Blogs » Politcs Plus » A divided nation


The United States is on the path of civil unrest and a culture war not seen since the Civil War. It doesn't have to be because “facts are largely absent, or buried under mountains of fiction” as Trudy Rubin of the Philadelphia Inquirer put it. I think Bill Maher hit the nail on the head on the head, Friday night ,when he said "the media is dumb, our representatives are dumb, and the American people are dumb" as a reason all the conspiracy theories are starting to get traction. How else can you explain the reason the conspiracy theories, rumors, and hyperboles are getting the air time. In the 1980s, representatives would not want their names tied to such nonsense, and the media would have done extensive journalistic investigations before even thinking of publishing or giving legitimacy to any story of this nature. In this market of 24/7 news reporting, being first to report these stories trumps anything else. These days a politician will put his name on it if he sees future votes or donations down the road. A citizen can easily find a website that gives credence to his superstitions or beliefs.

Trudy Rubin said conspiracy theories thrive in tough times but I believe it's more than that. I believe those that continuously spread the rumors, conspiracy theories, and exaggerations resent the fact that the president of the United States is an African-American. Several pundits wondered if Congressman Joe Wilson would have yelled at President Bill Clinton, at a joint session of Congress. Would they have protested a 17 minute speech by the president of the United States on "staying in school?" I usually shy away from the subject of racism because we simply cannot look into someone's heart. Some local pollsters will dare any one to call them a racist but their comment history or the past statements leave little doubt of their intentions or beliefs.

Several have rightly questioned the un-American antics of Reverend Jeremiah Wright but when Larry Kilgore of the Texas Nationalist Movement( secessionist group) pointed at the United States flag at the Texas Capitol and said” ” “I hate that flag up there,” Kilgore said pointing to the American flag flying over the Capitol. “I hate the United States government. … They’re an evil, corrupt government. They need to go. Sovereignty is not good enough. Secession is what we need!” “We hate the United States!,” not much media coverage…Congressman Ron Paul endorsed the candidacy of Debra Medina, a member in that fringe group……No out cry of "guilt by association.".

I don't usually agree with right-wing ideologue, Charles Krauthammer, but on the subject of the resignation of Van Jones, I pretty much agree with an article he recently wrote. Mr. Krauthammer said that since Van Jones was not in charge of foreign policy and the Fed, who really cares if he was a self -proclaimed Commie or his choice of words for Republicans, he cited the “truther petition” as the reason Van Jones had to go because political parties are required to police their extremist. I think Van Jones should have been fired for a lying on his application because line 61 of the job application asked about affiliations with radical organizations. This low level appointee may have not required the normal vetting as a high-level official in the Cabinet would have gone through but I think the administration will change their application process. Van Jones probably has the best credentials for creating green jobs in the United States. He started a company called Green for All, that had a specific focus on creating "green-collar” jobs for underprivileged kids. I can understand why the administration wanted Van Jones, but I can also see why his resignation was accepted. As Howard Kurtz of CNN's “Reliable Sources” said Sunday” Glenn Beck will not tell his audience that it was a group founded by Van Jones that was responsible for over 40 sponsors to stop advertising on his show.” The right complained about the lack of coverage for a low level appointee(Van Jones) resignation but did they have the same outrage when David Safavian- Administrator for Federal Procurement Policy, Office of Management and Budget, Executive Office of the President resigned and was arrested the same day on charges resulting from the Jack Abramoff corruption investigation, several Officials in the Justice Department had to resign because of politicizing the justice department, along with the scandals of Scooter Libby, Alberto Gonzales and Karl Rove? This president has a long way to go before you can compare his administration to one that was riddled in scandal, subverting the Constitution, and leading us into a war of choice. That is not a conspiracy theory; it is a fact backed up by the Senate Intelligence Committee, federal courts, and congressional testimony. I did not put in the last paragraph for a tit-for-tat rebuttal but to show that one resignation from a low-level employee in an administration that usually employs 8,000, the Van Jones resignation, is nothing to write home about.

I wish the media would study the issues, so they would ask important questions not just settle for the talking points given by both parties. e.g. To David Axelrod's surprise Bill O'Reilly suggested that the Fed should allow health insurance companies to compete from state to state. Whatever happened to state rights? MSNBC's Carlos Watson hosted Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) and CNBC anchor Maria Bartiromo for a discussion on health care. At one point, Bartiromo was critical of the government-managed health care system in the United Kingdom. "How do I know the quality [of health care in the United States] is not going to suffer" with a public option? She asked. Rep. Weiner reminded her that there already is government-managed health care in the United States -- namely, Medicare, the system created for Americans 65 years and older -- and that patients with Medicare report very high satisfaction rates. Bartiromo's response to this argument was a true head-scratcher. In a mocking tone, she pressed the congressman: "How come you don't use it [Medicare]? You don't have it?"...Rep. Weiner is only 44 years old. See it happens on Fox and MSNBC.

Perhaps the new NFL season, Dancing with the Stars or some other outlet will come between all this turmoil and let us have a cooling off period.