Friday, August 14, 2009


The healthcare debate in the US seems to be getting ugly. President Barack Obama and other Democrats advocating reform are being compared with Nazis (example above) and one congressman has had a swastika daubed outside his office. The FBI is investigating the swastika that the staff of the congressman, David Scott, found painted on a sign bearing his name near the entrance to his office in Smyrna, Georgia. The incident came less than a week after a rowdy town hall meeting in which Scott was involved in acrimonious exchanges with critics of Obama’s proposed health reform.

In a separate incident, police admitted they were helpless to do anything about a man who openly carried a gun outside a venue where President Obama addressed a public meeting on the health issue at Portsmouth, New Hampshire. The man, William Kostric, held up a sign reading “it is time to water the tree of liberty,” an apparent reference to a letter written by Thomas Jefferson that the the tree of liberty “must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants”. Police kept close watch on him but were unable to intervene because the law in New Hampshire allows firearms to be carried in public, provided they are visible.

Maybe it’s time some people in the US cooled down a bit. Now far be it for Caledonian Comment to get too involved with American politics – and I do understand that many people in the US, not least those who’ve paid for Medicare over the years, will be naturally anxious – but when you allow guys to openly carry weapons in close proximity to a President, you’re asking for trouble. And when a politician has a clear mandate to effect change, as Obama does, it doesn’t enrich the ongoing debate when people are accused of Nazism and Communism, nor does it help when the British National Health Service is ridiculed by ignorant retards like Sarah Palin. For all its faults, the UK system is way ahead of anything the US has to offer most of its citizens. And it’s amazing too how many people who claim to support democracy – the same rabid rednecks who would claim America is an exemplar to the world – can’t seem to accept a democratically elected President because he’s black and so resort to puerile, juvenile, ignorant, bigotted, medieval trashing tactics. Surely America and Americans deserve better than the tawdry level of debate that’s going on at present. If people in America don’t like what Obama’s doing, they have VOTES. Such a process is called democracy and it seems it’s high time some Americans remembered that.