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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Deep Divisions and Persecution

ABC News has a poll out showing deep divisions among Americans. For instance:

While these issues divide a variety of Americans, this poll, produced for ABC and Fusion by Langer Research Associates, finds that the gaps in nearly all cases are largest among partisan and ideological groups – so enormous and so fundamental that they seem to constitute visions of two distinctly different Americas. 
Consider: 
•    Among all adults, 53 percent think women have fewer opportunities than men in the workplace. But that ranges from 68 percent of Democrats to 38 percent of Republicans, a difference of 30 percentage points. Comparing the most unlike groups, liberal Democrats and conservative Republicans, it’s 76 vs. 35 percent.
•    Forty-one percent overall think nonwhites have fewer opportunities than whites in society. Fifty-six percent of Democrats say so, as do 62 percent of liberal Democrats (more than the number of nonwhites themselves who say so, 51 percent). Among Republicans that dives to 25 percent.
•    Forty-three percent of Americans say it would be a good thing if more women were elected to Congress – but the range here is from six in 10 Democrats and liberals alike to just 26 percent of conservatives and 23 percent of Republicans. Instead two-thirds or more in these latter two groups say it makes no difference to them.
•    Just 23 percent overall say it would be a good thing if more nonwhites were elected to Congress; 73 percent instead say it makes no difference to them. Seeing this as a good thing peaks at 50 percent among liberal Democrats (far more, in this case, than the number of nonwhites themselves who say so, 29 percent). Among conservative Republicans, it’s 5 percent.
•    Thirty-nine percent of adults say they trust the government in Washington to do what’s right; six in 10 don’t. Apparently reflecting views of the Obama administration, trust peaks at 62 percent of Democrats, as many liberals and 69 percent of liberal Democrats. Just a quarter of Republicans and conservatives, and 18 percent of conservative Republicans, feel the same.
•    Support for legal status for undocumented immigrants, 51 percent overall, ranges from 77 percent among liberal Democrats to 32 percent among conservative Republicans. Views on this issue also show sharp differences among other groups – for example, nonwhites vs. whites, 70 vs. 43 percent; and adults younger than 40 vs. their elders, 61 vs. 47 percent.
 You will note, of course, that what the poll is really measuring is a person's belief and acceptance of the basic principles of identity politics. What is not discussed is the vitriol poured out on those that do not buy into identity politics, or other liberal philosophies.

A good example of this is the latest comment from the very liberal Sean Penn, who recently suggested that conservatives/Tea Party supporters in Congress are insane and should, by executive order, be committed (apparently a la the Soviet Union's method of dealing with political dissent). Like all tyrant wannabes, he is content to use government's coercive powers against political opponents.

Which brings me to the latest from Angelo M. Codevilla, an essay entitled "The War on Us." Codevilla begins by describing the increased militarization of the police (he makes one small error, which is assuming that open carry of rifles is legal in California, whereas it was recently outlawed). He goes on to write:

... In fact every US government agency, and most state and local ones now police their ever burgeoning regulations with military equipment, tactics, and above all with the assumption that they are dealing with people who should not be dealt with any other way [i.e., with extreme prejudice]. 
Modern militarized government stems from the Progressive idea that society must mobilize as for war to achieve “the greater good.” Hence we have “wars” on everything from hunger and drugs and ignorance and global warming. Reality follows rhetoric. Since the health of “the environment” is a matter of life and death, the Environmental Protection Agency must deal with “enemies of the planet” with armored cars, machine guns, and home invasions. Apparently, even the Department of Education has SWAT teams. 
... But governments, including ours, do not and cannot oppress citizens equally. 
Persons who possess the greatest power have the larger opportunity to direct blame and distrust, even mayhem, onto those they like least. Since the mid- 1990s, authoritative voices from Democratic President Bill Clinton to Republican New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, echoed by the media have intoned a familiar litany: America is beset by racism, sexism, homophobia, and religious obscurantism, by domestic abuse, greed, and gun owners. These ills are not so different from those found in backward parts of the world where we fight “extremism” in order to fight terrorism. Indeed these ills argue for fighting extremism, indeed for nation-building in America as well as abroad. Who in America embodies extremism? Who is inherently responsible for social ills, including terrorism? Who will have to be re-constructed? No surprise: the ruling class’ political opponents: the conservative side of American life. 
... Today, computer searches find that the term “extremist” correlates in the major newspapers with “conservative” or “right wing” at twelve times the rate it does with “liberal” or “left wing.” 
The focus on “Homeland Security” has only added “terrorism” to our ruling class’ excuses for “going after” conservative Americans. And so, the Department of Homeland Security uses its intelligence “fusion centers” to compile ominously worded dossiers against such groups as “pro-lifers” and such “anti government activists” as “homeschoolers” and “gun owners.” The FBI infiltrates the Tea Parties as it once did the Communist Party. DHS conducts its “practice runs” against mockups of these groups. The IRS audits conservative groups. 
Why not? President Barack Obama called these very groups “enemies of democracy,” and Vice President Joseph Biden has called them “terrorists.” Obama Administration spokesmen have referred to them as “jihadists,” “hostage takers,” persons “with bombs strapped to their chests, etc. Indeed a Rasmussen poll shows that 26% of the Obama Administration’s supporters – possibly not the least influential among them – regard the Tea Parties as the top terrorist threat to America. 
No official act is needed for like-minded persons at the top of society to act in mutually pleasing ways. No law, no official policy, much less conspiracy is needed – only the prejudices and convenience, the intellectual, social, identity of those in power. Why should not officials all across the US government act according to their superiors’ opinions, to what they hear from the best people and what they read in the best media, indeed according to their shared beliefs?

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