LC’s Commentary

Listen To The Voice of Reason

Reconstruction rhetoric rears its ugly head.

After the Civil War officially ended in 1865, those who felt disenfranchised, immediately went to work to take back things allegedly taken from them. Items allegedly taken were; almost total ownership of private property; total control of access to capital, and a free labor force in many instances. The political landscape change too. Faces including color changed in the political arena. The mere thought of losing almost total control of these most sacred and important positions of power did not sit too well with most folks in the Good old South and some Northerners as well.

Although the South lost the war, most Southerners felt they never lost their superiority over Negroes in all facets of life and were not about to accept Negroes as equals under any circumstances. Black codes, introduced in the south in 1865-66 to replace recently discarded slave codes objective was to keep Negroes in their place-a place sub-servant to all whites. Blacks, no longer slaves, were a direct threat to whites in many ways-mainly they threaten working class whites.  Blacks anxious for work, worked cheaper than whites did. Many Negroes craftsmen were in direct competition with whites and this created problems.  Many Whites felt Negroes election to public offices was the final straw and was very unacceptable. The mere idea drove many whites to take every conceivable action, legal and illegal to regain control of all public offices. This, they manage to achieve, including purging voting rolls of most black voters.

Current language on CTR and FNN lambasting President Obama has reached an unthinkable crescendo. It hearkens back to the period immediately following 1865. Feelings, until now, kept mostly concealed, are out in the open for all to see and hear. Utilizing Conservative Talk Radio and Fox News Network as delivery platforms: many whites have removed the gloves and have declared open war on Obama. What once was a smoldering pile of ashes have become huge bonfires, fueled 24 fours hours per day by Limbaugh, Boortz, Hannity, Cunningham, Levin, Beck, and other Conservative blowhards.

As Southern Whites felt in 1865, their offsprings are revealing the same feelings. A Black man has taken something they have a God-given right to possess. To them President Obama represents an insult, which they are not willing to sit idly by and let pass without fierce resistance.  To them Obama is out of his place and should be back in the field, with a cotton sack on his back.

President Obama’s administration decisions must be challenged, when necessary. However, to challenge everything it attempts, good or bad is unnecessary.  To openly declare; we are against everything this administration proposes, no matter what, takes stupidity to a level until now, unknown and unimaginable.

Theodore Roosevelt, Twenty Sixth President of the United States penned the following:

The men with the muckrakes are often indispensable to the well-being of society; but only if they know when to stop raking mud.

Throughout the history of freedom of expression/speech, some have questioned the wisdom of allowing virtually unfettered, unfiltered, freedom of expression (first Amendment) ratified in 1791, no matter the subject. Keep in mind, when the framers of Constitution drafted, completed, and States added this amendment, methods to initiate and undertake and exercise the freedom to address the public were extremely limited.  Newspapers, town meetings, community gatherings and mail were the ways most people got information.  Radio, television, Internet and other forms of mass communication changed the whole dimension of freedom of speech/expression. In days of old, an individual standing on a stump in the center of town, ranting, raving, and spouting lies, influenced only those in close proximity to the occasion. Our founding fathers could not fathom the possibility of the First Amendment being abuse to the extent that currently exists. Never in their wildest dream could they see in existence in American society people with a way of thinking like Limbaugh, Boortz, Hannity, Beck, Cunningham, Levin and other abusers of the Right the Framers felt had to be in the Constitution. Entirely too many people and media outlets are taking advantage of the Amendment in the Constitution that allows freedom of speech.

Louis D. Brandeis, (1856-1941) US Supreme Court Justice coined the following: the function of the press is very high.  It is almost holy. It aught to serve as a forum for the people, through which the people may know freely what is going on. To misstate to suppress the news is a breach of trust.

Robert H. Jackson US Supreme Court Justice (1892-1954) penned these powerful, insightful and prophetic words:

The chief wrong which false prophets do to their following is not financial…the real harm is on the mental and spiritual plane. There are those who hunger and thirst after higher values which they feel wanting in their humdrum lives. They live in mental confusion or moral anarchy and seek vaguely truth, beauty, and moral support. When they are deluded and then disillusioned, cynicism and confusion follow.  The wrong of these things, as I see it, it is not in the money victims part with, half as much as in the mental and spiritual poison they get. But that is precisely the thing the constitution put beyond the reach of the prosecutor, for the price of freedom of religion or of speech or of the press is what we must put up with and even pay for a great deal of rubbish.

Some would cast Conservative talk shows and Fox News network spokespersons as demagogues. On the surface, it appears commentators on these outlets have two objectives in mind increasing their power and wealth and weakening the power of those, they oppose.  The methodology they employ reminds one of the statement Adolph Hitler made; When you win the war, no one ask how you won it. These folks have a win at all cost attitude and are willing to take great risk to get back what they feel was taken. It is funny how quickly they forgot how the Obama administration came to power. To hear them talk, one would think power was transferred from the Republican Party to the Democratic Party at the point of a gun.

As talking heads on Conservative Talk Radio, (CTR) and Fox News Network (FNN) ratchet up the caustic, contemptible and asinine rhetoric, their listeners and devout followers feel an obligation to behave likewise. Commentators and listeners feeding on each other have removed all semblance of civil discourse pertaining to the Obama administration.

Those addicted to CTR and FNN should pay a little more attention to what these outlets are advocating.  There is a danger lurking in the fog-a fog created to deliberately mislead and misinform listeners.  I use to wonder why CTR folks so freely talked about how ill-informed their listeners are-not any more. Most commentators have gotten rich selling a product worth practically nothing to purchasers.  People who read their book are no better off than those of us who do not read them.  Some feel more informed-informed about what. Well, maybe the opinion of a blowhard talk show host with Conservative leanings.  People who devote a considerable amount of their valuable time listening to these folks and buying their products would be better served, seeking advice and knowledge elsewhere.  Rather than listening to talk show hosts lambasting Obama, listeners would be better served, listening to talk shows advising people how to manage their debt and finances.

It is foolish for CTR and FNN to advocate rolling back the clock to where it was before the last presidential election. Many decision made while president Bush was in office were certainly not in the best interest of this nation and the World.  Two wars, tax cuts in time or war, are two glaring examples of decisions that this nation should not have to live with again. Advocating changes in the government that puts people in charge with the mindset that supported two wars and tax cuts at the same time makes no sense.  This nation had better figure out a way to go forward rather that going backwards. There is little back there except a few good memories, overshadowed by lots of bad memories.

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August 6, 2010 - Posted by | Conservative Talk Radio, Glenn Beck, Hannity & Boortz, Limbaugh, Reconstruction

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