I came across an old email exchange from 2010 and I offer it as a glimpse into what has now become ingrained in the psyche of many conservative Americans. That is the belief that as conservatives their mission is to save America from socialism and all it stands for: diversity, equality, civil rights, LGBTQ acceptance.
These beliefs or belief system has grown out of the “seeds of doubt and discontent and discord and hate” that the right-wing extremists and republican ideologues have been sowing for years. The thing about seeds is that they are tiny, almost unnoticeable and insignificant. But eventually they bear fruit.
Back in 2012 an email was forwarded to me by my cousin (a former school teacher). The video by ABC News was about bridges being built by a Chinese construction crew in California. It is presented in the email as “shocking” and it “will make you sick” - ostensibly because it’s un-American.
Well it didn’t make me sick, but the sentiments behind the message did:
This is absolutely SHOCKING !!
I can't believe ABC exposed this!!! We have the dumbest Government
Subject: U.S.A.Bridges and Roads Being Built by Chinese Firms
U.S.A. Bridges and Roads Being Built by Chinese Firms
Shocking to say the least! This video is a jaw-dropper that will make you sick. (It was also shocking that ABC was actually reporting this story.) The lead-in with Obama promising jobs in the U.S. by improving our infrastructure is so typical of all his promises! Our tax dollars are at work - for CHINA !!!
I pray all the unemployed see this and cast their votes accordingly in 2012!
So I watched the video and had this reply to the entire group to whom the email was sent, most of whom I did not know. I couldn’t help but to play the “persecuted gay” card for emphasis:
Goes to show, Nothing is simple. The world economy is so complex. Further, this appears to be a California decision, not an Obama policy; in fact, that National Policy seems to have been circumvented by California's desire to save money.
I don't understand why Obama is being vilified. There is something very deeply wrong with our society that is at the root of such divisiveness.
Neither Obama, nor any of the Republican [presidential] candidates are going to fix this illness that the country is experiencing. It would be fantasy to even think so.
But I sincerely believe that without an obstructionist congress, Obama's vision would have produced results that we could all be proud of.
I think many people are willing to sacrifice real, equitable solutions to America's economy and social responsibilities for narrow, ideological, and "religious" beliefs. This is sad and destructive.
As a gay person who has experienced 60 years of hatred, ridicule, discrimination, and condemnation from right wing, evangelical, and narrow-minded people, how could anyone expect me to support my oppressors - those who continue to spread lies, erroneous "opinions" and hatred toward fellow Americans who happen to be gay or Lesbian.
I am sick and tired of being mister nice guy, and keeping quiet, so as not to offend anyone. I will speak my mind and call judgmental statements couched in pseudo-religious, sanctimonious rhetoric what it is - HATRED.
All of the current Republican [presidential] candidates share that in common and I, for one, believe that that alone makes them unfit to be President.
Please keep religion out of government, because if we let YOUR religion influence government, other religions will soon demand the same influence, and we may not like the results. That is my Gay Agenda.
The fact that the Chinese are “building our bridges” pales in comparison to the insidious hatred that is being spread by right wing ideologues.
If and when we can heal our country's wounds and learn to respect those who are different, the issue of “Bridges and Who Builds Them” will take care of itself.
Sorry if anyone is offended, but my VERY LIFE is being threatened by those who spread hatred.
On Jan 29, 2012, my cousin, “G,” who, I repeat, had been a school teacher, replied by email. (I have inserted bold print for emphasis):
Thank you, [Frank]
I never thought of you as a gay person. I think of you as my loving cousin.
I think religion should be kept out of all government. I want as little government as possible. I don’t want them telling me what I can and can not do.
We should all have the same opportunity to live our lives as we choose. I don’t want them telling me what car I should drive, what lightbulbs I should use or what health care I have to buy. I don't even want them telling me I have to use a seat belt when I drive.
I am smart enough to take care of myself. It's too much government. As a senior citizen I worry if I'm going to have any healthcare as I age. I don't want America to become a socialist country. I believe Obama is leading us in that direction.
That article about the bridges just came to me as I was writing to you, which just started out as a joke on my part. I don"t know whether it came down from Obama or not, but it certainly isn't good for the country.
I don't know who is best to fix this country. My heart doesn’t feel it's Obama. I'm a registered democrat, but I have lost faith in them.
I'm sorry you were so hurt by that note. It was not intended to do so. I could not have known what you experienced all your life and you should not have had to go through all of that.
I'm glad you answered me and I pray for what ever is best for the country.
Just to reflect on some of her sentiments which are sometimes illogical or biased or contradictory, but which are the fruits of the “seeds of doubt and discontent and discord” planted by right wing ideologues:
These folks who’ve bought into the right-wing propaganda don’t want government telling them what they can or cannot do but they fail to recognize that they really do want government to tell some people what they can or cannot do. They won't ban guns but want to ban books; they won't support needy children but they want to ban abortions.
My cousin easily conflates having to buy new low energy light bulbs with having the option to purchase affordable health insurance. And so she rejects both as if somehow the government has infringed on her freedom - even if it means rejecting the sensible, beneficial choice which will improve her life.
In the next breath she worries about having health care as she ages, oblivious to the fact that she is on Medicare. She fears the idea of America becoming socialist while failing to acknowledge that socialized health care (Medicare/Medicaid) - actually insures that she will have health care as she ages.
She is a “registered Democrat” but has “lost faith” in the Democrats. Those seeds of doubt and discontent have definitely sprouted. (Sadly, my cousin now has advanced Alzheimer’s and is in a nursing home, and is entirely dependent on Medicaid).
I am coming to the conclusion that we need to prepare ourselves psychologically and “spiritually” for the possibility of a fascist takeover. The crazies and the ideologues and the power hungry and the narcissists and the vengeful and the mob could soon be running things or ruining things.
And I fear what that may entail.
We know what they're AGAINST But....