Saturday, January 15, 2011

Right-Wing Mental Illness Is To Blame, Can Tunisia Be The Solution?

Colbert I King
Reza Aslan
"Sarah Palin's reality show will not be returning as she contemplates a possible run for president in 2012. When a candidate walks away from a reality show, that's when you know they're serious about being president of the United States." – Jay Leno
"Due to the recession there are now 15,000 less lawyers. Nobody ever talks about the good things that happen because of the recession." – Jay Leno

The LA times has the story that Ron Reagan, the youngest son of President Ronald Reagan, believed that the President had Alzheimer's while he was in office back in 1984, and that he would have stepped down if he had ever been diagnosed: "I've seen no evidence that my father (or anyone else) was aware of his medical condition while he was in office," Reagan writes. "Had the diagnosis been made in, say 1987, would he have stepped down? I believe he would have."

Ronald Reagan was diagnosed with Alzheimer's in 1994, five years after leaving office. The popular Republican president died in 2004 at age 93 from complications of the disease.

The younger Reagan recalls how his father became uncharacteristically lost for words and looked "lost and bewildered" during the 1984 presidential debates with Democratic rival Walter Mondale. He says his father may have suspected the onset of Alzheimer's in 1986 when he was flying over familiar canyons north of Los Angeles and became alarmed that he could no longer remember their names." This reinforces what I've been saying for over the past twenty years. I thought that I detected signs of some kind of dementia in Ronald Reagan during the last three years while he was in office, but I was a lone voice in the wilderness. After he was diagnosed with Alzheimer's, nobody would ever admit to the possibility that Ronald had come down with the disease while in office. Young Ron is the first person who publicly admits what Nancy knew quite well. If he had a better relationship with her, he might have come to this conclusion years earlier. I also think that the years Nancy Reagan spent taking care of Ronald after Alzheimer's took over, changed and liberalized many of her political views, something she tried to hide from the public, except for her support of stem cell research. I can personally say how confronting dementia is a terrible thing, and is the main reason that I write this blog, to try and keep my mind sharp after my own diagnoses... does this diminish any of his accomplishments or his legacy? Since most of his legacy is all made up, a convenient fiction made up years after he died, it doesn't really matter...

The media has been pooh-poohing the idea that a climate of violence and anger had any linkage to Jared Loughner shooting his local Congresswoman, that he was mentally ill instead. But the two are not mutually exclusive, and being mentally ill does not mean he was mentally retarded... during the last presidential election the conservative right wingers condoned the use of angrily confrontation as a regular tool, and we had an explosion of signs and banners that went way beyond the bounds of propriety, containing hate, racism, and vitriol as personal attacks against a Black candidate. Getting up during a Congressman's townhall meeting, disrupting it by shouting and being rude became the norm, with folks trying to outdo each other in how fast they could shut down any discourse and turn it into an angry brawl. People began wearing guns to tea party rallies and gun sales went sky-high.

It seemed that at each successive John McCain rally the mood would go up a notch, getting angrier and uglier, until the GOP planners decided to back off a bit. It never was their idea for anyone to outright try to shoot Obama, just manipulate folks through the frenzy of fear and violence that they would vote for their candidate. When confronted on this tactic, they blamed the liberal lefties for falsely accusing them, and the lamestream media went along with this game of smoke and mirrors.

During this last mid-term election, the imagery of guns and fighting against the federal government was again mixed with racism and hatred for Obama, down to the Governor of Texas mentioning succession in his campaign speeches. Sharron Angle mentioned that if she lost, people might seek second amendment remedies, or using guns on Congressional winners who weren't tea party supporters. This violent absolutism became the background noise to all political events for the last two years, and many Congressmen were hesitant to have any public events because of the latent threat of violence or angry senior citizens storming the barricades...

Jared Loughner is too young to be interested in any tea party movement, but was influenced by their strong presence in Arizona nevertheless. He was too involved with his inward collapse to pay much attention to outward society other than finding someone to act as a totem to blame for his failures. Destroy the totem, and to be honest, I don't think he ever got past this point... Once he obsessed over killing Ms Giffords, all other processes became irrelevant. Because he lived in one of the most conservative places in the US, where people talked about armed insurrection in coffee shops and church socials, it was easy to walk in and buy a handgun with a special clip that held thirty rounds. The only point where his behavior would have been seen as out of normal is when he fired point blank at Ms Giffords head...

My contention all along in this blog is that conservative right-wing behavior is mental illness. By promoting those mentally ill ideals you poison the political atmosphere, enough to where other mentally ill people will pick up on those signals and act upon them, be it killing an abortion doctor, random college students, or a Congresswoman. Everyone who has consciously escalated the imagery is responsible, more than you and I. Sarah Palin, Newt Gingrich, Sharron Angle, Michelle Bachmann, and all of the others who see a bankrupt set of ideals as the only viable way to run our society are equally to blame for six more deaths, including a nine-year-old girl...

But for every action of negativity and destruction in this world, there also is something created that gives us hope. In this case, it is a generational one, begun by our children and giving inspiring all who live in Africa and the Middle East. Strangely enough, it began in Iran, without any help from the US, as much as we'd love to take some credit. But, like every other major life-changing event, our intelligence services got it wrong...

The Green movement in Iran began by educated young people who protested a badly covered up election fraud that handed the presidency of Iran on a silver platter to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who actually may not have wanted to have won that way... Fed by every other injustice that a repressive government irrationally has impressed on a society, it quickly caught on and was supported by a larger segment of society than ever imagined. Even though people are no longer rallying in the street, the hope and ideals of personal freedoms have only gone dormant, waiting, perhaps in vain, for the next election.

Tunisia is the last place you would expect an outpouring by its citizens to get rid of its political leaders. Right now things are descending into looting and chaos until someone who is acceptable steps up to take charge. They have the mess left behind by a dictator who served 26 years. What's weird is that Tunisia has a large college educated class of people, and its government is more secular than religious. But, nobody was allowed to participate in the government besides a small bunch of cronies, and there was little personal freedom so folks could express themselves in opposition. What's ironic, is that it took a man martyring himself, literally setting himself on fire that sparked the public protests, that grew in size until they frightened the leadership enough for them to flee, thinking that they might receive the Romanian treatment... Instead, they were deposed in a peaceful cell-phone revolution, dubbed now as the Jasmine Revolution.

Every other country in Africa and the Middle East that has a dictator or a ruling family that have gotten rich from the labor of others are getting nervous. In Egypt, it has been a tradition to put all opposition candidates in jail after the election is over, and many other countries have laws that say it is a crime to slander their leaders, punishable by jail or even death. Egypt is supposed to have a presidential election soon, will it be allowed to happen and will it be allowed to be an honest election?

If these leaders weren't so fearful and paranoid of their own citizens, they could give them the freedoms they are asking for and it would strengthen their positions as leaders. Instead, they will hold onto their fears, which will eventually bring them down. As an ex-hippy, I always root for the underdog and the ways of truth, justice, and liberty... especially if taking on the Mole Men...

1 comment:

  1. Last week was a chaos about the Arizona Shooting.
    This week was the celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King.

    By next month Late President Ronald Reagan is celebrating his 100th anniversary birth on February 6.
    Ron was ruining the Legacy and Work of his father as he publish the book "My Father at 100".


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