Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Echos of the not so distant past........

After the Health Care Reform bill passed in the house on Sunday, Rush Limbaugh uttered the following words on his radio program:  “[T]hey won yesterday. They won because they held congress and the presidency and therein lies the lesson. We need to defeat these bastards. We need to wipe them out. We need to chase them out of town. [...] “They must my friends, be hounded out of office. Every single Democrat who voted for this needs to know, safe district or not, they are going to be exposed and hassled and chased from office. We now have leftist radicals in charge of your healthcare decisions rather than doctors”

In a speech he gave on the verge of gaining the chancellorship of Germany, Adolph Hitler used the word 'vernichtung' more than two dozen times.  The translation is: ' to exterminate', or 'to destroy'.  In meaning and character, it is IDENTICAL to the phrase Limbaugh used. Hitler was using it to express what he envisioned for the Jews of Germany and of Europe at large.  And, amazingly, in the disasterous 12 years that followed, a vast majority of Germans claimed they simply couldn't imagine that things would spiral out of control, culminating in, of course, the Holocaust, and the complete devastation of their country and much of the world.

Limbaugh is a hate-monger.  He has a talent and a limitless appetite for stirring hatred in the hearts of his listeners.  It makes him happy to do this apparently.  He gleams with pleasure when accused of so doing.  But, he has now crossed the line of what is morally permissible and conscionable.  When he tells his audience (estimated to be between 14 and 25 million people, via 400 radio stations) to "...wipe them out", he is speaking to people who, to some degree, may be willing to take what he is suggesting literally.  Out of that many people, I am willing to bet that there is a certain percentage who are low-brow enough, and seething with hatred to the point that they will start down the path toward acting out.  
The Tea Party rallies are a good example of the mob mentality at large.  As Rep. John Lewis was walking into the capitol to vote on health care reform, people in the crowd were shouting racist epithets at him.  This man was savagely beaten in one of the Selma Alabama marches....now he is, 45 years later, being called the 'n-word' on the steps of our nation's capital?  Barney Frank was harangued with homophobic rhetoric.  How revealing of the mentality behind these rallies. Nevermind that this is crude, hateful, and disgusting behavior on the part of one citizen toward another, it is a stunning lack of respect for lawmakers, the nation's democratic process and just plain thuggish.

These people are free to be out there registering their discontent.  Amen.  But, for them to think that racist, homophobic, Nazi-esqe behavior is permissible, says to me...and should to everyone who is paying attention...that we are crossing the Rubicon here. We are turning towards a veritable chasm of darkness, with two sides so hateful and even violent (in rhetoric, so far)  towards each others' opinions that healing may be impossible if we continue down this sad path.  

A democracy where one side's views are attacked outside of the legal process, where intimidation, vileness and core disrespect are commonplace...is not really a democracy anymore.  It has become a battlefield, and the object is no longer a harmonious society where the rule of the majority becomes policy.  The object becomes that of winning at any cost.

And, I am wondering just how high that cost will go. 

If human values are not clung to with a sense that our HUMANITY is what is truly valuable, and we trample the opposition with steel-toed boots whenever possible, we will find ourselves in a society that is approaching being unlivable.


1 comment:

Steve K. said...

Well said Murad!!! Mr. LimBaugh serves only his interests and fears. I have a degree in communications and many of Rush's aud. do not realize he is a yarn spinning for their amusement. Thank God people like you seek to out his "hate" speech.