The Very Worst of America

I was shocked last evening when a clip of a health-care demonstration was aired that showed a man with Parkinson’s Disease was mocked and scorned by anti-health-care demonstrators.  Pay especially close attention to the man with the white shirt, sun glasses and tan pants just to the left of the sign, behind the man with the baby. He is especially egregious.  Why was he so angry?  What was the cause of his display of inhumanity?  What does he have to ‘lose’ in this health-care legislation that caused him to lower himself to a school yard bully?  I’d like to know.

The things that were being yelled at the man including ‘communist’ brings me back to the winter of 2002-2003 when I, too, stood up for what I believed and was similarly derided, mocked and literally spat upon.

It was during the run-up to the Bush War on Iraq when all of America was yelling war and blood at the top of their voices- completely bamboozled by the Rovian propaganda and the right-wing media. Each Sunday afternoon a group of ‘NO WAR’ demonstrators would gather at a busy intersection in Toledo and we would be the targets of ‘righteous’ abuse by those passing by.

We were called every 4-letter word known as well as ‘communists’ and ‘pinkos’ and, of course, ‘traitors.’  For them, a traitors apparently is a person does not do what the propagandists tell them to.  We were told to ‘go back where we came from!’ and to ‘go to Baghdad and be with our friend, Saddam!’

Naturally, we were derided as unpatriotic and surely we ‘didn’t support the troops!’

My homemade sign read, “Support the Troops- Send them Home.”

It is amazing what comes out of people- as in the video above- when they are confronted with the truth.  The truth hurts.  The truth disables.  And the person then lowers himself to base, sub-human instincts and behavior.

I often wonder about those people who passed by us on those cold street corners that awful winter.  Do they still ‘see us’ in their memories?  Do they wish that the scene would go away? Have they grown through the experience? Did they learn something?  I hope so.


16 thoughts on “The Very Worst of America

  1. This really doesn’t surprise me as a gun control activist. The level of debate has fallen to a level where others are ridiculed and ignored. While someone like a mike w. will accuse me of “belittling others” due to my pointing out that his debating technique is based upon misinterpretation of the facts. Additionally, he continued to bother me (and may still attempt to do so).

    My experience was not as bad as Southern Female Lawyer who told me:

    It does strike me as odd that they fixate on a handful of bloggers so. And the whole nasty glee of outing you was very sad – much like when they outed my husband. Fools. Back during that whole shitstorm, I talked to my local cop buddy as well as some lawyer buddies that practice in these areas. I was primarily concerned with my husband, but also concerned over the posts I read that gave out our personal information (and the fellow who professed to be ‘watching’ us via googlemaps). I had plenty of screen shots where they gleefully discussed what they were doing to my husband. In the end, however, I thought making nice was the best approach. And the more responsible pro-gun folk took down the posts that were handing out my personal information. I wasn’t so concerned about a professional outing as I was some nut showing up at my house.

    Given my background, which they know since they have found my CV, they still refuse to give my thoughts any weight.

    So, it wouldn’t surprise me one bit that people of this ilk would make fun of the misery of others.

  2. I should add that one result of this is that I won’t be posting anymore on mikeb or foggy bottom line anymore.

    But that frees me up for better dialogue on blogs such as microdot’s and this one!

    Not such a bad result!

  3. Laci- It is curious at best that these hard right-wingers are so thoroughly brainwashed by the propaganda that they listen to. I have come to the non-scientific conclusion that there must be some gene that controls the “belief in propaganda.” It is clear to me that you, Microdot, Engineer, UptheFlag and Steve inherited the ‘recessive propaganda’ gene. We question quite a lot before making up our minds.

    My son taped a poster to his bedroom wall when he was about 15 that simply read, ‘Question Authority.’ [I note that MSNBC’s Dylan Ratigan speaks of that very sign.] At first my wife and I were shocked as any parent of a teen would be. Yet, we bit our tongue and said not a word about it. I am delighted that my son today is a well-informed, compassionate, well-rounded and fully functioning adult and father of two inquisitive boys of his own. I suspect that the ‘recessive propaganda’ gene was nicely passed on to my grandsons, too.

