Thursday, August 13, 2009

Being Divisive

The health care debates are not debates, but divisive disturbances. The organizers and attendees seem to seek to polarize the country more and return politics to the Willie Horton days where a single ad depicting a black man represents the whole of black men who will come into white neighborhoods and wreak unspeakable crimes. It worked. George H. Bush, the moderate conservative, was elected in 1988. But what the ad did was by far worse than the debate of the death penalty or the election of any one president. It caused divisiveness.

Here is the brilliant Noam Chomsky being interviewed by the brilliant William F. Buckley in a rational debate. The beauty here is that although both men are at two ideological spectrums there is a decorum and rationality present. There is a certain respect for difference. A beautiful point that Chomsky makes is that if we do not stand up and call what is obviously wrong wrong we are co-conspirators in unjust acts and are even worse for allowing such to take root.

Listening to Chomsky's words, I could not help but to think of the Republican leaders in Washington that have passively sanctioned the lies and racist images being propagated by conservative radio talk show hosts and conservative fringe groups at town halls by not speaking out against them. Where there is no condemnation of such outrages lies, misconceptions and images, there is a tacit acceptance and agreement of such. This is what has been the most shameful for me in this health care "debate." The tactics of the Republican party for getting elected and defeating bills have been very shameful. Stoking the worse fears seems to be their modus operandi.

In this health care debate I find it particularly interesting that those at town halls the attendees are calling President Obama a fascist and caring posters of the president as Hitler. But it is their actions that refuse to allow others to be heard that is aligned with fascism as well as their outright lies and scare tactics in order to mobilize an irrational mob following to defeat a bill that they could not rationally explain if you gave them a million dollars. This is not debate, but divisive disturbances that does not aide democracy.

No comments: