News coverage of America’s Taxpayer March on DC, 12 September 2009, shows hundreds of signs with words now given new meanings: communist, socialist, fascist, Nazi. Equating the current American administration with any of these demonstrates ignorance, or the person’s intent to sow fear, uncertainty, doubt … and hatred.

How did we get to this? Where innuendoes, rumours, and name-calling capture major media moments? Where booing, screaming, and slandering those with whom we disagree is acceptable? Where rudeness is celebrated and obstructionists are applauded? Where incitement and half-truths are encouraged, and intelligent, factual debate is dismissed? Where those who disagree are unpatriotic, anti-American, “not one of us”?

Where ministers unrepentantly preach a litany of hatred, and pray daily for the death of politicians in the name of their god? Where people wave posters invoking vigilante violence in the name of their god? Where politicians profess righteous indignation against policies of their own making, professing new-found enlightenment in the name of their god?

Proclaiming their god as the exclusive god of America, their god who blessed America and Americans alone. Their god who excludes me from their ranks.

I observe America, my country, with a broken heart from my home overseas. Love for my husband keeps me in Australia; love for my country and its people keep me involved in America. America seems like a third-world country-wanna-be, becoming a debtor nation and precluding any discourse based on fact, civility, and humility. I don’t know which to fear more: the huge deficits we’ve created for our grandchildren, or the disrespectful, fear-mongering, hate-speech we’re teaching our grandchildren as appropriate.

Judy Bamberger, CLA member,
O’Connor ACT

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