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Thursday, September 17, 2009

I want my America back!

The pictures of these posters were taken by "People for the American Way" during the demonstration in Washington, DC last weekend by right-wing radicals.

The mission statement of PfAW begins with these words:
"People For the American Way is dedicated to making the promise of America real for every American: Equality. Freedom of speech. Freedom of religion. The right to seek justice in a court of law. The right to cast a vote that counts. The American Way."
PfAW distributed these pictures with this note:
"Over the weekend, tens of thousands (note: estimated 60,000)of right-wing activists rallied in Washington, DC with signs that challenged President Obama's citizenship, accused him and Democratic congressional leaders of everything from Nazism to communism, promoted paranoia about "death panels" and euthanasia, and declared support for figures like Sarah Palin and Rep. Joe Wilson."
While this paragraph is clearly descriptive of what happened last weekend, these deeply disturbing pictures tell the story without blunting the truth they represent, which is this:

The level of violent rhetoric and hate-speech in this country has reached dangerous proportions. This is not 'street theater'. These signs represent deeply disturbed minds - some of which are fully prepared to do murder.

Don't believe me? See the poster above and this one below.

These yahoos ain't playin'.

If you're not yet convinced, take a look at some of the other posters. If you've got the stomach, you can look at an entire gallery of them here.

The following will give you more than a good sense of what I'm talking about:

You know, I believe in the rights guaranteed under the Constitution of the United States of America.

I believe in the right to assembly and the freedom of speech. Hell, I even believe in the right to bear arms - but I also believe in gun control.

I think, however, someone needs to take some responsibility for reigning this one in. This is getting dangerous.

We need to hold to some standard of accountability folks like Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh, Janet Porter and Michele Malkin - who pollute the airways with their toxic waste day after day - and charge them with inciting to riot.

Or, at least, and EPA violation.

A PfAW staffer who showed up to check out the scene talked to many participants, and when she asked why they showed up, an overwhelming number gave the same answer: "Glenn Beck sent me."

We need to take that statement very seriously. Even more importantly, we need to find a way to hold these yahoos accountable for the abuse of the rights and freedoms promised to us in the Constitution.

I don't know what that might look like, exactly. I only know without these right wing nuts blighting the landscape with their hatred, this country just may start to look again like the America I know and love.


Kirk Petersen said...

Mother Elizabeth, surely you can't be unaware of the eight years of death threats and Nazism charges endured by the most recent president of the other party? This link will match you picture for picture.

This is not in support of the loonies on the right -- it's just to say they are easily matched in number and intensity by the loonies on the left.

Kay & Sarah said...

The hate and anger directed toward Obama is so disturbing to me. As much as I disliked how George Bush governed our country, I would not have wanted this kind of hate and anger target toward him.

These temper tantrums in the streets remind of an uncontrolled child who pitches fits when things don't got his or her way. The big difference is the children are smaller AND not armed.

Bateau Master said...

... its a lot like the listening process, don't be afraid - engage.

Why are these people protesting?

Do they have valid political views?

How do your views differ?

What would be your points to change their minds?

What could be their points to change your mind?

the Reverend boy said...

Watching the entire thing unfold has been very disturbing

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

As someone posted on facebook: 400% increase in threats against the president? that disproves your thesis, Kirk.

People went to Bush events and were arrested for wearing anti-Bush T-shirts. People go to Obama events with guns.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

BateauMaster: I don't want to change anyone's minds. This is still America. They are free to think whatever they wish. Thanks be to God. They do have a responsibility, however, to use what they say to the power of good, not the power of evil.

Wear a T-shirt or carry a placard that says whatever you want it to say, just say it responsibly and, if you are a Christian, with a sense of Christian behavior.

And, leave your guns, and threats of having a gun and using it, at home.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

No one is speaking about the 'left-wing crazies'. In fact, give me an example - just one instance - where 'left wing crazies' have called for the death of POTUS or a VP. Impeachment, yes. And, not without good reason. But death? I'm not from Missouri, but - show me. My question to you, Kirk, is why are you defending the behavior of the "haters and white supremacists"? Because, you know, you are. I know you don't want to, but you are, at the very least, excusing their behavior by making a claim about 'left wing crazies' that you can't support with any evidence.

Jane Priest said...

NO to mention the "preacher" out in Arizona who said, and I heard this with my own ears, "I want Sasha and Malia to not have a father. I want Michelle Obama to be a widow." He said he wanted Obama dead but somehow the language didn't quite cross the line to a threat on the President's life. Except that later in Tempe (?) when the Pres. was speaking to a crowd, there was a man with a gun. Guess what? A parishioner of that "preacher."

There are wackos on both sides of the political aisle but in all cases, leaders need to stand up and confront this? Where is the Republican, classical conservative to stand up and rebuke this? Get some balls or ovaries!

danielj said...

Very disturbing...and dangerous spiritually, physcially, and culturally.

And engaging these folks will not have any rational outcome. I have family and loved ones (christians, no less!) who bought into the whole "Obama as antichrist; nazi; terrorist etc" well before he even got elected. Trying to talk with them about this is like trying to rationally engage a hystrionic or phobic. Its all irrational emotion.

Those who disliked Bush/Chenney did so mostly out of response to the reality of things they said and did. the hatred toward our current potus is merely because he "is". ..way out of proportion to the reality of what he has said and done so far.

