Zero Tolerance

Tolerance, empathy, reason, compassion, diversity.  Growing up, I'd always believed these to be good things.  Apparently, I was wrong.  I've been trying to assimilate everything that has happened over the last couple of years.  In that, I've failed.  The hope, however fleeting, I felt when Obama was elected is a distant memory.  Tea parties, corporate malfeasance, firearms at Presidential speaking engagements, threats of violence from public officials, more corporate malfeasance, an unconstitutional immigration law, a vendetta against education by public officials...

This goes on ad nauseum. I've felt all along that all this nonsense had a ring of familiarity about it.  The anti-immigration sentiment, especially, reminds me of Nazi Germany, just after they took power.  People hate that comparison, but it is valid.  The Nazis were in power for over a decade before their "final solution".  They started off small, too.

I recently read an article at Metafilter, regarding the American Third Position, yet another white supremacist group that is trying to gain a foothold here in Arizona.  A comment made on that article stated it more eloquently than I ever could:
This is the pattern. There are always a small percent of people who blame somebody, and somebody will always be someone different. Skin color and religious symbols are easy targets, but ask the Irish how much good being white, christian and english speaking did them.

In good times, these idiots get little traction. In bad times, however, people get depressed and angry, and when someone comes up with something along the line of "You'd have a job if it weren't for those fucking Martians...." and suddenly, they start getting traction.

The worse the economy, the more traction it gets -- more people are depressed and angry, and they're more depressed and angrier as it gets worse. Now, add in hopelessness -- they become convinced that things won't change, so they don't really care if they survive. Now you have angry people who are willing to fight because they don't really care if they die.

Then we get the fucktards, now flying high, with the "If we just kill all the fucking martians, and the fucking government who supports the fucking martians" and suddenly, things get very ugly very quickly.

This is why the extremist's first target is the moderate. Moderates provide moderation and rationality, which directly cuts the fuel off from the extremist. The extremist goal is to remove the moderates -- force the opponent to one extreme, and get rid of those in the middle. Suddenly, the *only* message is "Kill the Martians, and we're just the government you need to kill the Martians."

Oh, I mean Jews. Or Slavs. Or city dwelling Cambodians. Or any number of minorities in the past. This is an old trick, killing the people who don't look like you in bad times goes all the way back to ancient Egypt, if not further.

Hitler and Pol Pot were just reading a script that has been read hundreds of times before -- and, it seems, we're now in rehearsals for the next big production of Kill The Minority.
I read a great suggestion recently regarding the immigration law.  Enforce it to within an inch of it's life.  Make everyone show proof of citizenship.  No exceptions.  You show it when you check out a library book, or pay a water bill.  Let's see how long it lasts, then.

I know of no method to secure the repeal of bad or obnoxious laws so effective as their stringent execution.
                                                              -Ulysses S. Grant

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