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Do you see these people as dangerous?
When you look at the things Rush Limbaugh, Fox, Glenn Beck, and Sarah Palin—what she was saying during her campaign, that Obama is not a real American, he’s not like us, he pals around with terrorists, people calling out in her campaign “kill him,” wearing racist messages—it just goes to show that we cannot escape the fact that we have a broad, racist, and hate-filled streak of fear of the “other” running through our country. Where were the so-called responsible Republican leaders to put Palin in her place, or for that matter, 10 minutes after Rush Limbaugh said the Haiti crisis was tailor-made to help Barack Obama and that he’d be using it to gain favor with the black community? Thirty seconds later, any responsible Republican leader should have been calling a press conference to roundly declare Limbaugh an inhuman imbecile and to distance his or herself. But instead there is largely silence. That silence is shocking. The sum total of what FOX TV and the far right has been doing since Barack Obama was elected is trawling for assassins; like they did with Dr. Tiller. FOX commentators went on for years about him calling him a baby killer, showing his photo, and referring to him in the most scurrilous of terms. They didn’t actually pull the trigger, but they definitely share culpability when somebody who was a little bit of a looser cannon—or braver—than they were went out and did more or less what FOX News had been talking about. So, yes, this putrid right wing smell emanating from the Republican camp followers is dangerous. The Boston Globe reported [two months ago] that according to the Secret Service, the threat level against the President has gone up 400 percent—higher than anything they have dealt with in presidencies stretching back over 52 years.
These are the very same people who after 9/11, when Bush began banging the war drum, said clearly and loudly that because we were in a time of war, any comment against the president was anti-American and unpatriotic. We are still at war. Why is the right silent?
This is a sign of hatred unleashed and has nothing to do with rational thought. This is an emotional response to our first black president and it wouldn’t matter what he was doing. And it’s an emotional response to the demographic change in America. The white, pontificating talking heads like Bill O’Reilly and others, they know their days are numbered. Our country is going to be a completely different place than the one where they have any sway. First of all, Tea Parties aside, Barack Obama’s problems aside, this country is definitely moving away from positions these far-right people are comfortable with. It’s moving away from white males being in charge of everything, too. They can’t face it. They’ve had a psychological breakdown, and/or they are just racist but can’t come right out and say that.
You have been a big supporter of President Obama. How do you feel about him now?
I have totally unswerving support of him. It has nothing to do with loyalty. I don’t know the guy. The very fact he is being criticized from the left, not to mention the scurrilous right, means that when he does triumph, it will be his triumph alone. People will see that he hung in there, while people who should have been supporting him all along—say so many commentators on the left—stood on the sidelines sniping him.