Hatred and fear of the "other" is a source of bigotry and prejustice. That people, made up of in appropriate stuff, can rise to positions of authority is more than some can bear. A black Prez; a gay Bish; a female PB ...all are signs of a world trying to climb out of its own sinfullness. Sin responds very adamantly and forcefully against its own demise.

In the case of hystrionic hatred of our Prez; simply fear fueled racism thinly veiled behind idealogy. my2cnets
blessings Daniel

Kirk Petersen said...

In fact, give me an example - just one instance - where 'left wing crazies' have called for the death of POTUS or a VP.

Elizabeth, I already did give you multiple examples. Here again is the link.

My question to you, Kirk, is why are you defending the behavior of the "haters and white supremacists"? Because, you know, you are. I know you don't want to, but you are, at the very least, excusing their behavior by making a claim about 'left wing crazies' that you can't support with any evidence.

Here again (again) is the link. I am no more defending the white supremacists than you are defending the people pictured at the link.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Kirk - let me guess. Fox News is one of your main sources for news.

This site is run by one individual who refuses to identify himself, who says HE "takes the pictures" and then, if he decides it is newsworthy, prints it on his main blog. Even HE didn't think this was "newsworthy" so he posted it on his blog.

Gimme a break! Who knows if these are actual pictures or ones he photoshopped? God knows.

On the other hand, the stats and pictures I post here come from the Southern Poverty Law Project and from People for the American Way.

Identity. Truth. Transparency. Real organizations with real missions and real budgets.

You know, from your previous posts, I thought you were smarter than that.

Kirk Petersen said...

You know, from your previous posts, I thought you were smarter than that.

That almost sounds like an ad hominem attack.

The dozens of anti-Bush photos I linked to are no more photoshopped than the handful of anti-Obama photos you posted. There are nuts on both sides of the aisle. The right-wing nuts do not represent me or the millions of conservatives who honorably disagree with the president's policies.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Kirk, please. Don't insult my intelligence or yours. This guy has absolutely no credibility. None. Zip. Zilch. Nada. And you want to put this up against organizations like PfAW?

I never said that the Right Wingnut Yahoos represented conservatives or anyone who respectfully disagrees with the POTUS. I said that Right Wingut Yahoos are violent and dangerous.

We - every one of us along the political spectrum - have a responsibility to make sure that our rights like freedom of speech and the right to assemble, are exercised responsibly.

I understand your defensiveness. These guys are an embarrassment to the Grand Ole Party - indeed, to everything America stands for. But please, get through that and pay attention to legitimate messages of concern. When you don't, you run the risk of sounding more like them than your true self.

JimB said...

I followed the link to the site Kirk referenced and no it does not match 'picture for picture.' Not even close. It is simply true that some of these people are scary and do not even approach Christianity.


MarkBrunson said...

You push them into a corner - we like to call it "rational argument" - and see what happens with these right-wing animals.

I have not, ever, had a case in which it didn't end with someone nearly yelling that ". . that n***er is trying to make us poor!"

Never had it not end like that. That's not to say there aren't those that have concerns that they express rationally - however irrational they truly are - but that these people are a danger. Is the Secret Service investigating them?

And, Kirk, another swing and miss from my perspective, too. I don't doubt there are those "lefties" out there who are violent - there was a Weather Underground - but what you are presenting as evidence simply isn't convincing.

Matthew said...

One of the main disagreements I have with Kirk, and one that has been highlighted in our society with the passing of Walter Cronkite is that we cannot have a real debate if we don't agree on the proper news stories. People like Kirk would have us rely on other sources of information to prove their claims. Now, I am not saying there is sometimes media bias, and sometimes its also against the left. But when I am told that my sources of information -- NPR, NY Times -- are not legitimate because they don't contain these photos that linked to, AND that I need to be persuaded by those sources, we have automatically created an unsolveable dilemma.

Distributorcap said...


great post and so true and so scary

your reader kirk is really grasping here - while there was plenty of anger against bush and previous administration - none of it was at the level of hate and near violence that is going on now

name ONE incident where someone on the left carried a gun to a political rally and was proud of it

name ONE person (a la Beck) who called Bush a person who hates black people (Kanye West did i Know - i am talking a political leader - AND GLENN BECK is a political leader like it or not)

name anyone on the left who talked like Rush - calling for segregation of buses.

the right is full of hate and a-hem - sore losers.

where the whole argument falls down is when absolutely NO REPUBLICAN leaders will denounce beck and hannity

and joe wilson - well he is now a hero

the ultra right led europe into disaster, it will here as well

Kirk Petersen said...

Elizabeth, I suspect you are the only person who will see this after this long, but I went back and looked up this thread after reading the news today that the level of threats against Obama is no higher than against Bush or Clinton.

The source is the head of the Secret Service, and he specifically rejected the 400% figure cited above.

And I didn't see it on Fox. Here are links to the story on CBS, CNN and the left-liberal Talking Points Memo.

To be clear: Democrat or Republican, any threat against a president is one too many. I voted for the other guy, but Obama is MY president too, and I pray for his well-being.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

I thought I understood that the threats against Mr. Obama TODAY are no higher than other presidencies at this juncture. But, they WERE higher when this was reported. I suspect the security systems are even better.