After watching all of the town hall meetings on health care that appeared on CNN, I couldn’t help but think that certain citizens of this country might also need some mental health care as well.
The most striking thing about the meetings was not the sheer ignorance of most of the attendees, but the patent racism that came in the form of signs questioning Obama’s citizenship and comparing him to Hitler and his evil.
Now, I must admit that some of the criticism leveled at Bush fashioned him as Hitler as well, which is a horrible comparison to have been made. Hitler was a much better public speaker than Bush.
Jokes aside, the persistent questioning of Obama’s citizenship doesn’t bespeak civic virtue on the part of these so-called “birthers” – it suggests racism.
Whenever critics in the past had problems with a president’s policy, never once did they invoke the possibility that he was not a citizen. I don’t think it’s a mere coincidence that this type of attack came up at the same time we elected a black president.
And it’s not just the “non-citizen” label that is frequently tacked onto Obama. Who can forget the famous “he’s a Socialist” line? To be honest, I really have to ask what is wrong with Socialism? I think that a society with equal access to resources and an egalitarian form of monetary allocation is as close as we can get to a utopia other than maybe removing some of these town hall folks from the species. These people are about as good at substantive criticism as Randy Jackson is.
Truthfully, no matter what epithet is used against Obama, it seems that there is certain word they are looking to use but would never dare say.
I don’t need to say it here just as they don’t need to say it in any venue they attend. In short, the words socialist, fascist, and non-citizen are moronic euphemisms for the word that only rappers can say.
Now I am not saying that every Obama critic is a racist – far from it. I think there are plenty of reasons for criticizing his administration’s plans and the efficacy of their proposed policies. It’s just that I would expect that most of it is predominantly rooted in racism.
Remember, most of these attacks are coming from a political party that, according to the Research 2000 Group, has only 42% of its constituency hold the viewpoint that Barack Obama was born in America.
I’m optimistic though that most of these attacks will stop and the birthers will enjoy the complete annihilation that faces every conspiracy theory group.
In order to move forward in any effective debate over policies, we need to end ad-hominem attacks such as these. And in order to move forward as human beings, we need to end racism.