Sunday, August 30, 2009

Hope vs. Fear

It's been hard for me to write. I've been so frustrated and a bit afraid. This is a time in my adult life, like never before, where I have had hope for the country and the direction in which it is headed. A liberal (often a bit too centrist for his own good)president, a congress controlled by the Democrats... An ambitious agenda, a busy 100 days... a president who is, let's just admit it, cooler than shit, a beautiful first lady, history has been made with the U.S. electing its first African-American president...

But I have had, for quite some time, had an awful sense of dread. And it's not about the resistance from the G.O.P. It's not about the misinformation and lies that are being spread by right-wing pundits. I expected that. It's not about the outrage from the right.

It's the crazies...

It's the nut who showed up at the president's town hall in NH with a gun on his hip and a sign referring to Jefferson's quote, "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." It's the people who are disrupting the town halls. And while I know that there is quite a bit of is planned, people are bussed in. But some of the fear and the desperation that these people feel, that they express is genuine. It's Glenn Beck on his show joking about poisoning Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi. Beck is a schmuck and may actually believe some of the idiocy that makes it out of his mouth. But there are some people who live and breathe by his every word and those people truly believe, in their heart, that the President is a danger to this country, that he will lead this country down a path that will lead to the absolute, utter destruction of our way of life.

Fear and desperation lead people to do horrible, desperate things. And seeing the coverage of Senator Kennedy's life and the life of his family I cannot help but think of his two brothers, their lives cut short. I am really, really afraid that with the hysteria that is in the air that history might repeat itself. Too many liberal icons, people trying to bring about change for the country that they love, every bit as much as any conservative does. We've lost Martin Luther King, John and Robert Kennedy to assassination in the. I don't want to lose another.

Sunday, August 9, 2009


For a while now I have been spending quite a bit of time on Yahoo's Buzz feature. The way it's supposed to work is that people who use the site, "buzz up" news articles and other users can comment on them, buzz them up more, buzz them down, reply to other people's comments, yadda, yadda, yadda... It's basically a news-driven social networking site. Not a bad idea in theory. But, with the political discourse being what it is today, the Buzz has turned into a very nasty place. So, I am taking an indefinite break from going to, contributing to or commenting on anything on that site.

It's an ugly time in American politics at the moment, nastier than I've ever seen in my lifetime. The site is a reflection of that. Here are some direct quotes from things that people are actually posting on that site. Believe me when I say that I wish I was making this stuff up:

About Justice Sotomayor:
"God, what an ugly whore. She and Ruth Ginsburg are the ugliest whores in America. Congress obviously hates America to approve this bltch. I would like to see a list of names of those that voted her in, so I can help vote them out."
About Rush Limbaugh:
"He should be arrested immediately and sentenced to prison for inciting violence on a public official. Period. Republicans are very violent hate-filled people."

I don't see myself going back any time in the foreseeable future...