Friday, February 27, 2009

A letter to Republicans everywhere

Imagine this scenario:

You live in a neighborhood where you know most of your neighbors. Not block-party-every-weekend-know, but you know their names and faces and exchange waves as you get the morning paper or walk the dog.

One neighbor, however, is a bit of a loner. That neighbor never comes to barbecues, never passes out candy at Halloween, never waves or says hello when you do.

They look pissed most of the time when you see them. And lately instead of ignoring your attempts to be friendly as they usually do, the person has started flipping you off.

They also start to build a very high, very thick wall around their yard. Hanging racist signs on that wall for all the neighborhood to see, and put some graphic pictures of violence on those walls, too. There's lots of pictures of guns and weapons of every type. They hang a confederate flag and start fires in their driveway as a nightly ritual.

Would you be concerned and worried for the safety of your neighborhood and yourself and family?

Surely not, right? Those things hanging on the wall are just pictures. And that kind of violent, anti-social behavior isn't really a vague threat of doing something?

The rightwing media is whipping people like this neighbor into hating everyone in the neighborhood. It is feeding their paranoid delusion that everyone outside that wall is the enemy, they are people that person has to fear, to kill if need be.

People are talking openly on Hannity's website (and on other websites) about revolution and succession.

Why? So they can keep their weapons and build their walls?

No one's trying to take their guns or keep them isolated.

But they won't listen to folks in their own neighborhood, their very own neighbors among whom they live because they want nothing to do with the African American family that lives next door.

Or the small Latino family that lives across the street.

Or the gay couple who lives on the corner.

Or the [insert non-christian religious group/athiest here] family who lives in the house just behind them.

It's going to take an outside intervention, from people these folks might respect just a little and think of as fellow human beings.

The GOP wants feel like it's part of this country?

This is your chance to take the lead and stop this shit right now.

It's time you acted and talked to your neighbors who are on the fringe and are ready to end this country.

Yours are the only voices that this scared, angry neighbor who lives among us all will listen to.

And if you don't speak up, or you do and they won't listen, then I don't know what the answer is.

But at least you will have done something.

And doing something is always better than turning a blind eye and doing nothing while the most frightened among us turn to violence and war to solve their feelings of powerlessness.

21 comments:

Seeing Eye Chick February 27, 2009 at 11:20 AM  

I believe this IS the end result of GOP intervention. How long before the GOP version of the Night of the Long Knives I wonder?

If crimes are committed in the name of Sean Hannity and Fox, then both should be prosecuted.

Free Speech is one thing.
Inciting a Riot or Hate Crimes is another.

skyewriter February 27, 2009 at 11:24 AM  

I guess my naivete is showing in that I believe there are moderate republicans that haven't stepped up yet.

Didn't all of their signs read "Country First"?

I have to believe that some actually meant it...

boxcarokie.com February 27, 2009 at 12:00 PM  

Sizzle ... Sizzle .. Git reddy sister, cause here it comes!

Gutsy post indeed.

BCO

Today's secret comment word is hurge, which is the roll of fat that sticks out from one's bra.

(Oh, that is good, I like that one!)

skyewriter February 27, 2009 at 12:10 PM  

Hurge! Ha!

I have never had a name for that and how depressing that one actually needs to be given to a sad extra bit of flesh that just about every real woman I know has.

It's a bra manufacturer conspiracy :).

Traffic's way down. Those gun folks aren't even looking at other stuff on my blog, so I'm not too worried. If so, I always have my trusty delete button.

Chris February 27, 2009 at 1:12 PM  

Loss of control and desperation are two dangerous feelings firing up the hate speeches at the CPAC conference...shame on them! There are a lot of people out there listening to this crap! And they BELIEVE what they are being told!

True Blue Texan February 27, 2009 at 1:38 PM  

Indeed there are moderate Republicans out there just like there are Christian Democrats.

I want to believe as well that the type of Republican that talks openly and not so openly about violence is a small but vocal minority in the party. It is far past time that the moderates step up and stand up to the extremists.

---

I'm on a roll. I got another real word- batch. That's like two in as many days but not unfortunately in as many comments.

