Monday, March 8, 2010

Angry, Armed, Dangerous, and Self-Righteous

I started to post this as a comment on Lisa's last post, "On The Level of Anger" then realized that it might get longer than a comment. This isn't really even a post, as much as a collection of links to direct readers to the hair-raising research I've been scrolling through in recent days. I think, perhaps, that Lisa's ending line in her post: "It could be that we're already there (hell, that is)" might in fact be the truth of this matter. Having breakfast this weekend at our favorite breakfasting hole, which also has a great magazine rack as well as great pancakes and huevos rancheros, I saw the cover story on Mother Jones, skimmed it while snarfing my eggs and green chile, then came home and read the complete article online. If Oath-Keepers And The Age Of Treason doesn't make your teeth chatter, you can go check out the Southern Poverty Law Center's report referenced in the Mother Jones article: Rage on the Right, The Year in Hate and Extremism for more reasons to quiver in your boots:
The anger seething across the American political landscape — over racial changes in the population, soaring public debt and the terrible economy, the bailouts of bankers and other elites, and an array of initiatives by the relatively liberal Obama Administration that are seen as "socialist" or even "fascist" — goes beyond the radical right. The "tea parties" and similar groups that have sprung up in recent months cannot fairly be considered extremist groups, but they are shot through with rich veins of radical ideas, conspiracy theories and racism.
  A blogger I have admired for some time now, David Niewert, has been dedicating his attention to the influence of "hate talk" and the rise of the "patriot" militia movement in this country on his blog, in books and articles for years.  He is referenced in the Mother Jones article and is currently writing for the political blog Crooks and Liars, his most recent post here. 

Jackie began this thread with her post "I'll Take What I Can Get," where she posited her belief that the Tea Partiers aren't as strong as the letter she quoted seemed to believe.  I think, however, that this assortment of aggrieved, pissed-off, and downright crazy (IMHO) groups is a lot stronger, and more dangerous than we might assume.  Here in my town, Albuquerque, NM, every utility pole I pass has an announcement on bright yellow paper stapled to it advertising the Tea Party Rally at the IRS main office on April 15th. For the last Townhall Meeting our First District Representative held some months back (on Health Care Reform) I heard an announcement on our local NPR station (imagine that) urging Tea Party voters to attend, and encouraging them TO BRING THEIR GUNS AND WEAR THEM WHERE THEY COULD BE SEEN.  At a time when these folk fly planes into IRS office buildings, attack guards at the door of the Pentagon, and who knows what actions are yet to come, I for one am taking hate and extremism pretty friggin' seriously.

Posts in this thread are as follows:
1. I'll Take What I Can Get
2. Violence Against Public Servants
3. On The.Level of Anger
4. This very post.


Anonymous said...

There is a group who is starting to gain steam as an answer to the teabaggers and they are calling themselves The Coffee Party. I have joined their Facebook site and have been keeping an eye on their progress, so far I like what I'm seeing. One of their main goals is respectful, rational and civil discourse. I good foundation to begin on.
I've been writing a series at my blog on lying at the personal level and will be taking the series next to the epidemic that has spread into society as a whole. But in the end, it all begins at home.


marigolds2 said...

Yes, Aine, I've been reading about the Coffee Party, but really think they are too lowkey, sane and respectful to gain much momentum. It only seems to be the crazies who gather the moss as they roll thundering along. I'm watching this group, seeing if it looks like they can/will really accomplish anything. Violence is a romantic siren song, civil discourse doesn't seem to have the same attraction. We are a strange species altogether.