By Dave Stancliff
The Republican Party is at a major crossroad of creditability. A recent Harris poll shows 24 percent of Republicans believe President Obama is the Anti-Christ. How rational does that sound to you?
The poll also showed that the majority of Republicans believe President Obama is a socialist (67 percent), he wants to take away Americans’ right to own guns (61 percent), and he’s a Muslim (57%).
How many other presidents have been called socialists for trying to help all Americans and not just the rich? The National Rifle Association (NRA) and the right to bear arms activists, are wrong about Obama taking their 2nd Amendment rights away. On the contrary, when Florida and Utah recently opened the door to issuing concealed gun permits to the rest of the nation, I’d say that was progress for the right to bear arms.
Fact; President Obama is not a Muslim. Saying so doesn’t make it true.
There are many Republicans/Conservatives out there who believe (according to the poll) President Obama resents America’s heritage (47 percent), he does what Wall Street tells him to (40 percent), he wasn’t born in the United States and so is not eligible to be president (45 percent), he’s the “domestic enemy” the Constitution speaks of, he’s a racist (42 percent), he wants to use an economic collapse or a terrorist attack (are these the same people who saidwas guilty of this?) to take dictatorial powers (41 percent), and he’s following in Hitler’s footsteps (38 percent).
These are things that some Republicans and Conservatives believe. Not all of them.
I think the pollsters polled Tea Party members, extreme Conservatives, and Republicans. Lumping them all into the same tea bag as it were. I don’t think that’s fair, but I can see how it might happen.
Rational Republicans are concerned. "By ratcheting up the rhetoric, some will only inflame these situations to dangerous levels," warned Republican Whip
The whole Republican Party is being painted as extremist because hate-mongers like Limbaugh, or Glenn are speaking for it. It doesn’t help that these purveyors of fear have the ear of so many Conservatives and outright nut cases. Lines do become blurred after a while.
Polls have shown Republicans/Conservatives think the federal government gets 42 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP) in taxes. That’s not true. Look at the data provided by the Joint Committee on Taxation (JTC). The number is three times too high - 42 percent vs. 14.8 percent. Just the facts.
Another misconception held by both Republicans and splinter Conservative groups is that taxes have gone up under Obama. Actually taxes have gone down $322 billion since he has been in office! The despised stimulus package that angered so many Republicans and Conservatives produced 40 percent tax cuts for many Americans. Perceptions outstrip reality in the rhetoric spewed by the Conservative entertainment industry - such as Fox News and it’s commentators.
The real Republican Party leaders should condemn ignorance instead of being associated with it, even partially. For example; as Republican members of the House waved “Don’t Tread On Me” flags after the health care bill passed, they incited the already boisterous crowd with heated rhetoric. As Eric Cantor stated, that kind of incendiary language could incite violence.
Republicans need to separate themselves from the fear and ignorance demonstrated by others. They’re better served talking about real issues, not fears, with their party members. We’ve seen members of Congress threatened and their homes vandalized because they voted for health care reform.
The FBI told media members Democratic Congressman Anthony Weiner’s office received a letter "that could be interpreted as threatening," according to a recent Associated Press report. Local media said it contained a white powder.
What’s next? Will legislators receive death threats every time they vote? How long will we let these extremists divide the nation under the guise of being patriots?
As It Stands, if Republican’s likekeep making excuses for “those angry Americans” and condoning their actions, total loss of creditability will be among the results for the “Grand Old Party.”