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Sat Dec 15, 2012, 12:51 AM

Seems this nation has had a meanness to it since Bush catered to extremists to win.

Last edited Sat Dec 15, 2012, 01:58 PM - Edit history (1)

In my opinion the election of 2000 raised up a new brand of American, the kind who disrupted loudly, the kind who did not hesitate to politically treat others with contempt.

Today 20 young children were shot close up with powerful guns in the hands of a man who should never have had them at all. That brought out a lot of emotion in everyone. For decades I taught students barely older than that, and I kept seeing their faces as we had our lock-downs or crises happen. My daughter called tonight knowing I would be having some kind of reaction. I appreciated that so much.

That is a very short time frame for a nation to change so drastically. I live in a conservative area of Florida, and I could see how suddenly George Bush started using right wing extremists to get himself elected.

I wrote some words a few years ago about how difficult it was to understand and adapt to this new nation with people yelling at others. I learned that even those who came to our home would explode with anger over any kind of criticism of Bush or the Iraq War. One neighbor screamed at me that the bible said we were not to criticize our country's leaders, that God was leading them.

I asked her what she thought about the fact that we were invading Iraq though they had not attacked us. She screamed in anger, and we finally had to ask her to leave our home.

I still have a nice email from a then manager of WFLA in Tampa. I had asked him why they did not write the truth as they knew it. I knew a reporter there then, and I knew they had access to the truth about the war. He was very nice when he wrote. He said quite frankly that if they printed any criticism of Bush, they were attacked viciously for days. He said it bothered him, but there was nothing he could do.

A few thoughts of mine from several years ago....they show deep frustration.

There has been a movement by our party to continue the education policies of George Bush which amount to turning our schools over to private companies...while giving them our taxpayer money to make them richer. Teachers have spoken out, but they are not being heard, not even being listened to by this administration.

I used to feel safe and secure that Americans would fight back when certain things like Social Security and Medicare were threatened. I always felt comfortable that things would not get too bad here, that our leaders would step in and stop things from going too far in any directions.

I never thought our nation would get to the point that teachers were made to feel ashamed, that seniors would be called "the greediest generation" by a man appointed by our Democratic president.
Or worse, that not a single Democratic leader would speak up for them and point out how they had paid into the system during their lifetimes. I never thought that two men who had such contempt for seniors would be put in charge of a commission to "fix" Social Security.

I always felt that our senior safety nets were untouchable. Now I realize they are not. I always felt our country would have the public school system that helped make it great...but we won't. It never occurred to me that the unions who helped build the middle class in this country would be treated badly by a Democratic administration.

..."It just shows how what was once the right, a normal fairly moderate right....has kept moving to the extremes. And our party, instead of standing with its so-called liberals...has denounced them and moved right as well. They have twisted meanings and words until there is no longer any understanding of them.


I think the congressional losses by our party in 2010 should have been a wake-up call for our Democrats to act like Democrats again.

The part about education hasn't changed. We are still installing Bush's policies. I write about the new reforms as do many other bloggers, and we are mostly ignored or even told to back off the criticism.

I am seeing signs of people having less fear of speaking out. Today the voices have been loud and clear when those precious children were murdered close up in cold blood.

I think Obama is ready to fight on this, it sounded that way. I hope other Democrats will join. If they push hard, the extremists on the right will have to come around....or simply look petty and foolish.

41 replies, 2922 views

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Reply Seems this nation has had a meanness to it since Bush catered to extremists to win. (Original post)
madfloridian Dec 2012 OP
southerncrone Dec 2012 #1
hay rick Dec 2012 #2
madfloridian Dec 2012 #3
niyad Dec 2012 #4
elehhhhna Dec 2012 #5
madfloridian Dec 2012 #10
midnight Dec 2012 #28
Starry Messenger Dec 2012 #6
cali Dec 2012 #7
madfloridian Dec 2012 #9
pipoman Dec 2012 #8
madfloridian Dec 2012 #13
pipoman Dec 2012 #16
SunSeeker Dec 2012 #11
mettamega Dec 2012 #12
madfloridian Dec 2012 #15
madfloridian Dec 2012 #25
hrmjustin Dec 2012 #30
Kablooie Dec 2012 #14
AndyTiedye Dec 2012 #20
madfloridian Dec 2012 #21
Kablooie Dec 2012 #23
Overseas Dec 2012 #17
madfloridian Dec 2012 #18
Overseas Dec 2012 #38
madfloridian Dec 2012 #40
Overseas Dec 2012 #41
awoke_in_2003 Dec 2012 #19
madfloridian Dec 2012 #24
ann--- Dec 2012 #22
Hugin Dec 2012 #26
madfloridian Dec 2012 #31
madfloridian Dec 2012 #37
reformist2 Dec 2012 #27
midnight Dec 2012 #29
muriel_volestrangler Dec 2012 #32
FloriTexan Dec 2012 #33
madfloridian Dec 2012 #35
FloriTexan Dec 2012 #34
madfloridian Dec 2012 #36
SmileyRose Dec 2012 #39

Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Sat Dec 15, 2012, 12:57 AM

1. Could not agree more on all of your points.

The time IS now! For many conversations.

