Like a majority of Americans, I was overjoyed when Obama was elected. I cried when he was sworn in, and I booed when the cameras panned in on Cheney and former president Chucklenuts. I thought the eight year nightmare was finally over. After all, Bush was not even elected; he was appointed in the Supreme Court's right wing coup of 2000. Amereicans were not really nasty, stupid folks who always vote against their own self-interest. We are reasonable, thoughtful people who are just sometimes gullible. I am beginning to see that I was wrong.
Birthers, Deathers, Teabaggers all represent the ugliest and most violent aspect of this country. It seems like Republicans are not even trying to hide their racism. We're subjected to news clips of tearful women who moan, "I want my country back!" As Jon Stewart notes, these people should try telling that to the Indians. The ease with which people can be lied to and mobilized is astounding. Deathers bring guns to hear the President speak. Racism, right-wing media, and lack of education are three mains rasons why behave Americans behave so stupidly.
Lee Atwater, Nixon's brain, came up with the so-called Southern strategy. Republicans voted almost unanimously against the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Bills of the mid 1960's. Ford, Cheney and Rumsfeld were just some of the Republican congressmen who opposed equal rights for minorities. Race-baiting became an art form for conservaties, and now we see the fruits of this project, as Repulbicans increasingly become a regional, ethnic party. In the late 1970's, the religious right, which has long history of racism, joined the cause. Southern Baptists, like Mormons, historically refused to ordain African Americans. In addition, Presbyterians split during the Civil War, and the two largest bodies of that denomination didn't rejoin until 1980, when the denomination took a swing to the hard right. Now it seems that gays and lesbians are the new blacks.
Anyone who watches television or reads a newspaper can't help but be struck by the unequal time the right wing gets. Fox "News," which began around 1996, took advantage of media consolidation and Bill Cinton's media deregulation. I bet Clinton wished he could have a redo on that piece of legislation. I'm constantly amazed by the prominence idiots from Liberty College or conservative talk radio have in panels on Sunday news shows. Where's Amy Goodman? Why is there no voice of the left in the media? Where's someone from the Green or Worker's parties? Most liberal Democrats aren't leftists, even if they are represented. The American left was squashed by McCarthyism and the red scare. Who cares what Palin or Limbaugh thinks? Can Palin or Limbaugh think?
Finally, education in this country has suffered over the last forty years. Public schools have been drained of resources by anti-tax advocates. In California, the most populous state in the nation,spending on education ranks 47th. Thanks to the budget crisis, Schwarzenegger can slash spending with a smile. In the South, a proliferation of low-cost parochial schools means that even middle class whites can send their children to private school. The South has achieved de facto segreagation. Many states are in a budget crisis, and more and more children will have a poor education.
Is our country's darkest period over? Will America's Ice Age finally thaw? If any thinking person falls asleep for a second, the nightmare will recur.