well as income tax evasion. He was sanctioned by his own colleagues, and fined $300,000 which his friend Rupert Murdoch helped him raise.

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If the Fairness Doctrine had been in place, Newt could not have gotten away with using his code words against democrats. A defense would have been enjoined, and the public would have been informed, or reminded, of Newt’s ethics and tax troubles and Newt would have been rightfully exposed as the hypocrite he is. The Fairness Doctrine was based on the very simple premise that because the public owned the airwaves it was of great concern that all political dialogue be met with a rebuttal of whatever untruths, accusations or slanders were made by either side. Mentioning the words “Fairness Doctrine” around right wing hate radio and T.V. hosts, is tantamount to shouting fire in a crowded theatre.

Newt all but destroyed the camaraderie that had existed in Congress. His influence encouraged many republican politicians to openly insult, slander, and belittle democratic Congressmen. Today Newt’s influence is seen in the ugly, vulgar invectives that are typical of talk radio and television. Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News Channel saw an opportunity to expand on Newt’s work. Fox began broadcasting flagrant lies, and openly discussed democrats in the most insulting and demeaning terms. Fox News had tried and convicted Bill Clinton long before Kenneth Starr began his investigations. Reagan’s termination of the Fairness Doctrine, Newt’s invective against democrats, and Fox News slanderous programming, have all contributed to the republican voter’s intense dislike of democrats.

It’s not at all necessary for the Red State folks to know about the issues. It’s enough that they know who is the democrat and who is the republican opponent. Issues do not matter. Despising democrats takes priority over all. The republicans have brought a terrible injustice upon the nation, and they continue their hateful tactics everyday. McCain lies desperately, knowing he’s trailing in the polls. And he‘s fearful that republican sleight in vote counting may not work this time. The swing states, and too close to call states, are experiencing record high registrations. Republicans know that historically, the larger the turn out on voting day, the less their chances are of winning office.

In 2000 the nation was witness to the crime of disrupting the vote. A right wing goon squad was sent from Washington to disrupt the recount at the Dade County Precinct. There they were, banging angrily on the door, behind which precinct workers were trying to count votes. The nation saw republican operatives disrupting the most vital function of democracy, and the media commented as if it were a traffic report. Many thousands of republicans cheered this desecration of the constitution - the same right wingers who are driven to lunacy over the issue of flag burning of defacement.

The great chasm, the deep rift that republicans have engineered between the two major parties can probably not be repaired. A most essential part of democracy has been destroyed through the constant vitriol and ad hominem attacks from the right wing. It would take a tremendous effort on the part of both parties, the Fairness Doctrine must be restored, and hate radio and television would have to encourage tolerance and welcome divergent views again. Imagine Limbaugh, O’Reilly, or Coulter agreeing to that. It would mean the end of their fat paydays, and between the money and the nation, such people are not going to give up the money. Republican supporters will vote against their interests because for them, their hatred of liberals, as painted by hate radio and T.V, is the only issue of concern.

Democracy is a system that always leads to self sacrifice. But Reagan liked to say, and every republican in Congress liked to echo …“If business were run like the government the economy would collapse.” This was considered a great sound bite even though it didn’t make any sense, and today it’s plain the opposite has been proven true. But the republican voter bought it, and had yet another reason to despise the liberal, free spending government. Explaining that government’s role in promoting the common good is not something done for profit, but to make the nation stronger so that every citizen may be given every opportunity that government can afford, is futile. Such an explanation doesn’t jibe at all with the republican idea that capitalism is all important, and government has no business subsidizing education, building affordable housing, assuring seniors a dignified, painless retirement through Social Security. Republican voters listened to the charges leveled against democrats, and broke their foolish necks nodding in agreement with Limbaugh and O’Reilly.

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A neighbor is a staunch republican and wouldn’t dream of supporting any other party. His wife was afflicted with a terrible illness - a life threatening illness. The neighbor, being a man of ordinary means, appealed to the government for help and for over two years, and at a cost of hundreds of thousands of dollars, his wife’s life was prolonged. The neighbor, during all that time, never stopped harping against the liberal, tax and spend government. He was astonishingly divorced from any consideration of gratitude towards the tax and spend liberals. He never missed an episode of his favorite television program …. The Rush Limbaugh Show. For the neighbor issues didn’t matter. His only concern was remaining a loyal “Ditto Head,” and voting against those immoral, baby killing, liberal democrats.

 

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Jon Faulkner is a licensed Master Mariner. He has long considered the conservative republican mindset a form of mental illness. He lives in northern Maine.

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