I’m struck by something as I watch all of these violent teabagger flair ups across the country. I’m struck by the fact that for eight LONG years I was told to remain in a constant state of fear. I was supposed to be afraid that a foreigner was going to walk into Times Square and set off a dirty bomb every day. I was told to be afraid of biological weapons going off on my stoop. I was supposed to be afraid that prosecuting suspected terrorists within the confines of my justice system was going to embolden the dirty bombers that were laying in wait. I was told to duct tape my windows, and to have a gas mask on hand for when the inevitable attack came. For eight years, I was told that I should be crapping my pants with fear so that the terrorists don’t win.
None of that materialized.
Fast forward to today. Every single day for the past couple of weeks, I see reports like this one and I wonder why the same republicans that demanded that I be afraid aren’t at all concerned. Is it that one big attack every few years is scarier than much smaller daily acts of terrorism? Yes, I said terrorism because terrorism is defined as “the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, esp. for political purposes”. Is it that they believe that foreigners are scarier than homegrown terrorists? Or would it just inconvenient for republicans if I were afraid of these domestic terrorists because that would take my focus away from being afraid of health reform?
None of these scenarios actually work for me. I find these constant acts of violence to be much more frightening than one big attack. I’m afraid because their frequency is a sign that something ugly is brewing in America. And I’m definitely more afraid of American terrorism than I am of a foreign attack. I don’t fundamentally believe that this country can ever be destroyed by external forces. But I am terrified by my belief that this country can be destroyed from within, which brings me to my third question.
Are republicans ignoring the domestic violence that we’re being subjected to on a daily basis because denouncing it would be inconvenient for them?
John Boehner took his sweet time in denouncing the violence. When he finally did, he spent 1/4 of the length of his press conference denouncing the violence and dedicated the remaining 3/4 of the time reiterating how scary the health reform bill is, and how democrats ignored the wishes of the American people. So he spent more time ginning up the anger than he did reigning it in.
Eric Cantor didn’t denounce it at all. He decided to take the age old tactic of blaming the victim, claiming that reporting on the violence was a means of exploiting what was happening for political gain. He went on to claim that his congressional offices were also subjected to vandalism in order to make the point that democrats are to blame for the reporting the violence AND for creating some of it. His claim was quickly proven to be baseless. It turns out that a stray bullet that was shot in the air landed on the windowsill of his congressional offices. I want to take a moment to tell Eric Cantor that he is a dickless piece of shit for making up a story and adding an antisemitic twist, just for kicks. Yes, he claimed that this imaginary attack on his office happened because he’s Jewish. Every time you fabricate antisemitism, you create antisemitism. So when I say “fuck you”, I say it as a Jew.
Sorry, I got off track there. I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m much more fearful of domestic terrorists than I am of any foreign attack. Domestic terrorists have several advantages that foreigners don’t. The most important one being that foreign terrorists unite us while domestic terrorists divide us. We stood together after 911. The whole world stood with us after 911. The fracture that we’re seeing now didn’t exist because it can’t exist as a result of a foreign attack.
I am frightened and angry now, when I never was before. In addition to Eric Cantor and his fellow republicans that aren’t standing up to this, I’d like to add FOX News to my “fuck you” list. They’re perpetuating something very dangerous here just to prop up a political ideology.
I have a question for everyone that is throwing down with these violent extremists. If you have to align yourself with terrorists to keep your ideology alive, isn’t it time to reassess your beliefs?