Recently we have had news reports that are a sad commentary on the state of knowledge and discourse in some segments of the USA.
A few weeks back there was a poll of a couple of thousand Republicans taken by Daily Kos and Research 2000. I just became aware of the poll and one question jumped out at me because it was not a question about policy but about a simple matter of where Obama was born. According to the poll when asked if they believed that Obama was born in the United States 36% said No. Think about this a moment; 36% said No; based on what? There is a birth certificate and newspaper notice and reports of relatives that support Obama being born in Hawaii. Is there any evidence for any other birth place for Obama or which calls into question the evidence for Hawaii? Although many seem to have investigated this matter none has been provided. So why do 36% of the people in the poll say No? Are these 36% saying No based on wishful thinking or what? The poll was sponsored by Daily Kos which has a known political bias and while I do not think the poll was deliberately distorted; for the sake of discussion let us cut 36% in half and call it 18%. Still 18% is approximately 1 in 6 people. For 1 in 6 people to answer a poll that Obama was not born in the USA is mind boggling.
The news reports I have seen indicate that racial slurs were shouted at Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) as he and other Congresspersons walked into vote Saturday on the health bill. The report is that the person or persons shouting the racial slurs were part of a rally against the bill; the organizer of the rally has denounced the racial slurs. Also it is reported that Rep. Barney Frank was called a homophobic slur. This sort of behavior is boorish and vile.
Over the weekend several windows in offices of Democratic party members were broken by bricks and rocks. At least one person named Mike Vanderboegh actually has a blog where he appears to be advocating this sort of misbehavior and general stupidity. It is difficult to make much sense of his ramblings but if he thinks that throwing bricks through windows is going to improve the situation then he is mistaken. It is difficult to tell if he is a misguided idiot or a delusional fool or a hypocritical opportunist out for personal gain. Unfortunately Vanderboegh is the type of person who has no clue about libertarian philosphy yet will think it is a neat sounding term so will call themselves libertarian. Glenn Beck is another one who seems to want to falsely call himself a libertarian. Beck and Vanderboegh are not libertarians.
I would like to suggest that there are a lot of people who need to slow down, take a deep breath and get a grip; then maybe rational discourse will be possible.