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Saturday, July 26, 2014
During the Bush Darkness, after attempting unsuccessfully to disprove numerous horror stories regarding just what Lil George and the Gang were up to, foreign and domestic...I purchased and flew a “Navy Jack”...
The flag company was out of “Gadsden Flags”...perhaps not expecting any purchase orders for such paraphernalia during such a rabidly Right Wing administration.
The Navy Jack has red and white horizontal stripes, and a snake, and the words, “Don't Tread on Me”.
As time wore on, and more reports came in of true lawlessness by the most powerful men in the country, I flew the American Flag upside down, as well.
I painted on the tailgate of my Ugly Truck, “IMPEACH”.
Of course, no one engaged with me on these or any other statements or actions. I never threatened anyone.
And, of course, I never once even entertained the idea of...let alone actively prepared for...any kind of “revolution” or “uprising”. I never called for anyone's death and dismemberment.
What I did call for, openly, was the impeachment, and arrest and prosecution...in the International Court, if necessary...of everyone from Dick and George on down the line to those sadistic lunatics in Abu Graib.
Once, this stance...and my outspokenness...nearly got me strangled by a local Righty...a member of the American Legion...
I was called a “Traitor” and a “Terrorist Lover”...a “Communist” and a “Muslim”.
To be clear, as is my usual habit I tried mightily to prove all of the crazy things I was reading about the Fedgov wrong.
I tried to DISPROVE them, to myself.
I found that much of the scary stuff was simply unproveable, either way...too much Secrecy.
Much of it, however, was right there in the Federal Register...on Thomas.Gov...on the Whitehouse website...on CSPAN.
From appropriations for actual “Detention” Camps(!), to scary whispers regarding widespread spying....even infiltration of certain web-fora, and of the Quakers.
The spying and infiltration of lefty groups, and of doomer websites(with strong moderators and clear rules about violent talk) has been confirmed, repeatedly...not least by the revelations of Ed. Snowdon.
The Camp appropriations were in the Congressional Record.
I felt strongly that My Country was doing Great Evil in the world...and that it was my Responsibility to speak up....and to do nothing to support such Evil.
During this same period...starting in 2004...our neighbor(rest in hell), began stalking us...sneaking around our place at night...killing cats...cutting rope swings...actually bugging my house, using our own baby monitors...all manner of crazy, inexplicable things.
The local law did nothing...save tell us that we were crazy...and threaten to arrest me for firing my gun at midnight into the brush along the fencerow...out of utter frustration at not being able to catch that little shit.
This guerrilla terrorism went on for years...until the neighbor was locked up in a nuthouse for “early onset alzheimer's”. He died earlier this month.
When he was sent away,all of the crazy activity... still ongoing, but at a much lower level...stopped.
Like a valve had been closed on the crazy well.
Also during this same time, I engaged in a years long Field Study of the Right Wing...reading everything and lurking in their various web-fora(which, by the way, seemed to have no rules limiting violent threats against Liberals, or anyone else)
At the same time, I paid close attention to our local yokels...the rhetoric overheard in the greasy spoon and the feedstore...letters to the editor, often in hateful and threatening response to my own LTE's.
It was a scary time to be a Liberal Leaning Libertarian...a Hippie Peacenik...and a Weirdo.
I am all of these things...but I also love My Country....and truly desire it to be that proverbial “Shining City on a Hill”.
But it was “How dare you criticize Our President during a time of war?!!??”
“Love it or Leave It”.
And “My Country, right or wrong”.
How different things looked in 2008...when it became clear that a Black Man with a funny name would be the Democratic nominee, and likely the next President.
Fear of the Camps...fear of the Fedgov “coming to get our guns”...of them “Rounding Up” Tea People...of the Curtailing of Civil Liberties and Martial Law...all things that were at least threatened.....by the previous bunch...
Soon, Obama was hung in effigy...there were calls for his Impeachment and Hanging, even before he had taken office...
Rabid allegations of election fraud...with absolutely no proof...again, unlike the Previous Bunch.
These crazy ass people convinced themselves that suddenly the President was coming after them, lawless and brazen in his attempt to kill the Constitution...all the things that they had so vocally and violently SUPPORTED under Lil George.
