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Weeds Of Intolerance

And so it begins.  In order to show their anger with the passing of a healthcare reform package intended to help insure the health of more Americans and to end practices that profits the bottom line of the health insurers at the expense of individuals who need insurance or who may file a claim, some people are becoming violent.  When the defeat of the healthcare bill became a losing cause, many Americans went to the capital building in Washington, D.C. in a last ditch effort to sway politicians.  Lining the hallways and forming a gauntlet to the chamber where the voting was to take place, American citizens displayed their rancor by shouting racist and sexist remarks to various supporters of healthcare reform.  As protesters yelled their insults and calls for the bill’s demise, politicians that opposed the bill cheered and clapped, encouraging the protest and removing any pretense of having a respectable political discord.

I spent some time reading some of the comments left to the various news articles covering the progress of healthcare reform.  To say that many people are angry is an understatement.  The majority of the comments I read opposing the bill talked about throwing the politicians that supported the bill out.  A lot of people talked about how we’re not a fascist state or a communist state or a police state where President Obama is after people’s wallets.  Some people talked about leaving the country.  Chances are pretty good that if they carried through with their “threat” they would end up in a country that offers true universal healthcare instead of the watered down version offered in the bill headed for Mr. Obama’s signature.

A couple of people went so far as to suggest that we have nothing to worry about because Mr. Obama isn’t a citizen of the United States because he never made his birth certificate a matter of public record but instead used lawyers to fight any call for him to produce it.  Any law Mr. Obama signs is illegal.  Some people are so intent to cling to this conspiracy delusion that they forget that a birth certificate is a public document available by contacting the state in which it is issued.  Mr. Obama’s birth certificate is not a classified document.  Hiring a lawyer to block the state from issuing copies of his birth certificate doesn’t really make a lot of sense.

But what was pretty telling were all the comments that suggested now is the time for some patriotic violence.  A few people talked about breaking out the guns and taking their anger to the street in order to get their country back.  But back from who is never made clear.  I doubt if anybody walking the streets in this protester’s neighborhood is trying to hold the country away from anybody else.  Nobody really expects anybody making this kind of hateful nonsense to see the illogic of their ways.  People paraphrased the Thomas Jefferson quote about the tree of liberty being refreshed with the blood of patriots and tyrants.  Nobody ever talks about the trees of hostility that grow like an entire forest of redwoods.  Nobody ever talks about the weeds of stupidity that grow everywhere without anybody there to nurture them.  The weeds of intolerance can spoil the most beautiful garden of civility and harmony.  Nobody ever talks about that.

Any modicum of civility left in this and other political debates is quickly fading.  So many people have  become so fanatical about their position and how it is the only position that deserves to be supported with bullets and other forms of violence.  No one is threatening anybody’s freedom.  And yet, people feel moved to compare the fate of healthcare coverage for almost everyone in the country to having their individual freedom restricted to the point of being enslaved.

A lot of people are actually waking up today with the belief that using our national social collective to help assure that fewer people in America go without quality medical care, and not just the expensive band aids and cursory examinations that come with emergency room care, is akin to having our rights taken away by the federal government.  And these will be the same people who would press for a federal law to take away a woman’s right to chose by making any form of abortion illegal.  These are the same people who wouldn’t hesitate to support an amendment to the Untied States Constitution that says marriage is the union between a man and a woman.  That kind of enslavement is totally acceptable.  In fact, some people would be willing to get their guns to push these restrictions on their fellow man.  It seems that the people so concerned about the tree of liberty are a little biased about whose blood is needed and when.

The rancor is really getting out of hand.  When Mr. Obama won the oval office, people responded with threats of violence.  Now that Mr. Obama and his supporters have successfully pushed through healthcare reform, a feat that has eluded Presidents and Congresses for more than a handful of decades, people again want to talk about violence.  Eventually, this talk of violence to support political positions will boil over into the real thing and innocent people are going to get seriously hurt.

Monday, March 22, 2010 - Posted by | Barack Obama, Healthcare, Healthcare Reform, Life, Politics, Thoughts


  1. It’s idiots like these people that give the rest of us who identify more with the conservative side a bad name, and essentially silence our more common sense approaches, not only within our own ranks, but through the media and the left’s perception of what we think and/or represent on any issue.
    While there seems to be some fanatical intolerance of ideas from the outside by our politicans in power, on all sides of the aisle, it still does not excuse the words and actions of certain morons on the streets.

    Comment by Mike Lovell | Tuesday, March 23, 2010 | Reply

    • Thanks for the feedback Mike Lovell,

      But trust me, you are not part of the group that I’m trying to address with this post. As many times as we’ve disagreed about issues, I can’t ever recall us breaking down into name calling or threats (maybe I need to go back and read some of your comments a little more closely…lol). I don’t have a problem with people disagreeing with me. I think we can disagree civilly and still go grab a beer. What I have a problem with are the disagreements that break down into irrational, almost rabid, attacks. What good will it do to threaten each other with a gun? There are crazy people on both sides of these issues and they give the rest of us a bad name.


      Comment by brotherpeacemaker | Tuesday, March 23, 2010 | Reply

  2. This whole “Time to Water the Tree” slogan makes me worry. Most of the people who display it are just talkers, and there’s nothing to fear from them. But history has shown us that politically-motivated assassination is typically done not by liberals and reformers, but by their opponents. Witness JFK, RFK, MLK, Malcolm X, &c.

    Someone might just act on those words, and the radical right are more likely to own firearms than the rest of us rational citizens.

    Most conservatives are not tree-watering tea-partiers, but it only takes one. I pray for peace.

    Comment by Jeff | Thursday, March 25, 2010 | Reply

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