Posted on September 17, these words by Spartacus O'Neal seem as timely as ever:
With the present Wall Street fiasco, my concern is that too much attention will be paid to financial confusion, and too little to social disintegration. While public trust is perhaps at an all-time low, political panic and religious hysteria are on the rise. Last time these phenomena converged we had Aryan Nations, Waco and Oklahoma City.
With the Republicans running an openly apocalyptic ticket, and the Democrats running a black man, the violent right-wing underground must be frothing at the mouth. It wouldn't take much for Far Right social movement entrepreneurs to ignite this tinderbox.
Sad to say, reform groups and law enforcement are almost wholly unprepared for dealing with this type of social pathology, and due to their ignorance (and arrogance) almost always make things worse through inappropriate responses.
"Obama Bin Laden" and other taunts at Palin rally.
I must say that here in Dallas I worried more about this encouragement of jingoes and bigots when Bush's approval ratings were at 80% and his team was talking about neighborhood watches to turn people in who might be terrorists. (Terrorist is a term expansive enough in the minds of some to encompass Green Activists, Protesters, Yankee Pointy-Heads, and Obama.) That was a fine moment for authoritarian leaders to make common cause with ignoramuses, under a weakened Constitution, to rule in the name of "American Values," by force and intimidation, and through (formerly unconstitutional) secret proceedings.