Saturday, August 15, 2009

From the reality-based community

Paul Krugman, writing in the NYT:

"Sure enough, President Obama is now facing the same kind of opposition that President Bill Clinton had to deal with: an enraged right that denies the legitimacy of his presidency, that eagerly seizes on every wild rumor manufactured by the right-wing media complex. This opposition cannot be appeased. Some pundits claim that Mr. Obama has polarized the country by following too liberal an agenda. But the truth is that the attacks on the president have no relationship to anything he is actually doing or proposing."
Read the whole thing. It's a challenge to all of us to get up on our hind legs and push back.


Mia said...

How can we mobilize young people into action? I can't imagine losing this paramount humanitarian opportunity for America to lies and paranoia. It's so true how Krugman said this opposition cannot be appeased. It is reminiscent of the GOP justifications for the Iraq war. It's this, oops, no, ok, it's that - no, well then you're just not patriotic like us, you dishonor the soldiers and that's it!! Now we're communistic, and elderly and fetus hating CLOSE-MINDED people?? I feel like I'm going to blow. And then I see these letters from people saying the "Liberals" are name-calling attackers who refuse to listen or debate facts. WHAT????? I am pretty pacifist(ish) but I am beginning to understand civil war. Have there been any counter Tea Party protests in Prescott? Thank you for being here, and hopefully understanding. I feel a little better after that catharsis. I'm all for the counter-protest, just give me the word.

Steven Ayres said...

Mia, I understand the feeling. I'm confident that there are far more reasonable and mature people in this country than there are word-bomb-throwing nutbars. But the nutbars make way better TV, and just incidentally they better serve the interests of the corporations that own the TV infrastructure. Reasonable people are at a disadvantage because they generally won't play that game and fight fire with fire. Adults just don't talk like that.

So what might that counter-protest look like? Some among us are writing letters to the editor advocating reason and thought. (Are they getting published as frequently? Hard to say.) Would it be useful to organize a gathering on the square of reasonable, mature adults celebrating reason and maturity and handing out fact-checked pamphlets on health-care reform? I dunno. Would it be more effective to make angry, bullhorn-amped speeches about how the unreasonable people are saying mean things about reasonable people? It's hard to feature.

I think that the most effective pushback is pushing forward. As President Clinton said the other night, once the deal is done, the votes won and the reforms are working, public approval will shoot upward. Check out that speech [], it's inspiring.

We can push forward locally by talking with our neighbors, keeping an eye out for other reasonable people who truly want to know what's going on and connecting them with information, not as political advocates, but as trustworthy fellow concerned citizens. If we give of ourselves with smiles and mature confidence, we will win more trust than any hooting nutbar.

Mia said...

I'll try, but I don't know about neighbors when I can't even make headway with Mom & Dad. I'm feeling a lot more stable tonight having fasted from news today. I love this site by the way, especially the pictures - especially the monkey on the wires. Husband likes Dr. Evil. I'll watch that speech. Thanks.