Those who see their way of life changing due to demographic and cultural shifts become easy prey to those political demagogues who are selling an off-brand type of patriotism. They respond to anti-government political movements, such as the tea party. They are handy pawns for political use by the party out of power against the party in power. They are even prey for those organizing militias and advocating violent resistance against the legitimate government. They respond to a Texas governor shouting “secession” into a microphone.
Those who are disenchanted for one reason or another are vulnerable to conspiracy theories, as well as lies told to gain political advantage. They are easily led by distortions of reality and demonizing rhetoric in pointing blame for problems, both imagined and real. They should ask themselves a basic question: “To look after my interests, do I trust unregulated big business more than government?” That is their choice.
This country is ripe for the growth of such fringe groups and organizations. Political and media demagogues have used biased media and other means to coalesce anti-government sentiment in our society into a broad movement which is potentially dangerous to our democracy and our nation. They have created a level of incivility and hostility in our political discourse which invites violence.
That is starting to occur, and it will worsen unless we stop it.
Dr. Edwin E. Vineyard, AKA The Militant Moderate