Saturday, February 18, 2012

Infantile Paralysis

No, this article is not about the affliction that millions of children suffered before the Salk polio vaccine was invented. Instead, we refer to the paralysis of a major political party in the U.S. and the infantile reaction of a prospective Presidential candidate. Lacking a philosophy of governance himself, Rick Santorum has demonstrated the truth in (then candidate) Obama's 2008 prophetic analysis that a frustrated electorate in small-town Pennsylvania and the midwest
"...get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations,..."
 Santorum's ROMBO video and his dogmatic refusal to respect women's rights of free choice in their own behavior and health care, have Republicans shooting at each other, rather than articulating ideas to ensure economic opportunity and justice for all Americans.

How can we hope to explain that the person who "approved this message" was ever elected to the U. S. House of Representatives, and to the U. S. Senate? Does losing his re-election campaign in 2006 really signal that Pennsylvania voters have finally turned the page on mindless demagoguery?  How can we justify his costume in the file of clowns parading in the circus of Republican primary exhibitionism that we have witnessed over the past few months? Well beyond P. T. Barnum's wildest dreams!

Santorum's tantrum is evidence enough of the insidious malevolence cultivated in our society by the relentless propaganda of the National Rifle Association cloaked in the guise of defense of constitutional rights. How much longer will Americans tolerate this ghastly paranoia before recognizing its unmistakeable consequences in events like the Gabby Gifford shooting and the Columbine school disaster?  How can we accept as "normal" that 45 school shootings occurred in the U. S. from 1996 to 2010?   If these are the isolated responses of the deranged or mentally deficient, how do we interpret the actions of a parent who shoots his daughter's laptop to teach her a lesson about parental respect? Does anyone see the irony in this? Not the American news media who set about polling the public to make sense of this inanity, rather than exercising responsible journalism in condemning irresponsible behavior.

The hatred, bigotry, vitriol, and disrespect shown toward other candidates and toward the religious, political, and personal beliefs of other Americans have been the hallmarks of the current campaign season. Every single prospective candidate currently left standing in the Republican line-up for the Presidential nomination has disqualified himself from further consideration. Answer for yourself the question that Obama raised in the 2008 quotation above. Which of today's prospective candidates was he describing?

It has been said before, but some things are worth repeating:  "Be careful how you vote; you may just get what you have voted for."