Thursday, September 10, 2009

Joe Wilson, GOP, pushing fear, stupidity

Rep. Joe Wilson's voice rang throughout the chamber. "You lie!" said the Republican from South Carolina, disregarding the decorum normally afforded to a president before a joint session of Congress.

This sort of behavior, unfortunately, is now typical of the right wing in this country. In the same speech, several conservative lawmakers held up pamphlets of their own health bill (that would give a $5,000 credit to families to pay for premiums, while the average cost of premiums for a family of four is $13,000); House Minority Whip Eric Cantor was also seen texting on his blackberry several times while the president spoke.

That's just the tame stuff. Conservatives across the country have engaged in shouting matches in Democratic politicians' town hall meetings. One conservative pastor says that he wants Obama to die. One school that refused to let students hear Obama's speech on the importance of education and self-determination now plans to bus those same students to hear former (Republican) president George W. Bush speak.

Extreme conservatism is driving this country to a boiling point politically. The normal talking points of a conservative -- concerns over costs, implementation, etc. -- have been replaced with irrational fears and, consequently, behavior. Fears over "death panels," immigrants abusing a public option plan, "birthers" continuing to assert Obama isn't a citizen...these are all arguments that carry no substance.

And yet, politicians and commentators continue to push them.

There's one simple explanation: they know it works. More Americans are starting to believe these lies. If they repeat it enough, they just may be able to defeat health care reform, not through an alternative plan or true concern over the legislation being proposed, but through manipulating the people into believing things that are just plain untrue.

I agree with Keith Olbermann, who said tonight:
The time has come to rise up and take this country back...this nation cannot survive the continued acceptance, the continued endorsement, the continued encouragement, the continued institutionalization -- of stupidity.
Not every conservative is stupid -- not every American who believes the lies of the extreme right is stupid, either. But those who perpetuate those lies, who continue to believe with every fiber of their heart that they are true despite the evidence being presented to them daily, are stupid.

We need to reclaim our country. Support those politicians who bring an informed approach to the debate -- not those who are only trying to scare you. The fears they are trying to sell you pale in comparison to the actual situation millions of Americans face currently in this health care debate.

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