How many "Isolated Incidents" will it take to amount to something more?

Posted by Bushel Basket in , , , , ,

Like many of you, I've been wondering about the upswing in reactionary and inflammatory behavior in recent protests and political events. The Tea Party rallies against Health Care Reform, Republican representatives responses to the same issue, it all keeps building upon itself. The most recent events have me particularly worried.

We have members of Congress being called niggers and faggots. We have their offices being vandalized and windows broken. Some have even received death threats. This is stepping over the line from freedom of speech to illegal activity, some even say sedition. How many of these incidents need to take place before they aren't looked upon just as isolated cases, but symptoms of a larger illness?

What I find most worrying, is the lack of response from the Republican party and other conservative leaders in the face of these actions. In fact, it seems like the conservative idea is to fan the flames. Sarah Palin advises conservatives to "not retreat, but reload." Representative Stupak, a pro life candidate, was called a Babykiller on the House floor. And we can't forget Representative Wilson's "You Lie!" When our political leaders can't be counted on to preserve rational discourse, we stand on the brink of anarchy.

In a broader sense, I think the GOP's obstructionist tactics also contribute to this polarization. Instead of modeling a difference of opinion or a contrary point of view, they are the party of 'no.' That's fine in the short term, and may win them seats in the next election cycle. But I hope that they begin to realize that simply being contrarian is not a political position, and is maneuvering them into being allied with some pretty shady organizations and individuals. It's not a political party, it's an undefined mob, fueled by hate and fear.

Slowly, there seem to be some Republican voices that are beginning to see the problems that lie ahead. A former Bush speechwriter is saying that "Republicans originally thought that Fox worked for us and now we're discovering we work for Fox." Other conservatives have also started speaking out about this. And it's about time.

The growing Tea Party movement isn't a movement. As it functions now, it's a mob. It is a swirling irrationality, fueled by fear. Once the threats to our politicians began, the rage that was barely in check has released itself. This isn't a political movement, this is a back lash. We are looking at a ravenous creature, that will consume all that it can if it is not held in check. One Tea Party protestor, caught on film berating a counter protestor with Parkinsons, admits that he doesn't know what came over him, presumably he was caught up in the mob mentality.

This isn't to say that every Tea Partier is a violent individual. There are legitimate concerns that have been raised about how the government has prioritized various issues, whether you agree with them or not. There are questions about how we will pull ourselves out of this depression and if we will recover the lost jobs and the downturn in the housing market. But, the methodology being used in the Tea Party movement is not one of opposition to the Democratic party, but an all consuming nothing that will tear down whatever it can. It is the responsibility of all of our political leaders to address the needs of the people and not to fan the flames that already threaten to raze our country.

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Evolutionary Reason for Depression

Posted by Bushel Basket in ,

I find this article to be quite interesting. As a person who suffered\suffers from depression, I have also been identified as having many of the skills outlined in this article. Could major depression be an over expression of increased mental functioning?

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