  4. Your doing your best, M_R, to convince me that it is “hopeless”, like you wrote previously. Not there yet! But, I’m losing every day…Now, it’s the Texas textbook selection by the State School Board, and demanding that Jefferson be omitted as a revolutionary writer (yet he wrote the Declaration of Independence) and the bringing in of Calvin and other fundamentalist religious ideas into the textbooks. The problem is that because Texas has the most students the textbooks of the other States will be adopting whatever books Texas uses.

  5. Yes, UptheFlag, TEXAS again!

    I’d like to send $100 donation to the group of Texans who want to succeed from the Union. Do you know their address?

    Forty-nine stars on the flag is fine with me.

  6. Jefferson a revolutionary writer? This is a very amusing concept that I somehow missed. It sounds like a fun blog post.

    In my alternative reality where the American Independence movement is assuaged leading to a British North America (think of an intelligent and more pragmatic Canada), the Republic of Texas exists as a buffer zone where the loony right lives. Fortunately, it has neither the wealth nor the power to be as much of a force for evil that the United States has become since the BNA is part of a much larger former Empire.

    Regarding Question Authority, there must be some synergy here since I was thinking of that. It is a good idea to question authority. Authority should never be followed blindly. on the other hand, one should give some weight to those who have knowledge on a topic. You can question the authority, which is something that I do. But that means looking in depth at what you are told and examining it for yourself.

    If you question one authority, you should question the other as well and make up your own mind. Being liberal means that you are not closed minded, but open to new ideas.

    Anyway, propaganda is very seductive, especially for the simple minded since it goes for the visceral rather than the intellectual. It is something that I post about frequently:

    Learning to spot it is helpful in counteracting it.

    Also, people are more inclined to accept things which affirm their beliefs rather than challenge them. Again, from the world of gun control, the examples of the Lott and Kleck DGU studies which have been thoroughly discredited
    Still, some people choose to cite these as “proof” that DGUs are frequent.

    While I like Michael Bellesisles’ Arming America, I can disagree with some of the things he says. On the whole, I believe he is correct that guns were not common in colonial America. But, this also comes from my verifying that the navigation acts prevented US manufacturing, in particular, the manufacturing of firearms. That occurred in Birmingham, England.

    I am not accepting Bellesisles based upon that I am for gun control, I am accepting it based upon my examination of other historical facts.

  7. Hello Muddy,
    When you ask, “What does he have to ‘lose’ in this health-care legislation that caused him to lower himself to a school yard bully?” This comes as no surprise to me as this less than intelligent Teabagger’s mocking are just emulating Rush Limbaugh’s attack on Michael J. Fox’s Parkinson disease. These are the tactics of those who cannot use the basic tools of Logical Argumentation one learns from an English 101 class. Be it from their lack of education or too ignorant to implement them.

    Much like the well respected German philosopher, “Arthur Schopenhauer” who was known for his philosophical clarity once said,

    “All truth passes through three stages.
    First, it is ridiculed.
    Second, it is violently opposed.
    Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.”
    Arthur Schopenhauer (1788 – 1860)

    What you are seeing in this video clip is the transition between the first two stages….and in our life time; we will see the third stage as the clarity emerges.

    What comes to my mind was those who did not want man’s basic civil rights recognized to others in Alabama, Mississippi, etc. during the early to mid 1960’s. Many will remember the violent opposition street demonstrations much like you are seeing from the actions of those against Health Care Reform. History’s 20/20 hind sight vision of the Civil Rights era document well the stupidity of those opposed and how wrong they really were on that issue. The future will place the Rush Limbaugh’s Bobble Heads and Teabaggers in this same light.

    Hello Uptheflag,
    I too can do well without Texas. :-)

  8. Laci @ the Republic of Texas exists as a buffer zone where the loony right lives.

    Wouldn’t it be simple to round up all of the loony right-wingers and pay their train shipment to the Texas border? They could a have great time in the Sovereign Republic of Texas. It would be like children set loose in a candy store! My mind explodes with thoughts of what they could ‘do’ with their own country.

    Of course, one would have to wall-off the city of Austin where the common-sense citizens of the state live. It would be like Berlin during the air-lifts of Soviet occupation of the Eastern sector.

    We could drop the citizens of the city CARE packages so that they could sustain themselves while plans were being made to evacuate them from the surrounding barbarians.

