Saturday, April 3, 2010

Response to Jerry Mitchell's "Investigative Journalism"

‘It’s all about who owns America’
On March 31, 2010, In Anger, By Jerry Mitchell

Much of the rage spilling over from the health care debate has little to do with public policy.

“It’s all about who owns America,” said Leonard Zeskind, president of the Institute for Research & Education on Human Rights. “To quote them, they want their country back.”

The U.S. is witnessing is a rise in nationalism, he said.

“There’s real anger over deficit spending,” said Mark Potok, editor of the Intelligence Report. ”There’s sharp anger for bankers who drove the economy into the ground. There’s anger for perceived socialist acts.”

He said there’s also been misleading and even false information sent out, such as talk of “death camps” being set up by the Obama administration.

“All of these things have completely terrified hundreds of thousands of Americans,” he said. “Now we’re reaping what’s been sown.”

Bricks have been thrown through the windows of some congressional offices. One had a note attached: ”Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice.”

That quote comes from the 1964 acceptance speech by Barry Goldwater, Republican nominee for President.

Here is the rest of that Goldwater quote:

“I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. And let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.

“The beauty of the very system we Republicans are pledged to restore and revitalize, the beauty of this Federal system of ours is in its reconciliation of diversity with unity. We must not see malice in honest differences of opinion, and no matter how great, so long as they are not inconsistent with the pledges we have given to each other in and through our Constitution.”


I really don’t think the protests are about “who owns America,” although when viewing the events through a social racial paradigm, this is a possible conclusion. I also don’t think that this is a “rise in nationalism.” People seem to be protesting the federal government and actually advocating for less government intrusion into their lives.

The blatant inconsistency in the movement is that, while advocating for less government and decreased spending, they still support war spending.

If we start looking at the cause of why people are upset, we will see that they are upset with the way the GOVERNMENT is acting. Democrats, before they got back in power, were very critical of how the government upset people in the Middle-East, which caused them to want to attack our country. This is a non-issue now.

Now people inside our own country are upset because of the way our government is acting. The more you try to centralize power, the more people will try to pull away. It’s a basic principle and the solution is to work towards decentralization, this will allow people to decide what is right for them on a more local level.

I think the anger stems from the fact that this group of people have been ignored by politicians. I always thought that small government was the base of the Republican Party. It has become more and more obvious that neither party is for small government.

The health care bill has served as a physical embodiment of what small government thinkers are against. I don’t think people are necessarily angry over just this issue, but this bill is a more obvious and concrete example of what these people are against. It is easier to rally against something concrete than something philisophical.

I absolutely agree that this could result in the rise of a populist politician, but at the same time, I think Obama was a populist politician.

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