The intolerance on the right is scaling new heights.
Last week, Sharron Angle, who is running ahead of Harry Reid in Nevada, suggested that there are a couple of cities in the United States that are right now under Sharia law.
A questioner was talking to her, saying: "I keep hearing about Muslims wanting to take over the United States. . . . On a TV program just last night, I saw that they are taking over a city in Michigan and the residents of the city, they want them out. They want them out. So, I want to hear your thoughts about that."
She responded: “My thoughts are these, first of all, Dearborn, Michigan, and Frankford, Texas, are on American soil, and under constitutional law. Not Sharia law. And I don't know how that happened in the United States. It seems to me there is something fundamentally wrong with allowing a foreign system of law to even take hold in any municipality or government situation in our United States."
For the record, neither Dearborn nor Frankford is under Sharia law.
This conjuring up of fear is happening all over.
In West Virginia, a conservative group is trying to make a big deal out of the fact that Nick Rahall is a proud Arab American.
And the entire controversy over the so-called Ground Zero mosque was nothing but an exercise in hatemongering, as is the controversy over immigration.
Fear-mongering isn’t new. But what’s new is the “mainstreaming of fear,” according to Chip Berlet of Political Research Associates. Before it was mostly crackpots who were spouting off. Now it’s elected officials and leading candidates.
We appear to be entering the Age of the New Inquisition.
Here’s another signpost: Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina recently confirmed that he believes openly gay teachers should be banned from the schoolhouse—and unwed pregnant mothers, too.
I don’t know where this is going to end, but I sure know where it’s headed, and it’s not in a democratic direction.
If you liked this story by Matthew Rothschild, the editor of The Progressive magazine, check out his article "Obama Late to Worry about Left."
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