Tragic Leaps of Emotional Logic

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Ohg Rea Tone is all or nothing. He is educated and opinionated, more clever than smart, sarcastic and forthright. He writes intuitively - often disregarding rules of composition. Comment on his posts - he will likely respond with characteristic humor or genuine empathy. He is the real-deal.

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Tragic Leaps of Emotional Logic

There is something terribly wrong in our country.  Leaps of logic are flying in random patterns of chaos.  The other day there was a letter to the editor in our local paper that stated emphatically that Barack Obama is a Muslim – the evidence, Obama’s middle name and his father was from Africa.  What is the root of desperation that drives people to these emotional leaps – unfounded in reality.

There is a post right here on The Fireside Post that uses similar leaps of logic.  The Fireside intentionally stokes the flames of cultural conversation – as is noted in our subtitle.  But we try to use patterns of logic that follow from a to b to c.  We have accused John McCain of stirring the flames of ignorance and prejudice – We base these accusations on the words from the mouths of McCain and Palin.

McCain and Palin consistently use obscure and ambiguous terminology to insinuate that Barack Obama is a domestic terrorist, a Muslim, an evil liberal, a liar, a silver tongued snake, and probably the ant-Christ himself.  When Colin Powell endorsed Obama with eloquent and detailed explanations Powell was labeled a racist by the fringe right wing talk radio.   They cared nothing for Powell’s words. Unable to defend the logic they labeled Powell a racist.

When supporters of Obama make racist, hate filled statements – Barack Obama condemns the comments.  When similar comments are made by McCain supporters McCain inflames the debate with innocent sounding statements of “Who is Barack Obama?”  Then McCain smiles when the audience shouts ‘terrorist,’ and “kill him,” and “off with his head.”  It becomes obvious that McCain has achieved his desire of stirring the prejudices of the masses – creating a mob mentality – a mentality of dangerous hate.

But we have to ask – what is the root of this anger? We understand McCain desperately trying to paint Obama as anti-American – McCain cares more about winning than he does about civility. But where does the mob anger come from?

Mob mentality is always rooted in fear, in feeling out of control. And extremists on the left and the right are of the same mentality – for extremism is always just extremism. Fundamentalist Christian and Fundamentalist Muslim are the same psychological animal. Inciting the passion of fear is much easier than inciting the passion of forgiveness.

When our lives feel chaotic we search for certainty, something that is sure and concrete. When we are out of control we try to take control – that is a normal human response. When there is a gun crime in our school the fanatics of the left blame the gun culture of the NRA, the fanatics of the right blame the legal assault of the ACLU. Neither solves the problem – but their anger is relieved with someone to blame.

If the McCain/Palin campaign has proved anything it is that there is a growing number of fearful people in America. People willing to join a mob – ready to strike out in prejudicial anger. People who are unable to see hope in their future and resort to finger pointing and blame placing.

Obama speaks to unity and this threatens the Reverend Hagees and Rush Limbaughs of the world. People who have made their fortunes playing to the divisive fear of the masses. Karl Rove took the mentality to the next level – and it worked. We have seen the result of divisiveness in the White House.

The McCain Palin strategy has united the extreme right – but they failed to unite the independents – the people who ultimately choose our President.

It is time to witness real unity as a patriotic strategy.

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There Are 4 Responses So Far. »

  1. Since 1968 this nation has spent 40 years wandering in the wilderness of cultural and racial division.

    Can we get on with building a decent, sane country?

  2. McCain has not made his supporters angry liberal media has. Everything from major news anchor interviews, late night shows and comedians have upset McCain supporters. Rev. Wright seems to be a taboo issue for McCain, but Hagee is alright. Ayers is taboo but Keating is ok. Americans famous or not are afraid to make comments or jokes about Obama in fear of being labeled racist. Even comedian D.L. Hughley who is an Obama supporter stated that white comedy writers are scared to write about Obama for fear of being labeled, which he claimed added to the 1-7 ratio of jokes about the McCain/Palin campaign vs. the Obama/Biden campaign. People are fools if they do not believe those sorts of broadcasting do not influence voters.

  3. Mr. Cole James, if the “liberal media” attacks McCain unfairly, why in the world would that cause someone to yell that Obama is a “terrorist”? “Off with his head”? What the h*ll of a conclusion is that? Are you angry at the “liberal media” and that makes you conclude that Obama deserves to die?

    All this unbelievable hate has been planted and engineered by Mr. Limbaugh, Hannity and their backers. Those guys do nothing but spew venom over the air and TV waves day in and day out, based on a completely twisted view of the facts. I guess the root of all this is the beloved free market… since their type of discourse brings in a relatively large and faithful niche of uneducated dittoheads, their programs are quite profitable. Proof of that is Limbaugh’s contract of $400 million with Clear Channel. Also, those guys are backed by corporations interested in propagate the corporative profit culture. That’s why leftwing talkradios are much less financially sound: if advertisers are corporations, why would they advertise on radios that are favorable to the “little guy”? No, they will advertise in talk radios that will stoke the profit culture instead of curtail it.

    Some similar “perks” of the free market: violent movies, bad taste music, millionaire churches, etc. Not that I don’t agree with free markets, but it does have its nasty side effects that we all have to cope with. These are direct effects of the cult of profit in detriment of something more tasteful and beneficial but less profitable.

  4. @ oderfla
    Please do not put words in my mouth by saying “Are you angry at the “liberal media” and that makes you conclude that Obama deserves to die?” I never made such a statement. I do not listen to Limbaugh, Sean Hannity or any of the other extreme right-wing fanatics. Well ok, maybe O’Reilly on occasion but I don’t take it all to heart as the gospel. When you say “I am angry” and that I say “Obama deserves to die”, you have just emphasized my point with more clarity about folks spinning and distorting messages.

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