The Problem Is the American People
…because we’re a “depraved electorate.” Here’s a quote that is making the rounds of right-leaning websites and comment boards. It’s usually cited as “Author Unknown,” but this seems to be the original source.
- “The danger to America is not Barack Obama but a citizenry capable of entrusting a man like him with the presidency. It will be easier to limit and undo the follies of an Obama presidency than to restore the necessary common sense and good judgment to a depraved electorate willing to have such a man for their president. The problem is much deeper and far more serious than Mr. Obama, who is a mere symptom of what ails us. Blaming the prince of the fools should not blind anyone to the vast confederacy of fools that made him their prince. The republic can survive a Barack Obama, who is, after all, merely a fool. It is less likely to survive a multitude of fools such as those who made him their president.”
On some of the websites where this quote appears, commenters chime in that America’s Founding Fathers had it right when they allowed only landowners to vote (more precisely, landowning white males). They seem to feel that most people who voted for Obama are ignorant freeloaders who aren’t paying their dues, are easily manipulated by the “liberal media,” and aren’t really citizens in the full sense of the word. Limiting the vote to landowners (or people who pay taxes) would presumably solve this problem. They say that America was meant to be a republic, not a democracy, and that democracy means mob rule.
Perhaps even my non-American readers have heard of the Tea Partiers, people who feel that we are living in an era of “taxation without representation” like the one that brought about the original American Revolution. Repressive laws are being forced down our throats, irresponsible spending will bankrupt the nation, and Obama is leading his blind worshippers into socialism, Nazism or Armageddon. Some of these people feel that Obama stole the election with the help of a group called ACORN, while others, like the author of the quote above, admit that he won the most votes, but feel the American people have been brainwashed by the aforementioned “liberal media.” Either way, they feel isolated and surrounded in a nation that is slipping away from them.
Some of this “Left Behind” crowd are arming themselves and talking revolution. The growth of right-wing groups on the internet such as ResistNet, Grassfire and Oath Keepers testifies to this. They want to take America back to an era before the New Deal (1933), before the income tax and the Federal Reserve (1913), and as I mentioned above, even before the vote was given to non-landowning white males in the first half of the 19th century. This extremism, which is what I have to call it (though they call themselves patriots), directs its anger at the Republican and Democratic Parties alike, but what really lit their fire was the election of Barack Hussein Obama as President of the United States.
Some of these folks have resorted to violence, the Hutaree Militia of Michigan being the latest example. A handy list of the ten most egregious examples is here. This recalls the first couple of years of the Clinton administration, which saw a similar upsurge in right-wing militias, along with burnings of black churches, abortion clinic bombings, and of course, the Oklahoma City bombing that killed 168 people. Only this time the anger seems to be fiercer. So when I get impatient with Obama for not meeting with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, or pushing for a Canadian-style national health care system, I become a little more tolerant when I realize what he’s up against. If his centrist style of governance has these people up in arms, imagine the explosion if he really were bringing socialism to America, as they fear—and I can only dream!