Seems it's perfectly fine if the intended inmates of those Camps are “terrists”, or “Terrist Sympathizers”.
It should be noted that the same thing happened when Clinton came into Office...just to a much lesser degree. Back then, the most rabid and frothing anti-government nutters were still way out on the fringe of Republican politics.
They are not on the fringe, any more.
I just read the SPLC's newest report...linked below...on the newest iteration of this.
While Potok is sometimes somewhat breathless in his own rhetoric...I find that I cannot prove any of his (well documented) assertions wrong.
I watched the terrible display of hateful ignorance at the Bundy Ranch, with recognition.
I've been in Texas since I was 6 months old...mostly East Texas...and am too familiar with those types of folks.
Where I grew up, the Klan was everywhere, and all but invisible. There were anti-government nutters playing soldier in the woods. There were racist and anti-gov extremists, and even proud theocrats, in numerous elected offices, on police forces and in positions of economic power. Corruption, rampant... and Blatant Persecution of anyone who didn't fit their narrow definition of “Real American”.
In response, and as best as I was able, I grew a hard shell,and learned to find the courage...at least most of the time...to stand up for what I thought was right.
I learned about the Bill of Rights...about Due Process...about Habeus...and all the rest...the history of such ideas and Ideals...as well as their abrogation, over long years. This was before the internet.
But you can't fight the Cops...nor the entrenched Old Boy's Club...and win, without help.
I had no help...and had learned to drink in order to self medicate for what was likely PTSD.This is all documented elsewhere.
My reason for the brief rehashing is to point out that I am not newly fallen from the turnip truck...I have been watching and studying these folks, at least tacitly, for most of my life.
To be sure, I am still a Libertarian...I believe wholeheartedly that the Federal Government, as well as State and Local Government, for the most part, have overstepped their bounds.
Not just the spying and the drug war, but...as I've also said elsewhere, the legal and regulatory assault on the small and the different, and the coddling of wealthy and the crazy: so long as they were white, and so long as their crazy fit into the approved mold.
But never in a million years would I harbor a fantasy of overthrowing the government...any government... by force.
Not only do I deem such fantasy futile, in the extreme...I reckon that that's what Elections are for.
That's what Freedom of Speech is for.
That's what Speaking Truth to Power is for.
I want My Country to Be Better...to Resist Evil...to be of by and for the People.
I want it to continue the Enlightenment Project...and to put an end to the Classification of every damned thing...so that We, the People, can better keep an eye on our employees' doings.
...and for my trouble, I am called a “Traitor”.
Yet, the lunatics in Tricorns, carrying guns to DC to “Arrest the President”...calling, repeatedly and openly, for the violent overthrow of government...those with the bumperstickers that say things like “save America, shoot a liberal”...these are to be afforded every consideration...because they are the “Patriots”.
When Occupy Wall Street got going, and all of those thousands of young folks camped out in Zuccotti Park...preaching and Practicing Non-Violence...out came the fire hose, the taser and the tear gas....and the Right said that it was Good and Just...Occupy, in challenging the Aristocracy, was somehow “Unamerican”....and deserved what they got.
Where were the Federal Agents when the Tea People came to Washington with assault rifles, preaching and practicing violence?
Where were the Cops?
In my online wandering, I was often confronted with the all too common Eliminationist Rhetoric... imagery of the Noose, and the Gun...and the ignorant fearmongering.
I made it my business to confront these people...to call them out...and to demand an explanation.
In often Violent verbiage, I was told that ...no...it is the Left...the Liberal...who is the source of Violence. I asked for examples....the Weather Underground,”Union Thugs”, Pol Pot, the KKK(from back when Democrats in the South were Racist Assholes), Joe Stalin....and after Jonah Goldberg's little book, Adolf Hitler. After all, didn't the NAZI's have “Socialism” in their name?
I tried patiently to explain that Dictators, and Authoritarian Strongmen...Death Squads...that all of these things were inimical to Liberalism.
I provided quotes from the Founders, and from 200+ years of Liberal Thought.
I walked them through the Philosophy behind Liberalism.
And, when none of that worked, I pointed to the numerous incidents of Violence and Hate Speech perpetrated by the Right...and I didn't have to go back very far.
