Friday, March 26, 2010

The ugly face of the American right

Earlier in the week, the US House of Representatives passed a landmark (for the US) healthcare reform package. The debate was marked by ugly scenes, in which Democratic congressmen were called "nigger" and "faggot" and spat on by Tea Party (Republican) protestors. And now that the law has passed, its got even uglier, with top Democrats receiving death threats, abusive phone calls, and bricks through windows. In one disturbing case, an attempt was made to burn down a legislator's (misidentified) home. In another, a Congressman was sent white powder in the mail.

This is the true face of America's right: ugly, racist, homophobic and violent. Rather than respecting democracy, they prefer to wage a campaign of threats and thuggery in an effort to intimidate and punish those who disagree with them. This sort of behaviour has no place in a democracy, and it should be universally condemned across the political spectrum. But Republican politicians have remained silent. And that silence speaks volumes about what they think about democracy and the acceptability of violence in politics.

Addendum: And just after posting that, I got pointed at a poll by Harris Interactive showing the true insanity of the American right. More than half of US Republicans think Obama is a Muslim, almost half think he was born outside the US, and a quarter of them think he is the antichrist. These people aren't just ugly - they're batshit insane.