I am deeply troubled by a president who proclaims “if you don’t love it here, leave, get out.” The old canard of America, love it or leave it, has never been used by moderates, liberals or traditional conservatives. They’ve always been the threatening words of right wing ersatz patriots whose meaning is clear: if you don’t agree with me, you’re disloyal and have no right to be here. And that’s especially true if you’re some color other than white.
I am deeply troubled when a senior member of the White House staff says liberals in general, and four Members of Congress in particular, represent the “dark underbelly of America.” They are four women who have fought hard for the inclusion of the most marginalized into the fullness of all that America claims to be. Demanding that the nation live up to the standards of justice it proclaims for itself, is not a dark underbelly but a guiding light.
I am deeply troubled by a leading senator who calls them socialists and communists. He is a learned man who knows perfectly well that their liberal proposals fall well within our system that values individual rights and private enterprise. He fully understands the bonfires of fear his incendiary remarks will light. He is an arsonist of right wing authoritarian racism.
I am deeply troubled by a Senate majority leader who has finally mumbled it’s time to restore a higher level of civility to the conversation, assuring us that there are bad people on every side, but the president is not one of them. I can only assume he realizes the president has gone too far, but if he can spread the blame around thin enough it might not jeopardize the march toward remaking the nation in the tea party image of laissez faire opportunity for some, and repression for many.
I am deeply troubled by right wing media shouting that every “liberal” proposal is something from the radical left bent on destroying freedom. Policies intended to improve the well being of communities, workers, the environment, and, yes, business and industry too, are not radical left. Policies that would bring more fair justice into the lives of more people are not radical left. Their endorsement of autocratic rule in the name of freedom is frightening.
I am deeply troubled by Facebook and Twitter sites that are replete with Americans (and foreign bots) who concur, joyfully concur, and believe that somehow this will lead to a restored America in which their future is secure, and those who trouble them will be removed one way or the other. They really believe we’re being invaded. They really believe asylum seekers are criminals and neer-do-wells. They really believe the ACA has made health care worse. They really believe Obama caused the Great Recession and blew the deficit out of control. They really believe they’re not racists, but. But immigrants from poor non-white countries are not wanted; but those who manage to get in (legally) must immediately assimilate, which means speak English and defer to your betters; but non-white citizens should quit whining about racism (the good ones who know their place are OK). They really believe what they’re told about over regulation, about how the federal government wants to control their lives, and how liberals are all closet communists. They are really blind to the authoritarian control over their lives they’re giving willingly into the hands of those who promise them freedom.