Posted on | August 24, 2012 | 1 Comment
There’s a 2-year-old audio exchange from May 2010 going around with the President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, on a radio talk show with a Tea Party organizer Michael Graham. Well Michael is gave Michael a good what for. At the time the Irish politician hadn’t yet become the president. Graham tries to get a word in but Higgins just steamrolls over him with a passionate tirade of truth and logic that brings a tear to my eye.
“You’re about as late an arrival in Irish politics as Sarah Palin is in American politics, and both of you have the same tactic. The tactic is, to get a large crowd, whip them up, try and discover what it is that creates fear, work on that and feed it right back and you get a frenzy.” - Michael D. Higgins
Exactly! This has been the strategy of the far right since 9/11. Pundits like O’reilly and Limbaugh make their living doing this. Fox news fills a 24 hour a day “news” cycle with it. We’ve been tossed around from one fearful situation to the next for ratings, votes or under the guise of protection in an effort to solicit submission. And it’s worked. A lot. What I really like most about Higgins words is that it shows that apparently crazy can be seen for thousands of miles. Unfortunately that is a double edge sword. It’s embarrassing, as an American, that many others in the world can see the ridiculousness that is going on here. We can’t quite claim to be the best when our idiocy is obvious.
Apparently the comments section on the YouTube video had to be closed because of the Tea Partiers running wild with racist remarks. Nothing convinces people of your sanity more than racist remarks. Have a cup of tea. Decaf.
Michael Higgins goes on to speak of the positive change in America’s image in the world since Obama’s presidency. I remember the Bush years, we weren’t as liked in other countries as we used to be. I made several overseas trips during that time. I still recall a memorable conversation with the Persian (they didn’t claim to be Iranian) workers at a pizza place around midnight in London. Our image wasn’t good. The point is, since Obama has taken office, whether you agree with his policies or not, he has repaired some of that damage.
“I think even the poorest people in the great country that is the United States should be entitled to basic health care. And I don’t think they’ll thank the Sarah Palin lookalikes and followers for taking it off them.” - Michael D. Higgins
Again this was 2 years ago, when Palin was still around. Before her crazy was surpassed by others and she could no longer compete. When are the Democrats going to find their sack and speak up like this? The Republicans do it all the time. I’ve said it before, the Democrats are wusses and it makes it that much tougher on President Obama who is facing the most rigid opposition I’ve ever seen. Remember when the Democrats had a spine for like seven minutes after Bill Clinton put the smack down on Chris Wallace on Fox News? Ahh those were the minutes.
Why is the clip back up the spotlight now? The Huffington Post attributes it to Upworthy who posted the debate under the title, “A Tea Partier Decided To Pick A Fight With A Foreign President. It Didn’t Go So Well.” Also, it is the Internet and there are no rules. The full unedited segment can be found on Newstalk’s site (Michael D. Higgins vs. Michael Graham on Newstalk).
It’s detrimental to the country and our standing in the world to use fear mongering as a control mechanism. It does nothing to boost the country nor move it forward. We have enough issues as it is without this type of rhetoric. It’s irresponsible at best. We can and should do better. I usually leave with a parting comment but I believe I’ll let Mr. Higgins have the last word.
“Be proud to be a decent American rather than just a wanker whipping up fear.”