Fear springs ignorance

Published 3:57 pm Friday, July 10, 2009

As I opened up this past Wednesday’s Post-Searchlight, I was struck by the letters to the editor. What I found was mostly a page of Obama-bashing op-ed pieces that have become all too common for this newspaper.

I often wonder whether you routinely reject opposing opinions, or if there is seriously no one willing to stand up to these deceitful lies and speak the much-needed truth: Barack Obama is not a socialist, he is not a communist, and he is not spending us into a black hole, as many on the right would have you think.

This mud-slinging and name-calling is all too typical of the Republican Party—why speak the truth, when catch phrases and outright lies are so much easier to believe?

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What our president is doing is simply fixing the problems of the past eight years. Under the leadership of George W. Bush and his neo-conservative cronies, our great country ruined the healthy surplus left by Bill Clinton. That good ol’ boy from Texas sent us down a dark path, filled not only with budgetary problems, but also the degradation of our Constitution and loss of some of our most basic rights. Does anyone remember the Patriot Act and illegal wiretapping?

I find it hard to believe that Republicans have seemingly forgotten where they have come from. When did the party of the wealthy and the well-connected begin to resonate with everyday, middle-class Americans?

Republicans have always consistently voted to raise taxes for the average American, while lowering taxes for their multi-millionaire friends.

This could explain the wise, old farmer’s words, “You can’t work for a living and vote for a Republican.”

Under Bush, our country charged up the national credit card with faulty wars, took away revenue by lowering taxes on the wealthiest Americans, and deregulated the financial system to a point almost as bad as in 1929 under Herbert Hoover.

Now, while leaders on the right have decided to temporarily abandon their family values (because in the past few weeks, we have seen that only hypocrisy reins on the right) we see what nasty Republicans do best: lie to the American people to achieve a goal, disregarding the truth along the way.

The programs and policies President Obama champions are an investment in our future. The spending that is taking place on Capitol Hill is what it’s going to take to bring our country back from the brink of total economic collapse and bring our economy into the 21st century.

Barack Obama’s plans aren’t going to work instantly, just as George Bush’s failures weren’t seen overnight. We have to allow time for the plans to work, and I am confident that our country will be stronger because of his visionary leadership on multiple issues, such as health care, energy and education reform.

What the stimulus plan has done right away is give money to crumbling schools, fund eco-friendly building projects, and fix deteriorating public works in cities and towns across America; these are just three parts of his huge plan that will revolutionize our country. All of these programs have created some jobs, and more are to come as a result of the package. I really loved the Republican’s plan to fix the economy … Oh wait! There wasn’t one. This is just one of the issues that earned them the title “the Party of No.”

What is all too evident in these editorials is a lack of understanding in what the president and Democrats are trying to do to better our country. While Republicans only bicker about what the Democrats are doing wrong, Democrats, like our representative, Sanford Bishop, are down in the trenches working to make our country a better place. I am so proud to say I dedicated my time and money to Barack Obama and Sanford Bishop’s campaigns, as well as many other Democratic campaigns during the course of the 2008 election.

What I see in my hometown, and other conservative areas of our country, troubles me. I have always loved Ralph Waldo Emerson’s quote, “Fear always springs from ignorance,” and those words speak so much truth today.

We must be vigilant and be aware when the Republican machine moves to destroy and mar a genuinely good idea (more of which are being produced by Democrats these days), because the fear of losing constitutional rights, having taxes raised on average Americans, and irresponsible spending under President Obama shows just that: Ignorance.

I can only hope that more people will educate themselves on his plans for America, because his ideas for our country are so common-sense, that only the village idiot could reject them.

Austin SpoonerBainbridge, Ga.