When Republican Representative Joe WIlson broke with 200 year of congressional tradition to heckle President Obama during a crucial speech to a joint session, condemnation was widespread. But to most it came merely as an afterthought that this might not have happened to a white president,
I had been noticing how little we see of the other players in the administration and how much we see of the President. I thought that was a good idea until recently. In the health care debate and more generally the public’s attitude concerning the role of government, it’s beginning to look like this set-up, which encourages the public to associate the issue to a black individual, is counter-productive. For all the joy among the majority of Americans at seeing a black person become president, the opposite seems increasingly true of more fundamentalist republican voters. They are systematically being organized into tea parties by their cynical leaders, whose goal is to get rid of the Obama administration by any means possible.
Had Obama not walked into a hornet’s nest of major problems he might have been able to secure health care for all. But everything the legacy left to him by the Bush administration forces him to do, stirs up public anger against big government, now represented by a black man.
One could compare this social crisis to the attitude of troops in war: those who are defending their homeland usually fight better than invaders. The participants in the tea party are troops defending a homeland of rugged individualism, resentment of government and fear of the outside world. The availability and talents of former Bush executives harnesses this great energy with ruthless determination to preserve an America that can no longer exist in today’s world, and that is excoriated by it.
Ironically, Joe Wilson was censured by the House of Representatives on the day that the Iraqi journalist who threw his shoes at President Bush during his last visit to Baghdad, was released after spending nine months in jail, claiming he was tortured.
Tranquil Americans used to fear the left. Now, if they are at all aware of what is going on, they should fear the right. Fascism as an organized form of government would not be able to exist without storm troupers, brown shirts, “know-nothings’....or tea partyers. As various observers testify to the fact that college students do not see education as enrichment, but merely as a meal ticket, we should not be surprised that so many adults are susceptible to propaganda about race and socialism - nor even that they are capable of putting socialism as synonymous with fascism.
Ignorance, rather than foreign enemies or even the stock market, should be our biggest worry.