I woke up to a story on politico.com this morning that proves a point I make in the e-mail below.
Entitled "Glenn Beck up, Left down and Van Jones defiant," by Ben Smith and Nia-Malkia Henderson. Here is a snippet:
(Jones' departure) confirmed that the real opposition party to Obama right now is the conservative grassroots that draws its energy from Fox News, talk radio and the Drudge Report, and often leaves Republican elected officials scrambling to catch up.
Now the columnist below, one obscure fellow from Fallon, Nevada named Glen McAdoo, was "just thinkin'." We know this because his column is regularly entitled, "I was just thinkin'," thus it must be true. What Glen was "thinkin'" in his latest column is that folks who pack heat at town halls are "morons."
Here is his jeremiad. My e-mail to ole Glen follows.]
Pistol packin' morons
I have written many times that I support the Second Amendment. However, I refuse to support the morons who take their guns to town hall meetings and line the streets where the president's motorcade will pass.
What do they hope to gain? What's the purpose? What does packin' a gun have to do with health care reform?
First, we'll cure your cancer, then we'll take away your guns; is that what they are trying to say? Yeah, right. The cause of gun ownership is not helped by these morons.
Let's suppose, hypothetically, that a group of 20 or so in Muslim garb with firearms strapped to their waist were to show up along the parade route of a president. What do you suppose the public reaction would be? Hysteria, that's what.
Now, picture the current group of gun-toting fools on the other side of the street. How long do you think it would be before the gunfight at the OK parade route would commence? “Don't take your gun to town son, leave your gun at home, son, don't take your gun to town,” sang Johnny Cash.
Having already upset some folks, I might as well go ahead and say what's on my mind. Here's hoping that those who have borne false witness about health care reform will meet with the same public disdain that I have for those aforementioned gun packers.
For those who compared Obama to Hitler, may their spouse divorce them, keeping the dog, the house, the car, all the money and anything else they want. May they lose their job and find themselves without health insurance — then get really, really sick.
May the liars who have tried to scare Medicare patients be damned. Medicare will actually be improved with more money for doctors and the closure of the donut hole that exist in the Medicare prescription drug coverage.
May those who have promoted the lie that the government wants to kill granny be condemned. May my granny come down from heaven and slap everyone of them senseless although it appears someone has already done that.
Don't leave. I'm right in the middle of my best Ann Coulter imitation.
To those who have bought into the lies being spread by the insurance companies' lobbyists — your brain needs recharging. Every time we try to do something meaningful about health care you folks fall for the same line of garbage and get paranoid for no good reason. Smarten up.
If you have preached that the government wants to take over health care or if you are running around telling everyone that their taxes will go up to pay for this, you speak with forked tongue. You can go directly to the abode of evil spirits.
The Republicans preach bipartisanship but say no to everything as they continue to do the bidding of those who stand to profit from the status quo. They say they haven't had time to read the legislation, then they go on to condemn everything they claim is in it. How do they know what's in it? Now there's a conundrum.
To the blue dog Democrats in the House and spineless Democrats in the Senate, some of whom have received a fortune in donations from the drug and insurance lobbyists, such as the senator from Montana, we know who you are. We will run real Democrats against you in the primaries come next election if you don't get on board and support meaningful reform, including a government option.
Bipartisanship isn't working. The Republicans laugh behind our backs as we give in more and more. They don't want a government option. They don't want a co-op (a dumb idea). They don't want any reform.
Heck, if they had their way they would do away with Social Security, Medicare, food stamps, school lunches for poor kids and clean air, among many things. They won't support anything unless it makes their rich comrades richer.
Obviously, this column was over-the-top tongue and cheek. I don't wish ill to anyone. I really don't. But, railing and ranting was good for my soul. If it's OK for the lunatic fringe to vituperate, why can't we?
You should show up at the next Republican town hall meeting carrying a big sign that reads, “We are mad as hell and we want health care reform now.” Let em' know we can get angry too.
To paraphrase Neil Diamond; So, wrap up the baby, grab your old granny, cause everyone knows, everyone goes to the GOP brotherly love town hall show.
Just don't take your guns. Leave your guns at home.
Glen McAdoo, a Fallon resident, can be reached at email@example.com.
Subject: "Cherish your enemies, they teach you the best lessons." -- Ho Chi Minh.
Date: 9/7/2009 7:11:00 A.M. Central Daylight Time
re: "Pistol packin' morons"
You claim, as do many Democrats and Republicans, that you "support the Second Amendment," yet you crap your pants when someone actually exercises his rights under it legally in a way of which you do not approve. To quote Don Rickles, "With friends like you, who needs enemas?"
As this is at base a matter of conflicting world views, what I'm about to say will most likely not make a dent, but I'm going to try anyway, as we all have a responsibility to do what we can to avoid civil war. (I can already hear your derisive snort, but if you think that civil war can't come to this country again, you're whistling past the graveyard of history.)
First, you mistake the anger you see at the Tea Parties and the town halls as something manufactured by that pitiful shell of a political party known as the GOP. These days, those folks couldn't organize a two-car funeral, nor hire professional mourners for it. What you are seeing is authentic fear, anger, and yes, loathing on the part of people who feel that the political process has completely failed to address their concerns. Many of them are people who did not much care for Dubya, because they viewed him as a big-government guy who was doing fundamental damage to the rule of law in his own right with things like the PATRIOT Act.
