UPDATE January 8, 2011: In light of today’s events in Tucson, I thought it might be a good time to re-visit this post, discussing Marianne Williamson’s LETTER TO SARAH PALIN in April 2010. At the time, I titled it: “A Plea on Deaf Ears? Marianne Williamson Eloquently Attempts to Bring Reason Into the Mainstream”
Prophetic, as it turned out.
Original Post, April 2010 Huffington Post featured a ‘Letter to Sarah Palin’ yesterday, written by Marianne Williamson, entitled A Plea to Sarah Palin: Words Have Power .
Many people of lesser stature or influence (myself included) have spoken or written about this increasingly violent rhetoric. I am glad Ms Williamson took the time to speak out, since few ’leaders’ in the USA seem to have the integrity or the courage to do the same; let’s hope they follow her example. Prominent citizens such as Oprah and Barbara Walters, who were happy to give Sarah Palin a soft platform (in exchange for ratings) have remained silent.
I admire Ms Williamson for speaking out.
Unfortunately, Sarah Palin (and her colleagues at FOX) as well as most of the GOP, hate the President MORE than they love their country. They are fully aware that their words may lead to a violent incident. In fact, they are counting on it, because it would hurt the President and give them more ammunition against him.
Whatever is bad for the country, is bad for Obama is the message they have managed to convey and ……….
…….. and if anyone gets hurt, it’s — in the words of Tim McVeigh– “collateral damage” for the ’cause’. To a terrorist, the end justifies the means. They are fighting for freedom from … whatever they see (or are told) is the enemy.
Ms Williamson gives Sarah the benefit of the doubt when she writes under the assumption that Sarah isn’t considering the consequences of her words. She writes:
I am not suggesting you would pick up a gun and shoot anyone; I am suggesting that there are other people who would, however, and in your position as a leading political figure you are stoking fires — regardless of your intention — that are simply too dangerous to be safely stoked.
I, and many others, believe that Sarah knows perfectly well what she is doing. She is speaking to her base, with words meant to reach and ‘motivate’ those who ‘get the message’ If you have any doubt of this, go read this Facebook Note; a childish, defiant escalation of the deliberate use of the very language for which she was mildly chastized following the ’target’ map and its inflamatory text she had published earlier. (I say ‘published’ because it’s likely that Sarah doesn’t write her own FB notes.)
This is not the stuff of media bias. It is the stuff of history — in the United States and elsewhere. From Hitler’s Germany to the arousal of genocidal fervor in Rwanda, there are more than enough examples of how a group psychosis can emerge within a nation. I beg you to join with me — even though I am not your political ally — in praying for blessing and protection on all our politicians and their families, and looking deeply within our own hearts for where violence lurks so we can cast it out.
I admit, I had a chuckle at Ms Williamson’s clever use of ‘media bias’, one of Sarah’s favorite complaints! The GOTCHA media that gives her so much bad press by reporting … well, Sarah’s own words! All the while, Sarah is bought and paid for, in the pocket of Rupert Murdoch ( an Australian who received an expedited citizenship under Reagan to comply with FCC rules, a man who left his wife of 22 yrs to marry a woman more than 1/2 age — born and raised in Communist China— imagine if this was Obama’s story?) and FOX. In exchange for being Murdoch’s pet, Sarah joins FOX with a platform reaching an audience of low- information, politically naive people.
Using inflammatory words such as Socialism, Facism, Government Takeover, they suck the oxygen out of rational discourse by focusing on misleading/outright lies with threats of Death Panels, Loss of Freedom, Loss of Rights, Government Seeks to Control Your Doctor! Real America! Real Americans! Socialist Agenda! None of this is ever explained, of course, which is good enough since the audience doesn’t understand those words anyway! They are scary words, and it’s enough to simply keep repeating them until it becomes a mindless mantra.
Why does this work? It works precisely because their supporers tend to be the less educated, less politically aware and less informed segment of the population. One only needs to look at the signs they carry to see that a great number of the Tea Party ‘members’ have bought the scaremongering hook, line and sinker. OK, so most of them are pretty funny in a sad sort of illiterate way (why are stupid people so proud to be stupid?) but …. many of them are racist in nature.
Terrorism is about instilling fear. First, the ‘leader’ convinces his/her followers that they are oppressed. An ‘enemy’ is identified, villified, and targeted. Once the followers have taken the rhetoric as their war cry, the ‘leader’ then sends them on a ‘mission’.
We saw such a ‘mission’ given last week, when Sarah Palin urged her supporters to ‘stop cars with Obama stickers’ and confront them. The crowd cheered!
In any society that values/thrives on Freedom of Expression, any threat to confront and intimidate people who exercise that freedom is nothing short of a terrorist tactic.
When Sarah Palin encouraged her audience to target cars with Obama stickers, she knew full well that in a recent incident, this had led to an accident. An accident involving a child passenger.
Did Sarah caution her supporters? Did she ignore it? No, she had a great chuckle and used that incident to encourage her Teahadists to do the same thing!! She ”plowed ahead”, soaking up the cheers, grinning at her own ‘cleverness’ … inciting her followers to confront their fellow citizens who don’t ‘believe as we do’ … and ‘scare’ them into silence? Terrorize them into NOT exercising their freedom of expression. It’s intimidation. It’s control through fear. It’s terrorism.
If someone gets into an accident during the ‘car harrassment’ … it will be collateral damage, as Tim McVeigh called the children who died in the Day Care centre of the Murrah building.
A few days later, Sean Hannity praised his Tea Party audience by telling them they were ‘Tim McVeigh wannabes’ and the audience CHEERED …
That was ‘deliberate’ … he is revising Tim McVeigh from a Domestic Terrorist to a Freedom Fighter ?? All terrorists see themselves as ‘freedom fighters’ don’t they?
It’s no coincidence that the Anniversay of the Oklahoma bombing is coming up on April 19th, and that MSNBC is scheduled to present a Special on Tim McVeigh’s act of Domestic Terrorism through his interviews.
From the Glen Beck expose of Czars in the White House (an invented boogeyman endorsed by Sarah on her OFFICIAL Facebook page) to the rewriting of Tim McVeigh as a Freedom Fighter just like you, Sarah and FOX have been programming their followers, laying the groundwork, creating justification for the hate and fear that has now reached a point where elected officials are threatened, citizens are intimidated and ignorance is the ‘new normal’. After all, FOX did establish in a court of law that they have the RIGHT TO LIE AND MISLEAD ….. which gives anyone but a FOX viewer pause for thought!
Ms Williamson is absolutely correct: Words have Power. This is, after all, why the 1st Amendment IS the FIRST AMENDMENT. Freedom to speak, freedom to express thoughts and just as importantly, the freedom of the press to inform the citizenry.
Sarah Palin knows that words have power …. that is precisely why she uses those words.