At least ten lawmakers who voted in favor of the health care bill received threats of death and violence in the wake of the bill’s passing. What the hell is wrong with people in this country?

There was a time when Americans were a united people, and while we may not have always liked what was happening in Washington, we expressed our dissatisfaction by writing Letters to the Editor, through peaceful protest, and at the ballot box.

Not any more. Today the country is so fragmented that if you don’t agree with me, you have to die! That’s not the country that my father and uncles fought to preserve. It’s not the country that my cousins and I served in uniform. Some of the talk I’m hearing these days from people I know and used to respect sounds like it is coming out of Nazi Germany, or from some Muslim fanatic.

What happened to the idea of democracy? What happened to common sense? Are we all fanatics from one side of the Congressional aisle or the other? Is there no middle ground any more?

People, turn off your damned radio and TV and stop listening to the crap put out by pundits from the far right and the far left. Ignore the stupid e-mails that get forwarded making all kinds of outlandish claims. Think for yourselves for a change! You can do it! It’s not all that hard!

There is so much misinformation and pure bullshit floating around that I’d have to laugh, if it wasn’t for the fact that so many idiots are taking it seriously. A few months ago it was predictions of health care death squads. Last night a claim was circulating that the health care bill was passed to provide Viagra to convicted rapists! Does anybody ever actually take even one minute to stop and think about what they read and hear anymore?

Not, these days, we’re too lazy for that. We let others do our thinking for us. We brand a man by his color, by his political party affiliation, and by whether whoever our favorite doomsayer says is acceptable. And if they don’t fit our criteria, if they don’t agree with us, if they have a different viewpoint, we want them dead! Didn’t Hitler try that with his dream of a blue eyed blonde master race? How did that work out?

I’ve always considered myself a patriot, and I’ve been proud to be an American. But right now, I’m ashamed of many of my countrymen!

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35 Comments on Agree With Me Or Die!

  1. Ron Chandler says:

    It sickens me to hear the news reports about all of this. I have been a loyal Republican all of my life, and in 67 years I have never heard such hatred voiced by what I always thought of as reasonable people.

    My own brother, who is a retired minister, spews the same nonsense. It’s disgusting!

  2. Marcia Janske says:

    I’m appalled! I voted against Obama, and I have no respect for him at all. And none for the Democrats who voted this stupid bill into law.

    However, when people have to resort to death threats to vent their anger, because they have lost all touch with reality, we all need to step back and take a long, hard look at ourselves.

    When Obama was elected, I heard somebody sitting near me in a restaurant say that he would not survive his first term in office. I just brushed it off as blowhard crazy talk. But now I really do fear that some lunatic will do something terrible.

  3. MichaelG says:

    My impression from what history I’ve read is that people spewed insults and threatened politicians from the beginning. It’s as American as apple pie.

  4. Concerned in Illinois says:

    Michael G is correct. But today’s instant and world-wide communications get the twisted and violent logic spread that much faster and make it more prevalent. John Wilkes Booth did not have the internet to help him. Today it takes no effort to find this bullshit coming at you from a plethora of sources.

    Great blog, Nick.

  5. Right on!

    Your comparison to Hitler & the Nazis scares me to death, because it accurately characterizes the crazies who mistake violence for patriotism.

    I grew up believing that, while I do not agree with everyone, I must defend to the death their right to verbally express their opinion. But violence is out!

  6. Tom in Ohio says:

    Nick I have said it before and I wil repeat it again……..We will not lose our country from external threats but from within.
    Differences of opinion built this great land. Now, as you state, its not Americans talking and working together to reach a goal.
    I still think a guy could make a buck selling ‘Do you know who I’am” T Shirts. Its gone from WE to ME. Whats happened to the idea of ME was God and US was all Americans. Debate is the life blood of freedom….drain it and we lose it.

  7. Jim Palm says:

    The thing that the news forgot to mention is that with 535 members of the senate and the house, that everyday a few of their members receive death threats, they just don’t report it because it would become boring, it’s just part of the job. But since these were associated with the health bill it was a big deal.
    The one voice mail that they released, called the guy a piece of Sh*t and wished for him to be ill, that’s not much of a death threat.
    As a Detroit cop I received at least half a dozen death threats a year, it’s part of the job, quit crying and live with it.
    As the Godfather would say “ACT LIKE A MAN!!!”

  8. Thank you, Nick, for a voice of reason. It’s about time the “silent majority” woke up and spoke up. I come from a long line of conservative republicans, but I honestly feel that I didn’t leave the republican party; it left me. Thank God for President Obama and his courage to stand up and tackle this health care issue once and for all. It may not be perfect, but at least SOMEBODY DID SOMETHING.