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)


Response to hay rick (Reply #2)

Sat Dec 15, 2012, 01:06 AM

3. Done.

Good idea.

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Sat Dec 15, 2012, 01:14 AM

4. k and r

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Sat Dec 15, 2012, 01:15 AM

5. I was JUST thinking this and

you say it SO eloquently. Wow. Thanks.

mass school shootings started 13 years ago. the bully administration bullied and made bullies of many americans.

we've been at WAR as the aggressor since this shooter was nine years old.

our kids are growin gup in a very different country than we loved and remember.

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Response to elehhhhna (Reply #5)

Sat Dec 15, 2012, 01:51 AM

10. Thanks. That's almost a generation since Bush was elected.

Well, not quite. But a whole lot of kids raised with the extremist rightwing controlling the message more loudly.

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Response to elehhhhna (Reply #5)

Sat Dec 15, 2012, 10:50 AM

28. Yep. I was thinking this too..and agree with you. Madflordian hit on some important aspects of

the extremists who put bush into office, and these extreme actions spilling over into our day to day lives.

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Sat Dec 15, 2012, 01:23 AM

6. k&r

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Sat Dec 15, 2012, 01:26 AM

7. are you forgetting all the school shootings of the 1990s? How is this fundamentally different?

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Response to cali (Reply #7)

Sat Dec 15, 2012, 01:41 AM

9. I believe my post is about far more than just shootings.

But in my mind the massacre of those children today must always hold a special place in our history.

I believe you might be overlooking the premise and doing a little nitpicking, but that's okay with me if you want to do that.

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Sat Dec 15, 2012, 01:26 AM

8. It was about 25 years ago

Raygun defunded mental health services making it impossible for people to get help or loved ones to get help for their troubled. This is a byproduct of that major change of policy.

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Response to pipoman (Reply #8)

Sat Dec 15, 2012, 02:10 AM

13. Indeed he did that. Also...

""He called protesting students "brats," "freaks," and "cowardly fascists." And when it came to "restoring order" on unruly campuses he observed, "If it takes a bloodbath, let's get it over with. No more appeasement!"'

Kent state happened a few days later. He said he used a figure of speech and if anyone didn't like it they were "neurotic."

Reagan's demeaning of public education

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Response to madfloridian (Reply #13)

Sat Dec 15, 2012, 02:26 AM

16. The single most likely

action to reduce crime and suicide rates would be making mental health care and addiction services available for anyone who needs them. Also, reinstating a means for involuntary commitment based on a civil action by loved ones, this is another major contributor to criminal acts.

How many times do we have to see crying mothers of shooters saying, 'I tried to get him help. They said if I can't pay he has to first commit a crime before we can get him treatment'?

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Sat Dec 15, 2012, 02:05 AM

11. K&R

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Sat Dec 15, 2012, 02:08 AM

12. thank 4 your clarity

thank you for the calm clarity of your view - I like the way you place your view in the historical time line since 2000 - we lost the election to the Supreme Court - 9/11 - Bush's use of right wing extremists - some times, I think we have so lost our capacity to grieve - that we let ourselves be led by the GOP revenge model - and we cant find our way out -

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Response to mettamega (Reply #12)

Sat Dec 15, 2012, 02:13 AM

15. That is an important compliment. Much appreciated.

I believe that Bush's campaign brought out the very worst in all of us because we suddenly were confronted with angry neighbors and people pounding on doors as they tried to count the vote.

Welcome to DU, and thanks.

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Response to mettamega (Reply #12)

Sat Dec 15, 2012, 10:21 AM

25. "the GOP revenge model"

Very true. I like to refer to it also as the "punitive" movement in education. Pass this test or else. There's very little humanity about the whole thing. There's a generation raised that way, and it scares me.

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Response to mettamega (Reply #12)

Sat Dec 15, 2012, 11:41 AM

30. At this sad time I welcome you to DU.

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Sat Dec 15, 2012, 02:12 AM

14. I believe in the pendulum theory.

National attitudes tend to swing broadly one way then abruptly change course and swing back the other direction.
Things have been swinging to the right for more than 30 years now and we have reached just about the most extreme rightward peak that we can.
I sense that change may be in the air.
The mood hasn't quite shifted yet but I think it's coming and when it does we will swing as far left as the we have to the right.

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Response to Kablooie (Reply #14)

Sat Dec 15, 2012, 02:53 AM

20. The Pendulum is Malfunctioning. It Only Moves to the Right

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Response to AndyTiedye (Reply #20)

Sat Dec 15, 2012, 03:01 AM

21. Yep.

It has swung so far it may never swing back.

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Response to madfloridian (Reply #21)

Sat Dec 15, 2012, 03:30 AM

23. Maybe it will keep swinging till it goes over the top.

Then it will start again at the extreme left

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Sat Dec 15, 2012, 02:28 AM

17. K&R. Things have gotten far more extreme than I expected as well. Intense right wing PR for decades

has had its intended effect-- to make the richest far richer -- at a great expense to all of us.

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Response to Overseas (Reply #17)

Sat Dec 15, 2012, 02:49 AM

18. I agree. I think it was fed daily by right wing radio...

while our side had very little of that. More extreme than I expected.

