This Country Has Lost its Mind

After appearing on Think Progress and Huffpo today, the first video below is getting a lot of play today, but I wanted to post it again, first, because it is so jaw-droppingly sad and depressing that it deserves to be seen as widely as possible, and second, because I think that, in tandem with the second video posted below, it says something fundamental about the current state of civility in this country.

The title of the first says it all, “Woman Yells ‘Heil Hitler’ to Jewish Man at Las Vegas Town Hall,” but you should take a look, because it’s actually worse than it sounds. The woman shouts ‘Heil Hitler’ at the man because he has the temerity to praise another country’s health care system AT A TOWN HALL MEETING TO DISCUSS HEALTH CARE. Then, when he responds to her provocation with outrage, she makes a crying baby face like a child on a playground.

I know there is a lot of faux outrage out there right now on both the right and the left, but this is really far, far beyond the pale. And it gets stranger still, because the very same woman was interviewed only moments before the altercation (see the second video, below). Turns out she’s a self-identified conservative who believes in “biblical values.” (I’m guessing Old Testament.) Oh, and though she has health insurance, her husband — who has two or three jobs (she finally settles on two-and-a-half) — has no health insurance at all. So she is at this rally shouting racist claptrap at complete strangers in order to prevent Obama giving her husband health insurance. Why? Because “nobody is obligated to give you healthcare. Nobody is obligated to give you anything.” Man, this is a very weird country right now.

I should state that I am not attempting to demonize this woman. In the second clip she comes off as a perfectly reasonable person (albeit one I may fundamentally disagree with), but only moments later it’s as though she’s gone straight from Dr. Jekyll to Mr. (Mrs?) Hyde. It really is a startling transformation. I’m guessing that this dichotomy is attributable to the steady drumbeat of hate spewing from the right wing noise machine, which posits that anyone who disagrees in any way, shape, or form with their current talking points is a traitorous, socialist, confiscatory, etc. etc. and on and on. This attitude permits otherwise reasonable and ostensibly deeply religious people to treat their opponents as though they are not worthy of the most rudimentary notions of respect, dignity, or even common courtesy. And it goes well beyond the racist taunt. After all, even if this woman had not yelled out something as charged as ‘Heil Hitler,’ the very fact that she feels entitled to disruptively call out while another person is being interviewed demonstrates a complete lack of regard for any views that differ from her own. And again, the contrast to her own interview conducted only moments before is quite stark, as she is permitted to give her own views at length and in relative quiet, with no one standing on the sidelines spewing derision and bile.

It’s all quite dispiriting, I must say.

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3 Responses to This Country Has Lost its Mind

  1. Paul Motter says:

    What this woman said is despicable, I agree. But don’t put all the hate-mongering on one side of the political fence. Just watch Keith Olberman for an hour and count the hateful epithets he spews about Republicans: stupid, liars, crazy, zealots, inbred, whatever…”

    This lady is just a private citizen idiot. Olberman is a “journalist.” on national television. “Thou reapest what one sows” as the Old Testament says.

  2. Paul Motter says:

    Sorry – but I did want to follow up and say, YES, you are absolutely correct. This country has lost one of its most prized and world-respected attributes, our ability to hear and respect opinions we don’t agree with. Polite discourse and airing of opposing views with respect has disappeared in this country, but I have to ask – who destroyed it?

    It seems to me started largely with the left, being very honest. I used to hear people say “they have a right to their opinion” all the time, but in the last election that changed. The right became unevolved medieval thinkers who couldn’t understand enlightened ideas. Palin wasn’t unqualified, she was “stupid”. McCain wasn’t aging, he was “senile.”

    The very fact that this administration is trying to tackle healthcare in the middle of the worst economic crisis in 70s years shows you they have no political savvy. But personally I am glad they are trying it now. Had Obama fixed the economy first his half-baked healthcare plan would have sailed right through.

    Im a conservative who wants health care reform, as long as it isn’t going to bankrupt the country. How about tort reform? cross-state policies, tax cuts for self-insured? It isn’t a question of whether it is needed, it is a question of what we are trying to pass.

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