Political extremists block dialogue

Vincent Stigliani/Editor-in-Chief
Obama is an atheist. No, wait, actually he is a practicing Muslim.  And foreign-born. Also, his political philosophies first developed at a militant terrorist school in Indonesia, where he stumbled upon a tattered copy of Marx’s Communist Manifesto.

Ever since Obama became the Democratic presidential candidate frontrunner, far-right pundits have been throwing around such unaldulterated boulderdash with barely concealed glee. As nonsensical as these delusional ramblings may be, countless Americans seem eager to believe them.

All the allegations have one thing in common, and that is that they stem from ignorant, close-minded views that millions of Americans have cultivated over the past eight years. Since reason holds no sway in this strangest of times, distinctions that separate truth from fiction are blurred and hysteria trumps careful analysis.

For example, in post-9/11 America, the Muslim faith became a code word for “terrorist.” When Limbaugh “accused” Obama of being a devout Muslim-in-hiding, his listeners understood the meaning behind the slogan – a terrorist was running for president of the United States.

And now, in light of the ongoing healthcare debates, add Nazi -Socialist to the list of Obama’s flaws. Not only is this comparison extremely offensive, it is also completely off-target. First of all, Hitler’s Nazi regime is not branded in history books due to his social programs for post-WWI Germany.

Comparing a governmental initiative to provide health coverage for all Americans with the despicable regime that created the Holocaust is beyond tasteless. Secondly, to call Obama’s plan “socialist,” one must also feel that such respected presidents as Thomas Jefferson support socialist agendas. After all, in an 1810 letter to John Tyler, Jefferson remarked, “I have indeed two great measures at heart, without which no republic can maintain itself in strength: 1. That of general education, to enable every man to judge for himself what will secure or endanger his freedom. 2. To divide every county into hundreds, of such size that all the children of each will be within reach of a central school in it.”

Prior to the mid-19th century, education was not a fundamental right, but rather a privilege for the affluent. Today, nearly 200 years later, public education is deeply ingrained in American society, and few would argue against this institution.

Thus, in pushing for health care reform, Obama is not changing the fundamental principles of our government any more than leaders such as Thomas Jefferson have.

I am a staunch supporter of thoughtful, rational and intelligent challenges and critiques of governmental policies and initiatives. This distracting, unreasonable babble spewed by political extremists, however, is not improving our nation. Rather, it seems to be hindering beneficial, productive debate.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply