Fear Itself

17 Aug

About a week ago I decided to tune out of politics for a while. I stopped reading the coverage of the health care issue, I didn’t follow the President’s town halls, and I covered my ears to drown out the screams of a right-wing in the throes of an apoplectic fit. The increasingly irrational reaction has turned what should have been a thoughtful, measured debate into a purple-faced, nostril-flaring hate fest, and I turned away heartbroken, disgusted and angry.

And I am still angry. Angry at the people who use code words to get their sinister point across, who incite fear and distort the facts to mobilize a crowd. I truly don’t understand why anyone wouldn’t want health care for all, and I can only assume that the people behind the campaign to defeat health care reform have something to gain, some financial interest in doing what they do. I find heartlessness appalling, and their fight, for all their heedless passion, is that, heartless, because they care nothing for the millions of people across the country who get taken in and shoot themselves in the foot, the millions who live paycheck to paycheck and hear words like “death panels” and “socialism” thrown at them, and they tremble with fear thinking of what that black man is going to do to them.

I am suspicious of people who lose control of their emotions when they argue a point, and I am frightened by those who take a position blindly, trusting the opinion of others without regard for objectivity, reason, and plain common sense. I knew that many people don’t view health care as a right (didn’t John McCain call it a privilege during a debate?), but it never occurred to me that the right wing would do such a dirty job in opposing any kind of reform. I had hoped for better things, I overestimated their goodness, but I admit that now I’m beginning to think they are good only to their own kind: the rest of us can rot in hell.

Yesterday I went shopping with my children. My father picked me up when I was done, and as I waited for him in the parking lot of Old Navy, I saw a poster stapled to the giant light post in the corner. It had the face of Barack Obama and beneath it was a web address. His face was altered to make him look like a monkey.

It upset me so much that after I put my children in the car I walked back and tore the hateful image off the light post. I brought it home with me and meant to take a picture of it, but I left it on the table and my mother threw it away with the kitchen garbage. I’m glad she did, because that is where it belongs.

I saw today that the White House has all but given up on a public insurance option. It’s not surprising, but it’s incredibly sad. I hope the President learned the lesson, that you cannot trust the Republican Party, that they will cheat, lie and do whatever it takes to drag him down, that the bitter people who cling to their guns and their religion (it was not a gaffe in my opinion) will never forgive him for having won, and that his election represents everything they fear.

Well, I’m afraid of them. I fear for the future, and I fear for his safety. That’s why I turned away, because I can’t bear it anymore. It’s too ugly, and I would rather concentrate on the good things, on the innocent light in my children’s eyes, and the friendly smiles they give to everyone they meet. 

 P.S. I loved this post at Noble Savage. She can tell it like it is. And this post, which I found through the Misadventures of the Monster Librarian.


5 Responses to “Fear Itself”

  1. Noble Savage August 17, 2009 at 11:00 am #

    It’s really scary and sad to what lengths these people will go to defend their ‘rights’. I can’t believe that poster you saw! That’s really low. I’m glad you took it down, kids don’t need to be seeing stuff like that.

  2. Monster Librarian August 17, 2009 at 11:39 pm #

    Hey Lizzy!

    Argh. Feeling the same way lately–but, so glad you read Margaret and Helen–they crack me up and give me hope that others think similar ways and can have a sense of humor about things.

    Remember too, what you were seeing comes from a MINORITY…the problem is they usually have the louder, crazier voices. :) Chin up, friend!


  3. Marlon August 18, 2009 at 3:12 am #

    That poster was there to remind you that, after all, you’re in Alabama.

  4. Anonymous August 19, 2009 at 9:35 am #

    I am glad that you took the poster down. I can see the girl that I met few decades ago who could stand up to anything has not changed yet.


  1. My Heart on My Sleeve « No.1 Mouse Place - August 2, 2010

    […] Last year I decided to stop obsessing about politics, to stop monitoring every website and reading every critical article that came my way, and living half a world away the commitment has not been difficult to keep, but since I arrived in the United States it has become very obvious to me that the tide has turned for the Obama White House, much to my regret. […]

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