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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

August 16, 2009 at 6:09 AM

The general state of affairs: paranoia and ignorance

Pardon me for being appalled

I have had people inform me that there is a secret clause in the “cash for clunkers” program: If you sign up, it lets the government come to your home and steal your computer.

Others have told me that President Obama has a secret plan to enslave the white race and is just like Hitler.

Some have let me know that because I’m a Democrat I love terrorists and hate America and Jesus.

People I know from high school have made a point of stating that a certain crazy lady who couldn’t find Mexico on a map of North America would make a brilliant choice as leader of the free world. You betcha!

Where I live, there are lots of people like this, who do not seem to be able to tell a basic common-sense fact from the most outrageous and impossible ideas. When I say lots, I’m talking about probably 70-80 percent.

All of these people are registered voters. Many of them are college graduates.

Many news organizations are not acting responsibly. Instead of saying: “You realize that this is a stupid and impossible idea, the president enslaving the white race, don’t you?” they will instead say, “And how do you feel about this plan to enslave them? Is there a protest march in the works?”

In a half-century of living, I have seen, or imagined I would see, the level of ignorance and radical extremism in this country that I am seeing now. It is beyond my ability to believe that responsible people, including journalists, could think there is something even remotely funny about making remarks that some of our political leaders should be killed. Assassination has now become something that’s being promoted, it’s even been done on CNN. To later say, “Oh, I was just kidding,” and think that excuses it, is appalling. It is inexcusable and borders on treason. And it doesn’t seem that anything is being done to stop these people.

When we have to wonder if the neighbors might try to lynch us because we dare to disagree with them about our president being compared to the most horrible monster of the 20th century, we have reached a new low as a society and come to a point at which it’s fair to say that a mob mentality has replaced the concept of open debate and psychotic ranting has replaced the most basic ideas of common sense for a shockingly large segment of our population. It is a form of national suicide and there does not seem to be any end in sight.

We should not be surprised that our country is falling apart around us.

— Derek Tyler, Yakima

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