When history books are written, John McCain’s may be remembered most for his role in catapulting Sarah Palin to the national stage.
The midterm election season is heading for the final stretch and what has disturbed me the most are the reports that seem to herald a race to the bottom that is appalling to say the least. Sarah Palin seems to be just one of a myriad of the people spewing ignorance and hate. Mostly women, all white and all Tea Party. Their trumpets of ignorance include stating that Muslim law is taking over parts of the US, masturbation is adultery, that the healthcare bill creates government death sqauds and a twisting of facts and spewing of hate (against Latinos, Muslims, gays, almost anyone not Christian and white), dehumanizing anyone not like them. It is as if Jerry Springer‘s cast is standing for election. And reason and critical thinking are scarce in this debate.
Are we living in the US in the 21st century or some country at the edge of the dark ages ? We laugh at Ahmadinejad and Holocaust deniers and tune in to Rush Limbaugh’s denials over Obama’s religion and birth (polls in August by the Time magazine and the Pew center show anywhere from one-third to almost half of the Republicans saying that they think Obama is a Muslim). Religion is at the forefront now more than ever and every year, the power of the religious right grows ever more. And to think that I used to laugh derisively at people in rural areas of India voting almost solely based on the caste of the candidate. Obama also seems to have brought out the latent racism in the country. No one talks about it as such, of course.
I worry about the declining lack of adherence to even the most basic of facts and the almost retarded level of reason and critical thinking. In a world that is changing so rapidly, resources depleting and conflicts rising, how can address the issues if people seem incapable of even uttering a coherent sentence ? I can understand people are angry about the economy, but are these angry people incapable of understanding how the very ideas they champion have been the cause of their state ? How can more deregulation fix the problems of Wall Street or the harm caused by companies such as BP ? How can they not see the designs of the people who are pouring money that is turning their fears into something that can only make matters worse ? How can they not see the link between the people who lied about the Iraq War and how it very costs are a big reason for the mess we’re in economically ?
Enough has been written about all of this that I don’t want to spend too much time writing about it. But, I worry about what the future holds for Maya and all our children in this country that is their home. This is how atrocities like the Holocaust or slavery or Native American genocide come to pass. Bit by bit, with people like me going about their daily lives with their worries cocooned by some personal well-being and an inability to act. Am I as deluded as they are in seeing the outcome of the slippery slope we’re sliding down ? A part of me says that all this is more media hype than anything else. After all, didn’t Bill Clinton, the man liberals loved for his intellectualism and charisma, fire the Surgeon General, Jocelyn Elders, for saying that masturbation was normal human behavior ?
Let me end with a link on a more humorous note, to a satirical take on the current season of madness:
“Man oh man, I’m mad. I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore. Take what? I don’t know. And that makes me mad too.”
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