After being inundated with my wall of evidence and logic, my interlocutors invariably resorted to Threats...to me, and my family, and more nebulously, to all Libtards and Commies.
In each of these many exchanges, my opponents made attempts at the beginning to seem accepting of our difference of opinion. But as the evidence mounted, and they found themselves outmatched, these niceties fell away.
They were the only Real Americans...I, along with the President, were interlopers and imposters....usurping their Rights, “Imposing” our Will upon their Children.
Rushbo said so.
As hard as it has been, sometimes, I have always strove to defend the Rights of people like this to believe whatever nonsense they want to.
It is their Right....until their Exercise of their Rights interferes with anyone else's.
This would seem to put me, and other thoughtful Liberals, at a distinct disadvantage.
What I fear the most...above all other things...is a new Civil War...a war of All against All...which is exactly where I see the Intransigence of the Right heading.
They have said as much...repeatedly.
Their subconscious sees their loss of Majority, their loss of Privilege over others whom they deem “Unworthy”...they see a Changing World...where they are not on top, by virtue of their heritage, or the color of their skin, or their Religion...and this terrifies them.
I really do understand.
But if one runs the trendlines out to their end...if one follows the trail of “logic” of the various beliefs and assertions and proposals of these folks, ...If one runs a thought experiment, wherein they are given everything they say they want...what one ends up with is a Theocratic Fascism,full of violence and rapine.
This is well worth fighting against.
I fear that one day, Liberals...indeed, all Free Thinking People who don't fit the Narrow and ill-defined definition of “Real American”...I fear that we will wake up and find that the USA is no more...and that in it's place will be
Hell on Earth, created expressly in Jesus' Name.
At some point, to curtail that end, it would behove us to begin to learn to protect ourselves.
As much as I hate the very idea, I fear that we must begin to go about armed...and prepared to fight.
Because I don't see this threat diminishing.
Our Government...especially in Texas...has shown repeatedly that they are at least tacitly on the side of the Crazies...and are more than willing to bring arms to bear against anyone but the Right Wing.
That is not the world that I want...but the world that they will give us, if we continue to hide and to avoid confrontation, is much much worse.
Even if the Radical Right fails...or never even actually makes the attempt...they are handing the worst parts of Our Government all of the reason that they need to continue to fence us all in...to curtail the Rights of All of Us.
The foolishly named “Homeland Security”, while ostensibly established to “Protect Us from terrorists”, increasingly looks more like it is intended to protect the powerful from Us, the American People.
The Right has long supported the very agencies and arms of the various governments who most threaten Our Freedoms...and now, they are actively helping those agencies, by raising arms against the United Nations, and the Illuminatii...by being so terrified of someone taking their guns...of believing that Liberals and Commies and Terrists are under every bed, and out to get them...they hand all the justification that is needed over to the more authoritarian, and downright Ugly parts of Government.
Currently, many, many folks simply fail to vote...and that's bad enough.
Many who do vote fail to vote at every opportunity.
Many more, while they vote, fail to continue to engage in politics, after an election....they fail to speak out against egregious abuses of power, and of privilege, and against all of the nasty ugliness that comes out of the Right's media circus.
These failures do nothing but make the dire predictions I've reluctantly arrived at More Likely. These failures artificially push our legislatures further to the Right. They enable all of this Crazy.
Many vote for the GOP...and even TEA...because of Abortion...or the Gay...or because the Preacher said...or they heard that Liberals are Communists, out for blood and human sacrifice.
I've heard lots of excuses.
Will we look back, one day, and lament...through the razor wire...that it could have been prevented?
That our inaction in Civil Discourse, and in Civil Society in general, let the Darkness come?
And then that our inaction when the Right's guns were brought to bear, let an even deeper Darkness fall?
Like almost everybody else, I have long hoped that this...fever...in our opponents would pass...that they would sober up, as it were.
I still hope for that.
Folks should endeavor to get along, lest we slip into barbarity.
But there are some who look forward to barbarous times, in their secret hearts, if not openly. Some wish for hell quite openly and shamelessly.
The fever appears to be spreading, and the rest of us should be prepared for the worst... if the GOP loses the House...and especially if Hillary gains the Whitehouse.