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A liberal generation activates radical Republicans

On Nov. 3, 1969, in a presidential address to the nation, Richard Nixon spoke of his plan to end the Vietnam War. At the time, the country was in the midst of a profound debate over a war, which included vehement criticism of the U.S. policy.

While most were disappointed in the results of the war, the liberal critics of the war were vilified in the eyes of the public as a group of extremists who hated what America stood for. Critics said they were a tiny group and did not deserve the attention they received. Nixon sought to win over the majority of Americans who were not anti-war activists by speaking to their rationality and portraying the anti-war activists as a freak, fringe group. Nixon therefore addressed his plan to win in Vietnam to ‘the great silent majority of my fellow Americans.’

Historians would later mark this as the beginning of Nixon’s 1972 re-election strategy, in which Nixon would demonize the youth and racial minorities of America to win middle-class whites. Political scientists would later sarcastically, but accurately, deem Nixon’s supporters ‘The Great ‘White’ Silent Majority.’

Throughout the years, Nixon’s Great Silent Majority and their children became the voters who instituted the conservative era, which ruled American politics from 1968 to 2008. Today, however, it appears that the historical political dynamic has been turned on its head.

Towards the late stages of the 2008 presidential campaign, the Republican candidates and their audiences turned increasingly volatile. Former Republican Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin said that President Barack Obama ‘pals around’ with terrorists. John McCain asked, ‘Who is the real Barack Obama?’ and an audience member responded, ‘Terrorist!’

Even after Obama won the election with 54 percent of the vote, the most any candidate had won in twenty years, this rabid minority not only refused to dissipate, it became louder and more desperate.

These ultra-conservative activists went on to organize ‘tea parties’ with the helpful encouragement of Fox News. Perhaps the biggest insult was that these meetings were wrapped in the words and symbols of the Founding Fathers. Although much like the Founders, the tea parties didn’t have any ethnic minorities.

This group’s next goal was to infiltrate the health care town halls this past August. And while it has always been clear that these people are not the most intelligent or sensible people, it has become clear that they are capable of and have even encouraged violence.

It became clear last year when outbursts like ‘kill him!’ could be heard at McCain-Palin rallies. At the various tea parties and town halls there have been several armed protesters. And finally, at the Glenn Beck instigated ‘9/12’ D.C. gathering, participants held up professionally made signs with ‘Bury Obamacare With Kennedy’ printed on them. The people who held these signs would feel shame if they were capable of the emotion.

What makes these protests so distressing, however, is that unlike the protests against George W. Bush, this anger isn’t focused on what Obama’s done; it’s about who he is. The country has seen these kinds of vituperative attacks against Bill Clinton, FDR and John F. Kennedy.

The disgusting, depressing and possibly dangerous activity of these radicals has unfortunately received much attention. Hopefully in the future, the media will treat these people as they deserve to be treated – as the bottom of the barrel.

Let us then focus our attention on the new Great Silent Majority, which supports energetic government moving America forward and rejects the rabid fantasies of an extreme minority.

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