You wish to see this as a manifestation of a political party's machinations because that is what fits your world view. Allegations of GOP-concocted "astroturf," deranged talk show hosts, and tinfoil hats as an explanation for what you are witnessing may be convenient and comforting because it fits with your world view, but you are merely stroking your resolve with reassuring chants about people that you fundamentally do not and cannot understand. And in chanting you are missing the rattlesnake's warning rattle.
Think, Glen. How much of life is really as simple as your world view likes to think it is? Ho Chi Minh observed, "Cherish your enemies, they teach you the best lessons." Your side in this debate, however, has made the perfectly understandable but fundamentally wrong presumption that we are actually the cardboard cutout cartoon buffoons you have always believed us to be. Nothing could further from the truth, nor more dangerous to you. Yes, I said dangerous, and I'll try to explain why.
Why do you suppose that people are exercising their right to open carry firearms at these meetings? Think about the potential for conflict with local law enforcement who usually do not understand the law. They understand this up front, but they take the risk. Why? It is neither lunacy, nor exhibitionism. They are acting from principle.
First, they understand that a right unexercised is a right denied. We have, for the moment, the right to keep and bear arms. This is not universal, thanks to the inroads on our God-given and traditional liberties over the past 75 years, but it is still true in most of the country. Think of it in First Amendment terms. If you have the right to dissent, but are forbidden to speak for fear that someone, somewhere, is made nervous by your speech, then do you really have the right? Public carry of firearms falls into the same category.
Second, they also understand that carrying firearms openly IS political speech. It speaks volumes about the relationship between citizen and government without a word. These folks are saying, "I have the means to defend myself, from free-lance criminals or governmental ones." Indeed, the simple act of open carry proclaims, "I am a citizen."
Third, they understand, as you refuse to admit, that "health care" is not about insurance reform but rather about one more step down the road of the Federal leviathan controlling who we are and what we may wish to do with our own property, our own liberty, even our own bodies. Remember, this is about world views. You may not think so, but if you are a sentient being you must at least admit the possibility that WE believe this to be true.
Thus, in our minds, government-run health care is of a piece with the seizure of the auto industry and all the damage to the rule of law done by stiffing secured creditors and rewarding unsecured creditors (the unions) because they, the unions, are political cronies. Michael Barone, no raving right-wing lunatic, called this "gangster government," and he was entirely right to do so.
Fourth, these folks believe that the political system has utterly failed to represent them. They have an acute understanding of the difference between your much vaunted "democracy" (majority rule, as in he who has the majority makes the rules) and the constitutional republic of limited government and ordered liberty intended by the Founders. "Democracy," to them as to the Founders, unrestrained by constitutional prohibitions, is three wolves and a sheep sitting down at the table to vote on what, or who, to have for dinner. This is a fundamental difference of world views between us. Which is why your side's appetite for gun control is so suspicious to them, for as Thomas Hobbes put it, "contracts without swords" are of little effect. Of course this is why the Founders in their wisdom codified this in the Second Amendment.
The town-hallers and the Tea Partiers despise the GOP for all their many failures and now feel naked and totally politically isolated. Your side's failure to understand their point of view, to the point of rejecting them out of hand as "right wing nutburgers" doesn't help. They view you with just as much suspicion and inability to understand (what to them is traditional political common sense) as you do them.
But you see, you feel comfortable because your side now controls all the levers of government, whereas there is no one on their side who looks competent enough or principled enough to protect their rights. Thus, as Americans always have when traditional means fail, they make their own arrangements.
And our side is the one with the firearms.
So here is where we are, though you cannot see it, or refuse to assign it any reality, constrained as you are by the blinkers of your world view.
If we no longer have the GOP (I refuse to call them "Republicans," for they are not) to protect our rights and liberties anymore, you no longer have them to protect you either. You are now getting a taste of what it is like to talk to our side directly, unfiltered and you do not like it nor do you understand it. One other thing -- if the rule of law no longer protects us from "gangster government," it no longer protects gangster government and its minions from us, either. And remember this has NOTHING to do with the GOP, the NRA, the talk show circuit or any of the rest of your convenient, comfortable boogeymen which you blame. You no longer have them to protect you. You have us surrounded, you poor bastards.
Take a moment to look at this situation from our point of view, but don't extrapolate our attitude from your own cowardice. Just because you would not risk defying "the government" over a deeply held principle at the risk to your life and property, doesn't mean that we won't. Indeed, I can just about guarantee that we will.
Your side has, in large measure and with remarkable consistency, pushed us back from the free exercise of our God-given and inalienable rights and liberty for 75 years now. Now, however, finally, we are refusing to be shoved anymore. Indeed, shove us one more time and we will shove back. Hard.
And remember, we hold the means to secure our liberty in our own hands. We always have, only we were too polite, and we allowed ourselves to be pushed back, grumbling. No more.
We will not be pushed back another inch.
We will exercise our right to keep and bear arms as political speech, whether you like it or not and there's not a damn thing you can do about it WITHOUT RISK TO YOU.
We cannot be convinced otherwise.
We will not be intimidated.
We will not back down.
We are not going away.
The next move is yours.
But remember, we can and will shoot back.
I just thought I should explain that, before somebody on your side does something stupid.
And remember what Ho Chi Minh said. "Cherish your enemies, they teach you the best lessons." He may be burning in Hell, but he was right about that.
From one world view to another, have a nice day.
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