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The Extremist Elephant in the Room

Anti-Islam speaker Pamela Geller claims the Nazis were inspired by Islam.Apparently some conservatives have turned to extreme measures, when the American public effectually voted against many of these ideals in the last national presidential election. They created an agenda to try to paint the elected administration as illegitimate and radical, but instead they turned themselves into increasingly irrational destabilizers that threaten to rip apart the Republican Party – and even the nation – if given too much power.

Anti-Islam speaker Pamela Geller claims the Nazis were inspired by Islam.America has an extremist elephant in the room that too many people are in denial about, and it has nothing to do with Muslims. The real extremist threat in America today is in the transformation of American conservatism into a hateful, lying, media-fronted “Tea Party” extremist movement.

Modern political conservatism in the United States has been founded on three primary principles:

1. Belief in Capitalism and Free Enterprise, and opposition to policies which interfere with these such as interfering in markets and trade.

2. Preference for small government (particularly anti-tax), especially when it comes to social welfare programs and anything that interferes with business.

3. Promotion of strong national defense even to the extent of denying liberties and curtailing freedoms, and in opposition to the general ideal of small government.

Secondary principles of American conservatism have come to include those espoused by the so-called Christian Right:

1. Sanctity of marriage (i.e. against homosexual marriages) and traditional family values (i.e. against homosexuality in general).

2. A commitment to faith and religion, but often in intolerant expressions.

3. Anti-abortion.

Apparently some conservatives have turned to extreme measures, when the American public effectually voted against many of these ideals in the last national presidential election. They created an agenda to try to paint the elected administration as illegitimate and radical, but instead they turned themselves into increasingly irrational destabilizers that threaten to rip apart the Republican Party – and even the nation – if given too much power.

In reality, the Tea Party is steeped in lies. For one, Moldovan-Israeli immigrant Orly Taitz jumped on the manufactured rumor that President Obama had a forged birth certificate and was ineligible to be President. Then Sean Hannity and Lou Dobbs were all too happy to spread the lie, along with other claims from the Taitz camp that Obama planned to create a “civilian national security force” and that concentration camps would be returning to the U.S. Apparently Gitmo and indefinite detention without charge from the Bush-era creation of the Patriot Act were not at all alarming, but completely unfounded and vague rumors such as these ones were. Liz Cheney, daughter of ex-VP Dick Cheney, founded the group Keep America Safe, which claims that Obama is more reluctant than any previous President to defend the United States overseas; in reality, his defense budget and policies are far nearer a national high than a national low. Keep America Safe thrives on donations from pro-Israeli sources and seems to be about Zionist policy rather more than about the safety of American citizens.

Part and parcel with this lie were Glenn Beck’s meandering McCarthyist ravings against Obama as a Socialist/Communist/Fascist/Marxist/Maoist/Muslim championed by the Tea Party – again, completely contrary to any basis in fact. While the Tea Party continually denies it, the racist undertones of its anti-Obama agenda are obvious. Obama’s real record shows him to be a staunch centrist promoting many of the same ideals as the Republican idol, Ronald Reagan. Obama’s record has much more in common with Reagan than, for instance, with Clinton. But Beck takes as his sources the likes of Norman Dodd and W. Cleon Skousen. Skousen, a Mormon conspiracy theorist, was a close friend of FBI director J. Edgar Hoover who falsely claimed that Hoover gave him research on communist plots. However, this supposed research only surfaced after he was once accused of being a communist himself and then began to promote anti-communism to restore his image and for financial gain. Dodd is also a conspiracy theorist, touting the popular theories of Illuminati or secret societies running the U.S. government, which – unfortunately – many Muslims have bought into, despite the fact that the creators of these rumors are anti-Muslim and notorious for less-than-noble agendas.

And if anyone went to a gun show at any time in the past few years, particularly right after Obama’s election, then he/she would be aware of the National Rifle Association (NRA) scare that led to massive ammunition shortages caused by people hoarding and stockpiling. All that because of completely unfounded rumors that Obama was going to take away the right to bear arms, in spite of his upheld promise not to address gun-control issues. Five (possibly more) police officers died in the line of duty because of this paranoia induced in a gun-toting public.

Another lie promoted by the Tea Party was the Sarah Palin Facebook claim of “death panels” in the health-care reform bill. The ridiculous paranoia was so extreme that it was dubbed “the lie of 2009” by the fact-checking website, Politifact.com, and eventually had to be dumped by the conservative networks reporting it, even Fox News. Palin further revealed herself as a hypocrite with her health care reform attack while taking her own family to Canada to use its health care system. The death panel rumor was invented by former New York Lieutenant Governor Betsy McCaughey, who created similar propaganda published in the New Republic during the Clinton administration, although it was much later retracted by the publication after winning an award and subsequently proven to be false. Lyndon LaRouche then grabbed hold of the rumor and tried to equate it with Hitler’s T-4 program to kill the handicapped – thus leading to numerous descriptions of Obama as a Nazi fascist, while it is the Tea Party extremists and their increasingly violent, propagandist, and lie-filled tactics that are much closer to fascism than Obama’s administration.

Militant Tea Party devotees ordered breaking windows at Democratic Party headquarters in several states, and at least ten Democratic members of congress received death threats. An African-American congressman from South Carolina received faxed images of a noose, and a national representative who favored health care reform received a letter filled with ominous white powder. One person had his home gas line sabotaged after his address was posted online by a Tea Party organizer, with encouragement for activists to “drop by” to express anger about voting on the health care bill.

The Obama administration has responded to this extremist movement by simply ignoring it. But the American Public should not ignore it. The American public should demand truth in journalism and an end to hate-filled lies and destructive agendas. As Muslims engage themselves in a month of spiritual renewal and reform, America also needs to take a closer look at itself. Muslims are not the extremist threat in this country. Rather, in the words of Sinclair Lewis in 1935, “When Fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.” The American nation and the Christians in particular have intolerant extremists in their midst, whose loud lies and violent leanings are drowning out the more level-headed presumed majority. While Westerners continually bash Muslims for supposedly not speaking out enough against terrorism, that’s the pot calling the kettle black. To paraphrase Jesus (peace be upon him), it is time to stop looking at the speck in another’s eye while there’s a plank in his own.

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