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Born in the USA

This is one of the most terrifying indicators of our national health that I’ve ever seen.

It’s hard to call people like the lady in red members of a lunatic “fringe” when she has everyone in a town meeting cheering her on. What’s especially distressing, besides this group’s size and seeming proclivity for violence, is that there’s literally no convincing them that they’ve been sold on an absurd conspiracy theory discredited by even a cursory amount of research. The video above has been making the rounds on the intertubes and has drawn commentary from various news sources, many of whom have cited it as motivation for an expose to finally put the matter to rest. They don’t get it. The “birthers” have seen the birth certificate; they’ve seen the birth announcement in Hawaiian newspapers; they’ve seen the sworn statements by Hawaiian health officials. None of that convinces them. What will? Jon Stewart, at least, knows that sometimes an absurd situation can only be laughed at, not rationalized.

That town meeting, and the knowledge that others just like it are taking place across the country, frankly scares the bejesus out of me. The lady in red and her movement represent a threat to our democracy and domestic peace that is orders of magnitude larger than that posed by radical Islam. Their jingoistic fervor, their hallucinogenic certainty in the face of conflicting information, their willingness to scapegoat, their preternatural obsession with guns — if they aren’t a series of mass murders waiting to happen, I don’t know what is. They’re what the DHS meant by dangerous rightwing extremists (an identification that only fanned the flames and further radicalized them), and they’re alarmingly, crap-your-pants-and-move-to-Canada numerous. To call them a fringe is speciously optimistic.

At the end of the day, what really confounds me, and maybe this contributes to the raw terror I feel when watching the lady in red, is that I cannot understand their motivations. It can’t just be latent racism — can it?

Posted in Politics.

2 Responses

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  1. cb says

    to be fair…

  2. nathan says

    I can’t even sit through the whole town hall scene. As isolated as one may get from that type of mentality in the US, it cannot be ignored that this ignorant fanaticism is over-represented in that country.

    Thanks for reminding me.

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