Monday, March 12, 2012

I Thought McCarthyism Died?

Apparently not.  If there is anything we have learned over the past three years it is that Senator Joseph McCarthy created plenty of conspiracy theorists just like himself.  It appears that the vast majority of them abide in the Republican Party these days.  President Obama has been called a 'socialist', 'un-American', an 'Arab', 'boy', and a 'muslim' by these nut jobs.  Worse, mainstream members of the GOP fail to disavow these attacks, except for Senator John McCain, to whom much credit should be given.  Now, with just one day until voters in Mississippi and Alabama cast their ballots in their state's respective Republican primary, a new poll by Public Policy Polling indicates that 45% of likely Republican voters believe President Obama is a Muslim.  Another 41% aren't sure.  Frightening.

Exactly what is the problem these people have with otherness?  Anyone who doesn't act like them, talk like them, look like them, and consume greasy deep fried foods like them is suspect.  America is supposed to be a melting pot filled with different ethnic groups, racial groups, and a shared commitment to liberty for all.  Except if you're an 'other', apparently.

I probably shouldn't be surprised when this stuff comes up in the two most ethnocentric states in the union.  After all, in another Public Policy Poll conducted last year in Mississippi nearly 45% of Republican respondents said miscegenation should still be illegal.  At least that number dropped to 29% in the most recent poll with 17% unsure.  Yeah, plenty still want to ban inter-racial marriage.  The Soviet Union may be dead and there may not be a communist behind every tree or fencepost but good old McCarthyism is alive and well in the old confederacy.  Uncle Joe would be proud.

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