Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Curious Case of American Republicans

Today, Obama addressed some recent blogosphere talk that insinuated that he was collecting people's email and IP addresses of his political enemies for a diabolical purpose.

The movement was started by Republican Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) who believes:

"By requesting citizens send 'fishy' emails to the White House, it is inevitable that the names, email, addresses, IP addresses and private speech of U.S. citizens will be reported to the White House," Cornyn wrote in a letter to Obama. "You should not be surprised that these actions taken by your White House staff raise the specter of a data collection program."

Cornyn also voted for extending the Patriot Act and a slew of other free passes given to the Bush admin to monitor our homes, Internet usage and personal lives without a judicial warrant.

So let's get this straight:

Collecting emails: bad.
Collecting personal information (including emails): good.

Just another paradox in the American right-wing philosophy.

Perhaps the real reason Obama wants to know what his citizens are thinking is so that he can learn more about how they are thinking and address those concerns. Wow, what a novel concept. For eight years we had a President who constantly had dubious intentions behind all of his public policies, and now that we've extricated him and his cronies from office, his supporters are accusing his replacement of similar tactics. And Republicans wonder why their party is going down the tubes.

People are afraid of change for no other reason than it is just different than what they've grown accustomed to, even if that change ameliorates their situation. What's worse, is that they refuse to do any homework to fact check what they're being told and just blindly engage in the propagation of the propaganda (see: Sarah Palin). We see this everywhere in this country, from low socioeconomic neighborhoods in the Midwest all the way up to the ranks of their leaders in Congress. Nationally syndicated radio-hosts like Bill O'Reilly and Rush Limbaugh love to argue that Obama is this vindictive, evil person who has somehow tricked all of us into putting him in a position of power. That for some reason, comparing Obama's administration to the Third Reich is somehow permissable and should be celebrated. I'm a huge advocate for free speech and I enjoy witty political banter, but most of the drivel out there is spawned by people who bask in the glory of the sound of their own voice. Purely emotion-driven instead of by content and meaning, the talk that Obama is a sinister player in politics is akin to a six year old pushing for his parents to buy him a new pet all summer to replace his old hamster Buddy only to break down in tears when the new guy finally arrives because no one can replace a kid's first pet. If the right-wing wants to put another Republican in the White House, their supporters need to stop portraying themselves as batty crazy loons who can not adopt change in the face of evidence contrary to their positions. I figure at least half of the people in Alabama have the Internet - use it!

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