8.08.2009

Politics of Hate?

7 comments:

Ry Guy said...

What I want to know is why is it regarded as a testament to democracy and free speech when individuals protest in favor of liberal policies, but it is "anti-democratic" and "dangerous" when people protest in favor of conservative principles? Shouldn't free speech count for everybody?

Nick said...

Free speech counts for everybody and I think you're missing the point of Schaeffer's worries. The things being said can have serious consequences. This is why the Supreme Court decided that there are time, place, and manner restrictions of the freedom of speech found in the 1st Amendment. Has conservative rhetoric gone too far? No one has called for Obama's assassination, but the things being said and how they're said really worry me.

I think it's a testament to our country that we elected a President who in the face of such disrespect has calmly and patiently let Republicans (people who he wishes to and has to work with) call him Hitler and not a citizen. I hope and pray for his safety while this rhetoric continues to stoke and foment more anger and directs the conversation about reform in such a sad and pathetic direction.

The Republican & Conservative leadership has no desire to address the issues of our time. They didn't do it while in power and now they are trying to do it in the minority. They just want to beat Obama. This will not benefit our country in the long run.

Nick said...

They didn't do it while in power and now they are trying to "undermine it" while in the minority.

Ry Guy said...

I'm no fan of Bush, but I didn't hear anybody complaining when he was having similar, if not worse, epithets (and shoes) thrown at him.

Just don't knock these people for finally standing up and speaking out against what they believe to be some of the largest power grabs in the history of the federal government. They have a right to protest just as much as any left winger. And the real danger isn't coming from the protesters of healthcare reform, but from the government trying to stifle said opposition.

Nick said...

Yes people did stand up and say inappropriate things about President Bush. I was one of them, but what came of the yelling and screaming? Nothing. It wasn't productive and I eventually grew tired of it like most liberals. Solutions and direction are far more empowering and inspiring then negative diatribes.

This is not the largest power grab in the history of the federal government. That's just some Karl Rove talking point. If you want to keep your current healthcare plan you can. This reform is for people who can't afford healthcare because living wages have stagnated over the last few decades and the cost of healthcare has spiraled out of control for both individuals and businesses.

I don't see anyone stifling the protests either. It's disappointing that the same vitriolic political maneuvering enabled by the Republican party might interfere with our need as a country to address big problems. I am also not afraid to acknowledge that I am very disappointed with Blue Dog Democrats.

Healthcare needs to be reformed. We can actually save money doing it too. That is painfully clear to me. The health industry could have addressed these issues in the free market, but they didn't. That is why a majority of Americans want this change and realize the government must play a role in this reform.

Ian said...

When right-wingers call Obama a Nazi, they do more good than bad by making it all the more difficult to be both sane and allied with the minority of Americans who feel he is doing a bad job. Should all this insanity go too far and Obama be assassinated, well, that would be tragic. Then again, in the wake of the Kennedy Assassination, LBJ advanced the most progressive agenda in the history of American politics, all by linking his agenda to the legacy of JFK. You think Joe Biden wouldn't do the same. (As a sidebar, Biden and LBJ are so similar it's scary. Both working class, politically gifted loudmouths with a chip on their respective shoulders.)

Regarding healthcare: it IS a massive government takeover, and one that's long overdue. I am all for free markets, but lets keep it to iPods and oil. When it comes to matters of life and death, profit margins should be a secondary concern.

Thomas said...

What's there to be so angry about? Let's simply take a step back and realize that this is not a 'massive government take-over', it is not a socialization of healthcare. In reality, and at its most basic core, the White House proposal is a regulation of cost in order to create financial access. Fundamentally, it’s not too dissimilar from the government regulating airlines. The planes, the employees, the overall operation is still controlled and within the scope of private interests. The government simply ensures prices, standards, and affordability. Under the White House proposal, hospitals, physicians, and patients would be within private interests. Access and affordability would be ensured for those who otherwise are left out. It is the politics that muddle this debate. It is the ignorance and the subversive nature of the few who are distorting discourse and reality for the rest of us. This is a policy debate, or at least it should be. It should be about the details and complexities of reform, not about AM talk radio ratings, the 2010 mid-terms, or Sarah Palin’s ego. This issue is not fit, nor is it appropriate to be held in the halls of partisan politics. It is national legislation, not a high school student government campaign. But given our contemporary parameters of politics in America, it becomes like every other policy challenge we face, muddled in ignorance and anger.