In 1995, Timothy MacVeigh and Terry Nichols, two veterans of the first gulf war, motivated by the idea that the US government had become too repressive in the wake of the Ruby Ridge fiasco and the Branch Davidian mess as well as their belief in a New World Order that would squash US sovereignty and provoked by the violent rhetoric of the Republican takeover of both houses of congress the year before, committed the worst act of terrorism in the United States prior to 09/11-The Oklahoma City Bombing.
The new Director of Homeland Security, Former Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano, became a target for criticism recently when a report was leaked from her department that showed that the potential for new MacVeigh and Nichol types was on the rise….The contributing factors? A large number of returning veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan with skills with weapons, demolitions etc., high unemployment and an economic recession, racism/anti-immigration mania and the increasingly desperate rhetoric of a Republican party spinning into the abyss in the face of one of the most polished and well managed Democratic presidencies ever.
The last part is important….During the last eight years, we were continuously told that criticizing George Bush’s lack of intelligence or knowledge about how the world really worked was un-American and how dare we voice concern over his policies during a time of so-called war….However, those same people now have no problem stating that President Obama is a Muslim and a plant guaranteed to undermine America….Even more wacky is the continuing nutty quest of a gradually decreasing cadre of right-wing loonies to prove that Obama was not born in the USA and his birth certificate is somehow fake or forged despite truckloads of evidence to the opposite.
I think Janet Napolitano is exactly right….Since the end of the 1960’s, the American airwaves have been swamped by right wing talk radio often deliberately preaching untruths about race, economics, history, foreign policy, immigration etc. to an America not educated enough to know the truth….OKC was the chickens coming home to roost of a violent right-wing extremism tacitly encouraged by the Republican party….The conditions are right for it to happen again if we are not vigilant.
I am however encouraged by the fact that most people see through the whole tea party nonsense…. Watching these well-financed groups composed of multi-millionaires, wealthy business owners and other people with much larger incomes than you and I try to equate Obama attempting to make the tax structure of the US more fair and pay down a massive debt left behind by the previous Republican administration to the fight for independence in colonial America and taxation without representation is like watching Dick “The Slug” Cheney deny drowning people is torture.
The fact that the majority of Americans don’t seem to have much interest in this right-wing circus act (especially in swing states) indicates that Americans do both understand the situation they are in economically and have grown increasingly sophisticated about conservative media tricks (and it really is a conservative media now although one could argue that the labeling of the liberal media was always a right wing tactic).