I came of age during the Reagan administration. A terrible time. Living in the triangle of Washington DC, Camp David, and the “underground Pentagon”. All first strike zones during Reagans dangerous game of an arms race to bankrupt the USSR. First strike zones that almost became a reality during Reagans infamous “hot mic” moment of “the soviet union has been declared an outlaw nation- bombing begins in five minutes”.
A president whose enlightened approach to (illegal) drugs was “just say know. Well that, and lock up every drug user they could find. Who oversaw the shutdown of every maker of smoking apparatuses for marijuana- a drug far less harmful then alcohol or tobascco. Who instituted mandatory minimums for crack cocaine (a “minority” drug 10X harsher then punishment for powdered cocaine (an upper class white durg) And of course- a drug his administration helped the Contras move, to buy guns to illegally supply to Iran (in violation of international law) while of course supplying weapons of mass destruction to Iraq- arming both sides of the conflict so the arabs could kill each other…while funneling the proceeds back to the Contras in violation of US law.
Reagan, who supported countless dictators and juntas throughout south and central america- often against democratically elected leaders, that resulted in millions of deaths, rapes, and tortures. All because someone was a little bit less leftist – or at least willing to play ball in exchange for guns and money.
The 12 years of Reagan/Bush were hell. Things at least mellowed some during the 8 years of Clinton- even if he was largely a republican when it came to business.
Then of course 8 years of Bush jr. A war based on lies against a country that did not threaten us, and whose dictator- a long time friend of the Reagan/Bush cabal, was no where near as bad as the numerous other dictators around the world. A poorly thought out war in afghanistan. (those that do not know history….). Trippling of gas prices. Deregulation leading to the worst economic collapse since the great depression. The republican cornerstone of “States rights” being disregarded when it came to medical marijuana. A stolen election (yes, stolen. Despite Gore proving the axion of “nice guys finish last” by casting the deciding vote to end the challenges- every count by every method showed he was the winner)
And of course- this goes far beyond the federal level. Both my wanderlust and my work has had me spend time in every state in America (and numerous foreign countries). And believe me. If you think different. Act different. Look different. You have very real reason to be concerned in the red states. I have had a LOT of police interactions in my life. More often then not for no good reason- and the bad ones were always in the red states. I once got pulled over in the south. Why? Good question- and one I asked more then 30 times before getting the brilliant answer (really? It took you over an hour to come up with this?) “your license plates too dirty”. Ok- I didn’t have a drivers license or any ID on me- my wallet was either lost or stolen two days prior. But all my info checked out. “Can we search your car?”. No. Do you have any reason to?…silence. “you’re gonna have to wait for the drug dog”. Fine. “Whose the chinaman asleep in the car? Whose the jesus freak?” You better hope you don’t got no drugs down your pants- last week we had a nigger coming through and the drug dog scented on his crotch. He latched on and we…um….’accidentally’ gave the command for tear and not release”. And hour later some redneck in a beat up car with a puppy shows up- the supposed police drug dog. “now we’re goon run him around the car then throw him this here tennis ball- if he catches it there’s drugs”… “really- you’re going to throw a ball to a puppy and expect him not to try and catch it?!”. Sure enough…An hour and a half later…more then 3 hours from the start- I’m on my way…and they’re pissed…
So…back to the point I suppose. America is an incredibly large- and incredibly diverse country. And the democrats, and the libertarians- are, by and large, able to accept- and support this diversity. But the tea-party, and an increasingly large swath of the republicans, are unable to accept anyone, and I repeat anyone, who dares to think or act differently then they do.
For a while I thought it was funny that the (increasingly far) right was screaming about socialism/marxinsm/communism/totaltarianism. But increasingly I am convinced this is just a misdirection- a “hey, look over there” ploy, while they institute the militant facism that has been bubbling under the surface of the right for so long.
Jews, muslims, hindus, union members, people whose choose to use a drug less dangerous then alcohol or tobacco, gays, bisexuals, transgenders, people who believe in science, people who believe an animal/plant/wilderness area can be important, people who realize gun related crime is out of control in our country- and far worse then any major nation in the world, people who believe a living wage for honest hard work is fair…well, we should all be afraid.