It seems to me…
“We have met the enemy and he is us.” ~ Pogo (Walter Crawford Kelly, Jr.).
I recently received an e-mail message with a link to a video[i] by Curtis Bowers, Representative, Idaho State House of Representatives. I’m not familiar with Representative Bowers but he apparently believes our country is under attack from Communists. He appears to be young enough to not remember this cry of wolf has previously been used and uniformly discredited. While the subject of the video is not relevant, the more general message that we are facing some type of threat is.
Anyone who has read some of my blogs knows I have spoken out in opposition to same-sex marriage and some of the other issues identified in this video. Though I object to many of these changes in our society, I strongly disagree they are in any way attributable to some organized Communist conspiracy as espoused by the speaker in the video. Basically, this type of excuse just isn’t needed in order to figure out why any erosion of our traditional values is occurring and anyone who thinks otherwise is misguided.
Attempting to label someone a socialist or soft on communism is a favorite Republican tactic intended to discredit anyone they do not support. As an example, Hillary Clinton’s Senate voting record was slightly to the right of several Republican candidates in the last election but there still was an attempt to brand her as socialist. The United States no longer has a left-wing party – the Democrats moved toward the center during the last presidential election and forgot to stop – but the Republicans still attempt to apply the socialist label. Apparently, they do not actually realize our country has had socialistic policies since we were new colonies.
Socialism is a theory or system of social organization that advocates the vesting of the ownership and control of the means of production and distribution, of capital, land, etc., in the community as a whole. Since many Republicans persist in the misuse of this label, there appears to be a possibility they are confused about what “socialism” actually is. I’m not aware of any elected U.S. politician advocating any policy even remotely similar to this.
There recently seems to have been a resurgence in conspiracy theories. Even Freemasonry is under suspicion of having some nefarious agenda for our country. Perhaps it is a distraction from the state of our economy. The message in this video sounds more like the “McCarthyism” of the 1950s or the opprobrious message of the John Birch Society. Hardcore Communist extremists, just like any extremists opposed to our country, all espouse similar philosophical agendas and, for the most part, we do not seem to care until after it directly affects us.
If you do not fully agree, consider this: we continue to finance Arab extremists regardless of their acknowledged threat so we do not have any additional increase in the price of our petroleum, but there is very little basic philosophical disagreement between the jihadist militant al‑Qaeda and the teachings in the fatwas of Wahhabi imams. In actuality, the only difference is their approach in the manner in which they are attempting to defeating us. We feel morally justified in our attempt to destroy al‑Qaeda but continue to indirectly support both organizations financially through our addiction to Saudi Arabian petroleum. Our nation’s schizophrenic dissociative identity disorder demands increased petroleum imports and lower gas prices but this then results in correspondingly increased national security threats we then have to pay to prevent. If we reduced our petroleum imports, which would substantially decrease funding of terrorists, we would be able to increase funding to more quickly develop petroleum substitutes. Purchasing foreign petroleum is additional ultimately self-defeating since we realize they eventually will increase prices regardless of what we do. Read some of the Wahhabi agenda proposals concerning our country – they are substantial similar to what the speaker states in his video.
While our society is under attack from both left and right, I consider rightwing extremists; e.g., the Tea Party; to be our country’s current major threat. While other issues are important, they will not result in our nation’s immediate collapse from which it will be extremely difficult to ever recover – no nation in history ever has. Rightwing extremists; e.g. Rush Limbaugh and others from our rightwing-dominated media; advocate policy changes totally incompatible with and destructive to the social and financial fabric of our country. This does not imply I agree with all of President Obama’s recommendations as most of his proposals, such as his recent Jobs Proposal, are obvious politically-motivated attempts to compromise with the rightwing and will not solve our unemployment problems.
Our national debt needs to be addressed – but it must be accomplished in a non-destructive manner. Some entitlement reform is necessary but Social Security and Medicare remain the two most popular programs our government provides. We need to maintain a strong military but how can we at this time justify spending more than the sum total spent by every other nation on this planet? With our educational system’s deterioration is practically in freefall, why do we continue to reduce funding, lower standards, and lay off teachers when increasing education – especially is science and technology – has become the most important key to our nation’s future success? Costs associated with obtaining a quality education have increased beyond what the majority of students are able to afford and those that do are saddled under the burden of debt for many years following graduation. Why is the rightwing forcing reduction in police and fire protection? Why have our national and state parks been permitted to fall into such a state of disrepair that most facilities will have to be completely reconstructed? Why are they attempting to destroy our nation’s middle class, advocate increased tax reductions for the rich, and elimination of tax benefits for the poor? Why do they support tax write-offs and special loopholes for agriculture and petroleum mega-corporations whose profits have increased over every recent year? Our national infrastructure has been permitted to deteriorate to such an extent that many roads and bridges no longer are safe. Our interstate highway system improved upon Germany’s Autobahn but we have fallen behind the rest of the world in the construction of high-speed and mass transportation systems. We invented the Internet but most other countries now provide higher speed communications than available here. We remain the world’s richest nation but the rightwing forced devaluation of our nation’s credit rating even though our overall tax rate remains the lowest in the developed world.
The primary threat to our country does not come from some figment of a Communist conspiracy; it instead is a product of our own ignorance and lack of attention to the policies espoused by our elected officials. Yes, there are many symptoms of illness in our country today – but the prescribed medication and treatment should not kill the patient. Where does the rightwing attack on our country stop? I guess it is becoming all too obvious – only with our elimination as the world’s leading nation.
That’s what I think, what about you?