Palin In the Crosshairs Following Arizona ShootingPolitics / US Politics Jan 10, 2011 - 02:08 AM GMT
Sarah Palin, "the most dangerous person in America", is a free agent. In Arizona, nineteen people have been shot, six of them dead. There is no excuse for wanton murder. And there are no excuses for those who instigate it. There are no excuses for Palin and Company, Rupert Murdoch, FOXNews demagogues, paranoid-stricken conspiracy theorists, Gold standard fanatics or anti-social neoliberal street-corner market analysts cheering the elimination of private and government workers.
In the end, they take no responsibility for fomenting the climate of fear, anger, hatred and now wonton murder they have contributed to and exacerbated. But let it be said, I have no proof that Sarah Palin is guilty of instigating wrongdoing, inciting mass murder or preaching "treason". She simply used "crosshairs" as a metaphor. As the Conservative/Tea Party blogs are saying, Sarah is the victim here. Nor do I have proof that FOX TV is a propaganda demon, it is only an "entertainment" channel, as Rupert claims. There is absolutely no evidence to suggest that a "lone wolf" killer named Jared Lee Loughner has any connection to any of the above. That said, I need no proof to pray for the victims.
The first big story of Saturday, January 8 - a day that might "go down in history" - was that the U.S. Justice Department had subpoenaed Twitter seeking identifying information on specific individuals, including Julian Assange, Birgitta Jonsdottir, a member of Iceland’s parliament, and others in its relentless probe against the all-too enigmatic WikiLeaks. Compounding the general haze surrounding the WikiLeaks phenomena and the unanswered questions about its underwriters, purpose and mission, is now the incursion of Government into the privacy rights of these Twitter users, and possibly all users as well. In 1970's parlance, there is a "chill" sweeping people that their contents of personal Tweets (as well as all their social-networking messages) will be handed to Government for purposes unknown and unrelated to WikiLeaks. Simply, this is "entrapment". This is McCarthyism.
Already subject to internet surveillance, RFID passports, airport scans, "turn in your neighbor" DHS campaigns and incalculable erosions of privacy justified by the Patriot Act of October 2001, President Obama now is proposing an Internet ID for all Americans. It is only a matter of time when most Americans will question the value of losing privacy and freedom in exchange for their multiple digital connections. By every measure, the digital world is already a totalitarian one.
In November, 2010, Americans elected a right-wing Congress and it now is in control of government. House Speaker John Boehner says that the shooting of an Arizona congresswoman won't stop representatives in Washington from their duties (AP). These "duties" have been outlined clearly to the electorate, which voted for and endorsed them: the accelerated destruction of government, elimination of entitlements, dismantling of social welfare, freezes and reductions on wages, McCarthy attacks on Unions, tax reductions for the wealthiest, deregulation of markets and corporations, imposition of "Christian" values onto a secular nation, and the reversal of policies and legislation (e.g. Health Care) enacted by majority vote during the Pelosi-Obama tenures. Stalinesque "purges" in the Republican Party already have replaced moderates with Tea Party office-holders in both national and state office levels. As President Obama has acquiesced and become a Chamberlain to Democrats, Republicans have acquiesced to the Right. There is no Center. Clearly, this political shift into a narrow spectrum on the Right - and one reflecting the gradual elimination of the middle classes - is controlled neither by Democrats nor Republicans anymore. It is controlled by extremists on the Right.
Personally, and entirely an intuitive hunch, I "heard" myself repeating that something of a tragic nature would occur that would be viewed later as the "first shot" that began a real and deadly civil war in America. As the moderate and centrist-to-left has weathered attacks from Right radio and TV personalities, Christian zealots, bombings, death threats, shattered glass, mail bombs, semi-automatic displays at Obama rallies, "Second Amen" rhetoric by Tea Party candidates, not any of these episodes has mobilized them like the event in Arizona on Saturday. I ask: Is this the "first shot" of the civil war? Or will it come as "return fire" from the Left? It is a precarious moment in America.
Since the gavel was thrown in the Republican House on Wednesday, mail bombs and now homicides have taken place aimed at Tea Party "enemies". Is it "open season" on Centrists, Liberals, Democrats and Progressives by Patriots remotely controlled by FOXNews demagogues and the David Koch fortune? If so, many people will need to rethink their initial dismissal of the seriousness of Palin and Company's challenges and threats; they need to realize the "crosshairs" weren't symbolic, but literal. And the Right-wing Tea Party needs to realize that violence provokes violence; that people on the Center-to-Left also own guns. It is a fragile moment.
In June 2008, I wrote a critique of America and its future. I predicted that America would undergo three catastrophic events: 1) War against the World, 2) Deep and prolonged Depression, and 3) Civil War. On all three fronts, we are half-way there.
The greatest danger for America (all Americans) is the emergence of Fascism from within. May the words and warnings of Sinclair Lewis not come true, but they come very close to describing the climate of the day.
By Michael T Bucci
Michael T Bucci is a retired public relations executive from New Jersey presently residing in New England. His essays have appeared at The Market Oracle. He is the author of nine books on practical spirituality including White Book: Cerithous.
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