Texas Congressman Al Green is drafting Articles of Impeachment against the president. Green received death threats after calling for the president’s impeachment. He played recordings of the death threats at a recent Town Hall. Green said that hateful attempts at intimidation need to be made public, so their harmfulness can be seen and understood. Hate must be exposed, he said, because it is more dangerous when hidden. I agree.
A quick check shows scant coverage of these violent threats in the mainstream media. The New York Times, for example, does not seem to have picked up the story. Amy Goodman introduces the two short voicemail threats Green shared, they are twenty-five seconds into this clip from Democracy Now!
I draw your attention to the second of these. We may use all kinds of words to describe a person who leaves this kind of message, and I was tempted to use some of the more disparaging ones. But that would miss the point.
Among the words that cannot be used to describe this caller are “well-informed,” “analytical,” and “Christian”. The caller apparently subscribes to a worldview where things, even if proved false, can still be cited as indisputably true.
It would not surprise me to learn that this caller believes that the South never lost the Civil War, but that a fake surrender was orchestrated by the treacherous chicanery of those who unaccountably favored the rights of inferior Africans over the rights of decent, God-fearing white Americans.
Belief does not have to be based on thought, logic, observable reality, any kind of reasoning or intelligence. That’s the beauty and horror of belief. All you need is a heart that aches for a thing to be true — and it’s true, to you.
His voicemail does the usual echo-chamber shuffle. You criticize my guy, asshole, hey, what about your fucking guy? “He was not only a nigger, the Muslim wasn’t even born here, and was also the most corrupt president ever, by a long shot.”
I’m not a fan of Mr. Obama’s, even as I realize that most of our recent presidents were worse than he was. I voted for the soul-crushingly disappointing man twice. The loudest, wealthiest, most visible proponent of the “Birther” Movement (similar to the bowel movement, but unnatural and the opposite of salubrious) is now our president. Only in an alternate reality where every damaging report is “fake news”, where political debates are reduced to slogans that can fit on a hat, or in 140 characters at most, where wealth and celebrity are the coins of the realm, could a person like him be president.
It’s not about him anyway. He is a symptom. We must not conclude that only racists like the two who left voice mails threatening Al Green with lynching support the current president. No reason to bring up the Ku Klux Klan endorsement or the white supremacist who became his chief strategist once the billionaire Robert Mercer threw his support and influence behind Trump. Racists love the pugnacious, politically incorrect president but racists are not the only people in the president’s base.
There are also plenty of people who are not racist at all. Some are merely very wealthy and insanely rapacious. Millions are desperately hurting people who may hate no group in particular, and may be no greedier than anyone else, but who, in their desperation for change, fell for one of the most cynical con men in American history.
Of course, it’s easy to see what die-hard supporters of the president will say. “These so-called racist death threats are fakes, fake news! Paid guys with fake southern accents reading a script to make the president’s supporters look bad. Typical desperate left wing nutcase maneuver, probably paid for by George Soros, Barbra Streisand and other rich Jews who support Black Lives Matter and other black terrorist groups. We’ll take care of those traitors soon enough…”
As far as impeaching him, I’d say it can wait until right before the 2018 election, after the Special Prosecutor has unearthed whatever evidence there is to unearth. No sense giving Mike Pence and Paul Ryan time to pretend that, on the fundamental questions of what life is supposed to be like in our great American democracy, they are not exactly as destructive as the proudly uninformed self-promoter with his hand next to the red button.