And BCO- I have a board game for you. It's called Balderdash.

skyewriter February 27, 2009 at 2:04 PM  

I love, love, love balderdash.

********

I am starting to think that the extremists have more time on their hands to stew and foment because they are under/unemployed and/or broke.

Also, the anti-muslim sentiment that our government has demonstrated has given *validation* to their own brands of hate. Now, they don't have a president (or a general population) who validates them.

What I can't understand is how the extremists think that having a revolution is going to change that in any way?

Seems kind of strange to seek to destroy the very society of which they so desperately want to be a part (i.e., the America).

driftwood February 27, 2009 at 2:15 PM  

I tried to imagine your scenario, but since I don't know anyone at all like that, I can't see it. Most of my friends are conservatives, and they are all friendly to everyone they meet. Except when having a bit of a snarky day, but then everyone gets that way sometimes. No one I know personally is speaking of any revolution or secession.

I've read some stuff online, but I'm not reading violent comments. I didn't even see that much of what you're talking about on the Hannity forum. I only saw one short thread about that. And nothing violent.

The rightwing media is whipping people like this neighbor into hating everyone in the neighborhood.

I'm sorry, but I have to disagree. I listen to what you would call 'rightwing media' and so do some other people I know. And none of us hate anyone.

But there is a move to take guns away from people. It's call HR 45 and it is supposed to make it so expensive and put so many restrictions on ownership that it will be very difficult to own a gun anymore.

No one I know is building a wall of isolationism; not even figuratively.

But government is growing at monumental speed, and the stimulus bill is going to raise taxes in a huge way. Government is taking control of the private sector at an alarming rate and many people are extremely uncomfortable with that, myself included.

But being unhappy with the way that government is going doesn't translate into being a racist and hating your neighbor.

skyewriter February 27, 2009 at 2:38 PM  

Hi Driftwood:

First, before I get another ridiculous flood of traffic at the *mere* mention of a gun; this post is NOT about guns. It's about SEDITION and the irresponsible Hannity poll:
http://forums.hannity.com/showthread.php?t=1326121

I was very careful to be sure to describe the person in my extended metaphor (not intended to be taken literally) as an "extremist", not as an average/moderate Republican.

I also intended to demonstrate that I think this is a very small, but very dangerous faction of people. If you have any doubt, check out the Tea Party or look at the report that came out yesterday on hate groups.

The "neighbor" was meant to be an exercise in allegory. Not meant to be taken literally.

I also understand that the HR 45 bill is requiring insurance for gun owners. While I think the ***rates are unfair***, people have to have homeowners insurance for a mortgage, and car insurance if they wish to drive.

It would also require license renewal, something almost every type of license requires, like a driver's license, a hunting license or many types of permits.

In my mind this doesn't single out gun owners; it merely asks them to follow the same property ownership and operator guidelines as other licensed/indemnity required objects and practices.

I am glad you commented, driftwood, but I will be honest and tell you that I don't just put something up because I feel like it. I have things to back up my claims and since this wasn't an informative post, I didn't include them in this genre's style.

Here you have it though.

skyewriter February 27, 2009 at 2:58 PM  

PS Driftwood:

I don't personally know anyone like this or anyone on the left's lunatic fringe either, but I'm not in denial about their existence just because they aren't part of my everyday life or my circle of friends.

driftwood February 27, 2009 at 3:04 PM  

I responded the way I did because it was written "to Republicans everywhere" and you said:

"It's time you acted and talked to your neighbors who are on the fringe and are ready to end this country.

Yours are the only voices that this scared, angry neighbor who lives among us all will listen to.

And if you don't speak up, or you do and they won't listen, then I don't know what the answer is."


And I just wanted to point out that I don't know anyone like that. If I did, I'd be sure to try to calm them down. And I never denied their existence, but I don't know how to do as you've suggested with some fringe person when I don't even know where and who they are.

I only included a short paragraph about guns because you did say "No one's trying to take their guns" and a lot of gun owners see the restrictions differently than you do.

