I admit it: I’m a worrier.
I worry about the potential for real ugliness in this county—and I mean violent ugliness.
I noticed that the death threats against Obama climbed at one point to 400 percent higher than those against Bush, and yet the Secret Service has increased its number of agents by only 5 percent.
I read the polls about how irrational many Republicans are about Obama:
24 percent think he wants the terrorists to win.
31 percent think he’s a racist who hates white people.
36 percent don’t think he’s a U.S. citizen.
And 63 percent think he’s a socialist. (I wish he were.)
And I’ve seen some of the comparisons of Obama with Hitler on the farthest reaches of the tea party rallies and on Glenn Beck.
Here’s a bumper sticker I saw recently in Madison, Wisconsin: “I’ll keep my guns, money and freedom, you can keep the change.”
So, yeah, I worry about Obama’s safety.
And I worry about the safety of our most vocal liberals in the media, especially Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow.
This week, Rachel let on that she’s getting death threats from Glenn Beck fans.
This is serious stuff.
I asked MSNBC the following:
“How many death threats has she received since she's been on the air?
“Are these threats increasing?
“Has the FBI been notified?
“Does NBC give her bodyguards?
“How worried is the network for her safety?
“Also, same questions about Keith Olbermann.”
Here’s the response I got:
“We don't have any comment beyond what Rachel has said on air,” said Alana Russo, a spokesperson for MSNBC.
Why can’t a news organization tell us if its own anchors have reason to fear for their lives?
The threat of fascist violence hangs in the air, and it would only take the action of one crazed individual to shake this country to the core.
Let’s be clear: Democracies have disintegrated from violence before.
So, yeah, I worry about it. Don’t you?
Matthew Rothschild is the editor of The Progressive magazine. To subscribe for just $14.97 a year, just click here.