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Response to madfloridian (Reply #18)

Sun Dec 16, 2012, 12:27 AM

38. I thought friends who warned that this was coming were too alarmist.

I didn't know about the Lewis Powell memo back then.

http://reclaimdemocracy.org/powell_memo_lewis/

Regarding moving the media to the right, Eric ALterman's book "What Liberal Media?" talks about how deliberately and systematically the country has been pushed to the right.

http://www.thenation.com/article/what-liberal-media#

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Response to Overseas (Reply #38)

Sun Dec 16, 2012, 12:53 AM

40. I didn't know about that memo at all. Trying to read it now. Complex reading.

Thanks for sharing the link. How did I miss that?

I remember in 2004 we could turn on the radio without being hit by rightwing stuff. We got a satellite radio for the home so we could at least get something. Our area offers conservative and religious, and that's about it.

I saw it coming when I was still teaching. I could see it esp. in the last school where I taught. The parents, the older siblings of my kids, the young students themselves....were very revealing.

We need to be fed kind and caring stuff now to cause some of the hate to settle.

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Response to madfloridian (Reply #40)

Sun Dec 16, 2012, 02:22 PM

41. I have listened to progressive radio for many years. That helped me through the Bush years.

But some of the progressive radio stations have been eliminated even though they have large audiences.

We used to have Green 960 in San Francisco but then it was merged with hate radio KNEW so now it has Glenn Beck in the morning time slot although it still carries Bill Press, Thom Hartmann, Randi Rhodes and Mike Malloy at other times.

There's a phone app called Progressive Voices that broadcasts progressive (positive, optimistic) radio and can be heard on line too.

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Sat Dec 15, 2012, 02:50 AM

19. The country has been changing for the worst...

for the last 30 years, but like you say, since 2000 we have stomped on the accelerator. Don't agree with me politically? Why, you are a socialist enemy who wants to destroy the entire country. Say happy holidays instead of merry Christmas? Why, you are a militant liberal atheist who wants to throw Christians to the lions while snacking on kittens. The lunatics are running the asylum.

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Response to awoke_in_2003 (Reply #19)

Sat Dec 15, 2012, 09:49 AM

24. Good point.

Started about Reagan's time, and gaining steam now. It's heartbreaking.

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)


Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Sat Dec 15, 2012, 10:30 AM

26. Yes, somehow, we're becoming the meanest nation on Earth.

What is striking is that this rage is being vented by Americans on those Americans who due to age, infirmity, or other disability are helpless to defend themselves.

Mean... That's what it is.

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Response to Hugin (Reply #26)

Sat Dec 15, 2012, 12:02 PM

31. Yes, we are.

It shows in many ways, even in the way kids are treated in some top charter schools, the way principals "punish" teachers instead of working for a rapport with them.

It is carrying over into all areas of our lives.

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Response to Hugin (Reply #26)

Sat Dec 15, 2012, 03:31 PM

37. In other words, picking on the helpless is acceptable now.

Your post is very correct. Said it better than I could.

Our nation now finds it acceptable to pick on those who need help, love, and caring the most.

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Sat Dec 15, 2012, 10:35 AM

27. The worship of profit and privatization above all else is at the root of it all.


There's so much money out there bribing so many politicians, it's a wonder this country ever managed to make any social progress at all. What is needed are more politicians unbeholden to the bribing billionaires. That's why I'm cautiously optimistic about a 2nd Obama term...

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Response to reformist2 (Reply #27)

Sat Dec 15, 2012, 10:54 AM

29. That was there moto... Money trumps Peace....

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Sat Dec 15, 2012, 12:10 PM

32. Though this has similarities to Columbine, which was pre-2000 (nt)

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Sat Dec 15, 2012, 12:11 PM

33. I was hoping you would address this....

and I appreciate your sentiments regarding Reagan's policies. Yesterday's shooting, in my opinion, was as much about the person behind the weapon as anything else. Clearly he had mental health issues and /or prolonged exposure to violent media, particularly video games, that have a desensitizing effect.

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Response to FloriTexan (Reply #33)

Sat Dec 15, 2012, 12:53 PM

35. Hey, thanks.

Yes, I had to.

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Sat Dec 15, 2012, 12:16 PM

34. K&R nt

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Sat Dec 15, 2012, 02:03 PM

36. The Guardian UK had an article about gun control in US on Dec. 8. Interesting.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/dec/08/gun-control-us-congress-nra

"Gun control off the table as Congress feels heat from influential NRA

Little prospect of tighter regulation on guns, with America's powerful gun lobby arguing against new laws being introduced"

More in the article.

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Sun Dec 16, 2012, 12:41 AM

39. 150 years ago this nation wss a lot meaner

very few of the current crop of bullies are willing to murder their own neighbors over political disagreement. Oh they were all bloviating about watering the tree of liberty until Gabby was shot and a little girl died. They sure backed off that shit fast. Hell they've even STFU about nuking the middle east off the face of the planet.

Now we all know the blabberers are a bunch of posers. I'll take the mean words over killing on the mean nation scale.

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