The Atmosphere Created by the Crazy Right is Crazy!
by Charlie Leck
In a recent column by Thomas L. Friedman, “Where did we go?,” the author establishes the same fear that has plagued me lately. The atmosphere is crazy – nuts! Rational, sensible and calm debate has disappeared. Shouting, insulting and cussing is now the style in political disagreement. I have friends who send out the sickest emails that I could ever imagine possible.
It all sounds cute. Holler and scream and claim that the opponent is unpatriotic. Call the opponents liars and cheats. It’s an awful atmosphere and I am ashamed of such Americans. What happened to the old days when we could disagree and yet respect each other?
In the last few days, Tom Friedman has said what frightens me and what all of us choose to ignore.
“Others have already remarked on this analogy, but I want to add my voice because the parallels to Israel then and America today turn my stomach: I have no problem with any of the substantive criticism of President Obama from the right or left. But something very dangerous is happening. Criticism from the far right has begun tipping over into delegitimation and creating the same kind of climate here that existed in Israel on the eve of the Rabin assassination.”
I fear for our President. I’m sorry. I’m probably not supposed to say it. There are too many crazies roaming around in the world. There aren’t enough Secret Service agents to watch them. Too many of these crazies believe the President is a nutty guy.
I have never felt this fear before. Never!
I hope I am being overly dramatic. I’ll be the first to admit it in seven years, if nothing happens.
Friedman doesn’t linger on this fear he expresses. His major point is that we need to give our Presidents, whoever they are and with whatever party they are aligned, a true sense of legitimacy, so they can operate efficiently in governing the nation and dealing with world problems. That was standard operating procedure in America until the birth of the far left and far right political movements.
“Again, hack away at the man’s policies and even his character all you want. I know politics is a tough business. But if we destroy the legitimacy of another president to lead or to pull the country together for what most Americans want most right now — nation-building at home — we are in serious trouble. We can’t go 24 years without a legitimate president — not without being swamped by the problems that we will end up postponing because we can’t address them rationally.” [Thomas L. Friedman]