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Tea Party Rally a Scattershot Rage-fest

So Obama is like Hitler? From Bay of Fundie comes a slideshow of some of the signs from this past weekend’s “tea party” protest in Washington, DC. I’ve seen a lot of pictures from the event and have even seen a number of signs I do agree with (mostly related to bailouts and government spending), but the number of signs that portray true ignorance is just too great to ignore.

As I posted on my personal blog, protests are more about signs with clever slogans than addressing issues in any detail, but when those signs comprise an incoherent, inconsistent, scattershot collection of complaints with an underlying ignorance of the associated issues, there’s nothing productive about it.

In this slideshow, there are accusations of death panels, mandated abortions, liberal fascism, and communism. There are comparisons of Obama to Hitler, Lenin, Stalin, and Castro. There are complaints about Planned Parenthood, health care, ACORN, child trafficking in prostitation [sic], smallpox vaccinations (!!!), and the word “czar.” Even the tired old “Where’s the birth certificate?” nonsense is rolled out for show and tell.

Glenn Beck 2012? Please, no. There was even a sign with the words “Glenn Beck 2012.”

In other pictures, I’ve seen signs stating that the US is a Christian nation, that we’re “One Nation Under God,” that we need to pray more, and that Obama is a liar. There are plenty of other signs, but along with those signs come some interviews of some of the folks carrying them.

I will grant that the interviews are a small sample and may not be indicative of the ignorance level of the crowd in general, but based on the crazy signs I’ve seen, the interviews may not be too far off base.

What’s the common thread that runs through all the carriers of the more outrageous signs? Is it racism? Fundamentalist religion? Lack of education? Partisan hatred? I don’t really know, but I can make an educated guess at some of the causes. All of the above, perhaps?

Is this anti-Jesus or anti-liberty? The candle flames of racism, ignorance, and religious fundamentalism get fanned and fed by outrageous, hate-filled talk by the likes of Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly, Ann Coulter, and other right-wing talking heads. These commentators help create and instill irrational fear in these protestors with spin, exaggerations, lies, and incendiary rhetoric. What’s worse is that the right-wing politicians do the same… assisted by fundamentalist preachers… assisted by conspiracy-theory proponents.

While some of the protesters had serious signs that indicated rational policy disagreements, a huge number (perhaps a majority) of the signs were simply banners of ignorance… spiteful displays of unfocused rage. In some of the interviews, protesters couldn’t explain what their signs meant or why they held the positions they did. They were just there to vent their nebulous, right-wing, Glenn-Beck-inspired rage to the Washington, DC mall and to be surrounded by others who were just as rage-filled.

We can do that in the United States. Our Constitutional First Amendment guarantees us that right, which is a beautiful thing. It’s one of the things that’s great about our country. When I see people like this taking advantage of that right, especially in a relatively well-mannered and orderly way, it makes me proud of our Constitution.

…but it makes embarrassed about our citizens.

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