Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Return of the Middle Ages

AMERICANS LOVE to be fearful. As a child, I learned that from my own dear mother. She warned me that anybody who went outdoors within a couple of hours of having a hair wash would be a candidate for pneumonia. God help me if I did. I could forgive my mother's daily myths. She had my best interests at heart with very little education, and like my father, never read a book

But a political party that today has strong medieval tendencies and devotes most of its time to spreading fear? That takes us back a thousand years when illiterate folks were largely isolated in tiny villages and lived by the fearful myths of the day because there was no way to challenge them. For some it was the weighty threat of excommunication for an imagined misdeed. For others it was the silhouettes of advancing witches on the dusky horizon.

We have our share of witches and warlocks on the horizon today. Having lost to Obama last November, the Republican Party is reaching deeply into its cesspool of fears to win back some ground. It is clubbing folks with preposterous stories of death and destruction. And why not? It worked for George Bush, when he used Saddam Hussein and fictitious weapons of mass destruction to whip up public (and, alas, media) fervor to lead us into disastrous war. As I've written earlier, it was Bush & Co. against Gog and Magog.

Now, the weapon of mass destruction is single payer health care. The right-wing (i.e., Republicans and their enablers) opponents are conjuring up mushroom clouds from coast to coast should the Obama Administration have its way. And if you listen to all of those people shouting their protests at the town hall meetings, it's obvious that once again the know-nothings are gaining a lot of ground. Time and again the government Medicare program that has worked well for millions, including me, has been reduced to fiction by people who have no idea who is behind their Medicare coverage. Where do you think they're getting the frightening disinformation? Guess.

And when Sarah Palin tells you that her parents and infant son would be a victim of a "death panel" if the Administration prevails, it quickly enjoys currency among the uninformed fearful - or are they the don't-want-to-be-inf0rmed fearful? . We are immediately back to the Middle Ages, the only socio-politico culture that seems to work for a party with no progressive ideas of its own. It might help Obama if he told Americans to wash their hair anyway.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


The fear tactic is working and the Republicans will not even have to raise a finger to suggest a solution to the problem. Why? Because to the Republicans, there is no problem. To Republicans, the 50 million that are unemployed are "illegals" or "welfare poor". Show a Mexican, "See that person is getting YOUR money!" Show a poor person, "That lazy person is getting YOUR money!" To them, these malcontents of society are those that need to go before the "death panels". nevermind those who lost their jobs and are not eligible for medicaid but cannot afford the "affordable" healthcare that is supposedly so prevalent.