During the last term of George Bush we referred to those who made outlandish accusations against the President as being infected with the “Bush Derangement Syndrome”. Their hatred seemed so venomous that it was impossible to have any sort of rational conversation about the issues.
I confess that I avoided conversation whenever the Bush bashers used words like Nazi, idiot and liar in the opening comments. I have long learned though it seems to require reminding that arguing against such parties is a waste of time. No facts or questions of uncertainty will change their opinions. People make up their minds emotionally and rarely change them. I have found this true as well with many of the mindless demonizers of Israel. In conversations it is amazing how little they actually know about the realities of the Middle East.
Few people can be changed by facts. There are so many facts out there that people will simply select the facts that supports their view. They read for confirmation rather than information. Many accept the basic facts because of an emotional connection with their original source.
That is not to say that there is not an absolute right and wrong or certainty on such issues, but I long to have intelligent conversations with opposing viewpoints without resorting to blinding emotional triggers like ‘Nazis’ and ‘liars’.
But has the heated debate created the Obama Derangement Syndrome?
While some screech pejoratives about Obama, doubt his citizenship credentials, and accuse him of being a closet Muslim; the protest activity centers on his policies. People are afraid of his health care policies, energy polices, cap and trade and his economic policies.
To the extent that opposition to Obama’s policies makes us dysfunctional perhaps we do give him too much power over our lives. Perhaps our economy has the power to sustain the assaults of the first six months.
While statements from the fringes pervade Facebook, Twitter and other new and old media; we should look for the area where wisdom prevails. We should seek ways to make politics irrelevant in our lives.
We should still learn and understand what is happening, and that includes understanding the principles and history beneath the issues. Our government has been an intrusive problem for a long time and we have learned to accommodate and survive it. Obama and his party have stepped the up the intrusion of government power significantly, and perhaps we underestimate the ability of our economy to accommodate.
I believe a lot of voters ignored Obama’s history and relationships and felt that even if they were concerned about his promises that he would not be able to get many of them passed. But with a single party in power the pace has exceeded many expectations. Yet nothing he has done is contrary to any of his campaign promises.
AS longs as the protests are focused on real issues and real pieces of pending legislation then the noise isn’t a form of derangement; it is a form of democracy.