I came across this over at the Huffington Post this afternoon… James Zogby’s thoughts on Republicans’ behavior of late, and more specifically, around the debate and passage of the Health Care bill. It’s disturbing, to say the least.
Before dashing off to celebrate a hard fought victory in achieving health care reform, it is important to reflect on a deeply disturbing aspect of the debate that I believe spells danger ahead.
A Republican talking point repeated ad nauseam during yesterday’s debate pounded on the theme that they, and they alone, had the right to speak for “the will of the American people.” This took different forms: “the American people have spoken,” or “you (Democrats) are ignoring/imposing your views on the American people” or “the American people have sent a message,” etc. All making the same point — that the GOP speaks for the American people.
I’ve noticed the same tone in the comments of many, many Republicans, self-identified conservatives, and Tea Partiers the last few months… that they, and only they, are Real Americans. From Sarah Palin’s constant comments about what she considered the “pro-America” areas of the country to be, right through endless talk about Obama’s place of birth and whether or not he was even qualified to run for office, let alone hold it, up to Republican hyperbole during the debate over the healthcare bill.
Zogby goes on to say:
The idea that the minority party represents the “will of the people” (not some of the people, but “the people”) is the seedling of a totalitarian mindset. In this mindset — democracy doesn’t matter, ideas are not to be discussed, and opposing views are not to respected. What matters is that they alone have truth, they alone are metaphysically connected to the “mind of the people” can interpret their will, and because they have truth and speak for the people, others represent a threat and must be silenced and stopped.
I can only agree with Mr. Zogby on this. There is an increasingly ominous tone to the comments so many Republicans, conservatives, Tea Partiers, and anyone else who identifies with other side of our political spectrum are making.
We need to keep a watchful eye on this.