As far as the poll on Hannity's site, first of all it isn't a 'Hannity poll'. Some user of the forums there posted it, and later made this comment:

"Let me clarify that I am completely against any such action. I am posting the thread to learn if people are really thinking about these things. In my view it is abhorrent.

However, it is for exactly this reason that we should not shut down threads on this topic at all. We want to know what these people are thinking. It's better than pretending they don't exist."


I've read about 4 pages of comments and thus far it seems that most are against any form of armed conflict. About 76 people have voted, and frankly from the comments posted it would seem that those voting for armed conflict doesn't match up with the comments. Which tells me that some game playing liberals could be ramping up the numbers to make conservatives look like wackos. You may balk at that, but I've seen it happen with polls from both sides.

skyewriter February 27, 2009 at 3:41 PM  

Thanks for posting the information about Hannity's response.

He's still making bank from this, instead of taking it down.

I have perused all 450+ comments; I did so before I posted. There is some chatter about revolt, more about threats, a lot about how Dems are driving the country into the ground.

No matter which members of the GOP I addressed this to, I am damned.

if I say congressional GOP members, then I'm blaming the government for a state and civil issue, and I'm being too political.

If I say American GOP people, I am calling every one of them crazies and fringe people.

My only point (*sigh*) is that those on the fringe aren't going to listen to me, because I am just a "stupid, moon-whatever liberal".

They will only listen to people on their side of the bigger issues and who they can label and identify as big (R) republican.

I can't make them listen; but I can write my republican representatives and one of my senators (who is a republican) and ask the their party's leadership intervene before this gets worse.

I cannot spell out every. single. point.

I like you, driftwood, I do. But I am not attempting to narrowly define groups of people when that's not the point. Not trying to say this republican on this block in such and such neighborhood.

Sedition: that's the point.

And responsibility of people to contact their representatives...

I have a date tonight with my husband. I'm going to get ready for a nice evening out on the town away from computers, and dissertation, and news.

Have a good evening all.

driftwood February 27, 2009 at 3:52 PM  

Thanks for posting the information about Hannity's response.

It wasn't Hannity's response. It was the response of the guy who started the poll.

No one is damning you. I'm sorry if anything I said came across that way. I'm not narrowly defining people either. If anything, I had hoped that giving you a snapshot of my life and the conservatives I know might give you hope that these 'seditious' people are indeed, on the fringe.

I have to say one other thing though. If these people are a bit unbalanced, what makes you think they would listen to a Republican any more than they would listen to you? I guess I'd just have my doubts.

Nothing I've said is an attempt to get you stirred up. I am afraid that maybe this communication thing might not be working so well. We seem to have difficulty understanding each other. I wasn't getting anal about the specifics; I was sort of generalizing myself.

Hope you enjoy your date.

Seeing Eye Chick February 27, 2009 at 6:29 PM  

My biggest problem with the Hannity Poll--Problems:

1. The way its worded. It doesnt ask people if such things are on their mind or if they would consider participating in an Revolution or Civil War of some kind, But instead acts on the assumption, that yes indeed this is a common subject, that everyone is implied to be in approval of, the issue now is narrowing down how to execute this master plan.

2. There is no answer like : None of the Above or,
* We don't need to have a revolution or civil war.

And its timing in addition to the spike in activity by hate groups directly associated with the GOP collectively and in terms of people who self identify with GOP Ideology is by far, suspicious and indicative of a desire to see this come to pass.

Because he does make a mint with this crap. Its controversial, its ugly and apparently, from the activity we have seen lately {Driftwood--you are not included in this description} it appears those people are out there, spreading their particular kind of pro-violence approach to acheiving desired change in America--Culturally and Politically. This is more of that GOP, 'Shut the fuck up," culture that some of us liberals have been living with for quite a while.

Just because you don't see it, or don't see much of it, doesnt preclude the existence of this problem or it's apparent growth. I grew up in a community full of people like this, and I see the dubious fruits of their labor on a regular basis. IN fact, these types of people are such a problem, we have people who specialize in studying nothing but dangerous religious movements and hate groups. Right now, the main activity is coming from the most extreme end of the GOP continuum.

Saying you don't see it, and relaxing doesnt comfort those of us who have to deal with your less than sane brethren. Silence means compliance.