  9. EoK, I hope you are right that reason will soon prevail.

    Muddy, the Republic of Texas concept is sounding more and more interesting. Would we have a cold war with this entity where we beamed liberal ideas via radio and TV? Would the people of Austin try to escape the RoT? Would it develop as vibrant a culture as Berlin did?

    Of course, in this reality, no one in their right mind would live in the RoT. We would be like Canada during the VietNam War where our borders were open to those with a conscience.

  10. And the dialogue today here in France deals with the program that France2 dared to air last night. I am sure that you will hear the echo of the the opening of the can of worms….
    It dealt with an experiment. A phony game show that pushed the level of willingness to go beyond any norms of what we accept as normal empathetic behaviour.
    It was based on a an experiment performed in America in the early 60’s.
    The show recruited contestants who were vetted by telling that hey were participating in a pilot episode. They were paired up with a lottery so that they believed that they and their partner was going to win money in the game.
    The game? The “partner” was placed in an isolation chamber with electrodes attached to him. The other participant was expected to deliver an electric shock to the “partner” and in most cases the participant ended up delivering a shock that was fatal as the game progressed.
    The participant was goaded on by a hostess, who encouraged them to follow orders with a very enthusiastic, fired up audience….
    Only a few people refused to participate in the”game”.
    Of course, in reality, there were no electric shocks, just a very convincing actor and in the aftermath, we are left with the gates wide open as to the effect media, advertising, public relations, peer pressure have had on desensitising humans.
    The people who were willing participants in this charade were really nice people, but you begin to understand how easy it is to get “nice people” to inform on their neighbors, to engage in and accept torture as normal…
    How really courageous it is to belive that you can and it is your duty as a human to question authority!
    I believe that the majority of the people who consider themselves “Tea Party” members are on the surface nice people, but as Sartre referred to the masses who participted in the collaborationism of WW2 France, they were Les Salauds Ordinaire…Normal, nice people who had absolutely no moral compass, but were capable of being intimidated by authority to commit atrocious acts to preserve their sense of sppearing respectable and part of the pack.

  11. you begin to understand how easy it is to get “nice people” to inform on their neighbors

    …and so these ‘atrocities’ committed by the German citizens against Jews and resistance organizers appear to be a ‘normal’ condition of the human mind? How very interesting. Extremely sad but nonetheless interesting.

  12. I saw that on the news last night.

    Interesting that Microdot points out Les Salauds Ordinaire since one of my harassers posts pro-gay messages and claims to believe in self-defense, yet when it came to Ugandan Gays said:
    “Its their gays, they can kill them if they want!”

    Methinks this person is a racist.

    My point, is that the French had no problems “deporting” Jews who were not French during the Holocaust. This person forgets Rev. Niemoeller’s quote:

    “First they came for the Communists, but I was not a Communist so I did not speak out. Then they came for the Socialists and the Trade Unionists, but I was neither, so I did not speak out. Then they came for the Jews, but I was not a Jew so I did not speak out. And when they came for me, there was no one left to speak out for me.”

  13. Ahh, but in France it was French Jews who were deported and French Communists who were denounced. It’s especially poignant and powerful now with the recent forced “Identitie National” polemic.
    Eric Besson who is the Minister of Immigration has told the French that it is their duty to denounce illegals.
    Besson has turned into the most despised man in France and has lately disappeared from view. After the Sarko government gets shaken up in the aftermath of the election this Sunday, he will probably lose his post.
    The entire country is about to turn ROSE! I just heard a program on the radio which discussed the role of Public relations and the Media in controlling society.
    They focused on the work of Sigmund Freuds nephew, who worked for the US Government at the beginning of WW1. He was instrumental in forging the principles used to sway America from a pacifist mind set into a nation which felt it was its duty to intervene in Europe.
    He was quite succesful and the principles he formulated are still considered the textbook today. He went on to work for the American tobacco industry and in the 1920’s was instrumental in linking cigarettes to womens suffrage and created a massive new market.

  14. I think it’s a sad state of affairs a large chunk of the American populace place more merit in the arguments (not really arguments – but rants), more merit in the rants of a rodeo clown and a disk jockey, than they do an army of PhD climatologists.

  15. … But by the same token, it will be interesting to see how religious folk take to the rodeo clown now defining the word of God for them.

  16. the rodeo clown now defining the word of God for them.</i.

    My prediction is silence.

    We'll see if I am correct or not.

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