Tuesday Bag o’ Soothing Slogans

bag of calmOne of the things I strive to do is to keep calm and carry on. But oh, it’s hard, with all the stupidity and racism loose in the land. And I can’t decide which is the chicken and which is the egg, stupidity or racism. Maybe they’re the same thing.

When racists went after Obama in September 2009, challenging his right to address the nation’s schoolchildren on closed circuit TV, I knew how things would be for the rest of his first term … and his second term too, should he be re-elected. Constant disrespect. Total opposition, undermining, sabotage. I should have seen it coming earlier, with the emergence of the birthers, but I wrote them off as the stupidest of the stupid, not realizing they were the leading edge of an all-out racist attack on Obama’s legitimacy.

Too many of us, myself included, try to pretend stupidity and racism can be ignored or at least worked around by people of good will. We laugh along with Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert when they make fun of Orly Taitz or Paula Deen. The media thinks racism is news and gives teabaggers and birthers wall-to-wall coverage. All this has had the effect of giving the stupids and the racists a place at the table, of legitimizing their destructive point of view. And now we’re paying the price for that.

Stupidity and racism is an incredibly corrosive force. You’d think we would have learned that in the mid-1800s, when it nearly destroyed our country. Today we’re on the brink of a national financial disaster, brought on by teabaggers who cannot accept the idea of a black president, and we’re still pretending stupidity and racism is merely politics. The people we laughed at, the people who brought us Where’s the Birth Certificate and Schoolgate and Put Down the Quran Mr. President, these people are tearing the country down. Jon Stewart calls it like it is in one segment, then in the next gets chummy with Mau-Mau Mike Huckabee. Politicians pretend it isn’t happening. Moral leaders are largely silent. Keep calm and carry on indeed.

A “friend” on Facebook, a fellow hasher, started posting birther shit about a year ago. I called him on it and he replied by saying he was no racist but rather a thinking man with “legitimate concerns” about Obama’s eligibility. I told him he was a racist fuck and no friend of mine, and blocked him. How pathetic! But what can one person do? The media should call stupidity and racism what it is, loudly. Moral leaders should condemn it. Politicians should work to undo the damage the teabaggers have done, starting with red state voting restrictions, and on that note why isn’t the Department of Justice doing more about that? I can’t do any of that stuff. All I can do is defriend obvious racists on Facebook, and rant and rave on my blog.

Deep breath.

I think, President Obama, the shutdown is going to continue and the Congress is going to force the USA to default on its debts. Republicans in Congress are not going to work with you; even if they do it’ll only be in one- or two-month increments, setting up a series of future government shutdowns and debt defaults. It’s time to do something brave, like minting the trillion-dollar coin and invoking your heretofore untested powers under the 14th Amendment. Let the sons of bitches challenge you in the courts. Let them impeach you. They’ll fail.

© 2013, Paul Woodford. All rights reserved.

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