So if someone were to just go with the flow, then why not hold a sand bag for one of them. In for a penny, in for a pound. Because it makes no differece to the people who live in fear of their threats or who are hurt by their violence.

Chris February 27, 2009 at 7:32 PM  

I liked your post, and I got it...I also feel like we have to have hope that the GOP has some good people ready to take on the fringe, and get their party back on track. We need meaningful balance and dialogue in our govt. in order to problem solve effectively. Thank you for reminding me of this...like you, I have been reading and reacting to too much hateful bullshit in the last couple of days. It made me feel like there weren't any normal, kind, thoughtful, intelligent people left on the planet!
NOw go and have the night of your lives and forget about all of this stuff...you deserve it!!

catherinemacivor.com February 27, 2009 at 9:47 PM  

The Republican party is not what it once was. The Reagan Democrats ran like the wind. They were the moderates.

Palin said nothing at the rallies where they said "Kill him." It took McCain a while to stop comments that Obama was an Arab.

Driftwood, you need to pay more attention to your own party. They are still making statements about Obama's birth certificate at CPAC. LOL, which is inflaming the radical right.

Watch CPAC. You'll understand what Skye is saying much better.

There is also a long history of overt racism in the GOP.

Absolutely great post Skye. Seeing Eye, your comments were phenomenal.

Aliceson February 27, 2009 at 10:21 PM  

I agree with True Blue. There are Christian Democrats (I personally know a few) and there are republicans who voted for Obama. There are also people who love to creat chaos, and those of us who buy into it fuel them.

The negative folks will self destruct on their own.

Another great post Skye. I wish I could put into words what you do!!!

skyewriter February 27, 2009 at 11:11 PM  

How great it is to come home to lovely thoughts and comments.

Hope you all had a good night... I'm off to bed; too much hot sake and plum wine.

One last thing I want to say; I don't feel that republicans are the enemy. Just as I wish some would stop seeing progressives that way, too (and I'm not saying they all do).

We're all in this together and we've got some growing pains. But I believe America will emerge from the other side of this internal struggle for balance, well,more balanced.

'Nite all.

skyewriter February 28, 2009 at 10:10 AM  

This post is NOT about guns.

So for those who keep trying to submit comments about guns; you are off topic. Go to the plethora of gun blogs online and talk about it there.

Yes, I know, I use the word "gun" twice in this post.

I think I'm going to do a post solely about guns just so you can see how incredibly futile your attempts are to control this blog.

I have had a handful of gun bloggers come here, politely ask that their comments not be shared, because they don't want the same crazies coming to their blogs.

I know there's tons of rational gun folks out there. But for those who have harassed me with comments why can't you talk about anything OTHER than guns?

Here's part of a post from last week that ***a couple of you*** obviously missed:

To the 8 [*now 16] individuals who keep trying to abuse *me* through the comments about a *post* that was written over two days ago, you won't get a voice on this blog. In other words, you can stop checking that post to see if I am posting your comment. I'm not going to. Really, it's kind of sad that you keep coming back on a minute to minute basis to check it (according to my stat counter--it even captures rss feeds). Save yourself the hassle.

I have set a boundary and to the mentally unstable people that are failing to respect that boundary (*especially the one who has left me 15 comments [*now 38] since I started moderating them last night), you continue to fail to bully me into putting your hate onto my blog space. That's not free speech. That's manipulation and anti-social, psychotic disorder. Thanks to a friend for posting this link to her blog: www.wiredsafety.org/cyberstalking_harassment. I've got a few folks who fall into this category for sure.

Sidhe February 28, 2009 at 11:08 AM  

Skye, excellent post and great to hear that you two had a fantastic evening!

willpen February 28, 2009 at 6:34 PM  

Never underestimate the effect that seditious rhetoric can have on the public if left unchecked. We only need to be reminded of how unchecked and unquestioned rhetoric led to the annihilation of over 6 million people during WW II.

It seems that the subject of Freedom of Speech has been on all our minds lately. I guess you just have to accept that everyone has the right to express themselves, but you certainly have the right to call someone out on it if neccessary.

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