  9. Dale says:

    These are not just idle threats. The gas line into a Congressman’s brother’s home was cut (the folks thought that the house belonged to the Congressman himself), bricks have been thrown through office windows, etc.

    If you don’t like the folks, vote them out. Read your history folks. It is these actions that emulate Nazism, not actual legislation.

    If you don’t like the legislation, work through the system to change it.

  10. Jesse Haman says:

    I like Michael G’s comments. Gives me that warm and fuzzy feeling.

  11. Rex says:

    I wondered if the passing of the health care bill would start a revolution. The country is so fractured into various groups that sooner or later one of these groups is going to start a civil war or revolution. They will ignore the Constitution and just start shooting. It is going to be very ugly, but I do believe it is coming. By voting, we the people can change things, and in November, I hope we do, but I do not believe that change is going to be peaceful much longer.

  12. Llana says:

    It’s all well and good to “act like a man”.

    Tell me, Jim, how do you blow off the congressman’s brother whose home address was posted online by fanatics, after which some terrorist sliced the propane gas line into his house?

    It’s not just the “boring” death threats that upset me; it’s the angry rabble throwing rocks through our representatives’ office windows, and, it’s escalating. It’s so like how Hitler’s minions harrassed the Jews, isn’t it?

    My concerns also include the angry racist nuts spitting on members of Congress while calling them racial slurs.

    How far we have fallen as a people. “Acting like a man” includes decency and common sense. Someone is going to get killed before the jerks demanding retribution for votes on bills in Congress call off their dogs and take a stand old-fashioned decency.

  13. ZoAnn Lapinsky says:

    Well said.

    I have disagreed with many, many bills that have passed over my lifetime, but not once did it ever occur to me that I should respond with violence and/or death threats.

    This is just insane.

  14. Bill Auld says:

    Welcome to the new world. If you look back in time you would have seen it coming 20 years ago. It is what we call the me first mentality. I am not saying we are all in that mode of thinking, but enough to make it unfortunate for the rest of us who believe in putting yourself in the other persons shoes before he or she makes their judgment. Get to the dry rot before it sinks the boat.

  15. Elaine says:

    I agree with you Nick. My questions is why is American afraid of changes? The people who are the threatening ones need to take a long look at themselves in the mirror. We have lived in countries where they have a national health system and yes it has it flaws but on the most part it is a good thing.

  16. Barbara says:

    It is very sad when people are threatened, what happened to love thy neighbour. I would never give up my Canadian Health system. Yes like Elaine said there are flaws in everything, but I won’t lose my house and all my savings because of bad health. People say they know someone that went to the States to get a health problem fixed, well their problem probably wasn’t serious. Any serious health issue here in Canada are looked after pretty fast with no questions asked.

  17. Jan Chilson says:

    I agree with Jim Palm. Our daughter has a career/job where it is an everyday occurance to receive death threats. It puts a lot of restrictions on your life to always be “on guard”. Thank goodness she has friends and neighbors as well as the local law enforcement looking out for her. Still, she lives with the possibility of her demise at the hands of some self-centered idiot who thinks she has made the wrong decision every day.

    Not a comforting thought:(

  18. Carey McConnell says:

    It’s funny; it used to always be the left that marched in the streets, held sit-ins, conducted civil disobedience, etc. The right would complain and tell the left to sit down and shut up (and to bathe once in a while). In some cases, they’d turn loose hired goons or police into the crowds to bust some heads and liven things up (ala the Chicago Repub Conv). In my opinion the right felt that the lefties were wrong, even un-American to publicly protest the government.

    Now, unbelievably, I’m watching right wing activists on TV marching in the streets, shouting down congress, and being generally disobedient. But, I have to agree with Nick, they don’t seem to be very good at it. Maybe they need more practice?

  19. Jay says:

    I am commenting again two days in a row. Nick the nail was sitting still and you hit it square on the head. Your use of words and your vehicle for putting them out into public consumption is excellent. Personally I applaud you for your wisdom. Saying that just don’t let it go to your head. I hope you read or at least scan your comments, Thats my story and I’m sticking to it. I will continue to read both of your blogs.

  20. Jdunmyer says:

    A whole bunch of these “death threats” are being overblown or outright invented. Same with the spitting on a Member of Congress and racial epithets against same. With all of the video cameras running at that protest, you’d think SOMEONE would have captured it, wouldn’t you?

    Not saying that there have been no untoward actions, but we should all be a bit skeptical.

  21. Sherri Reed says:

    I think a LOT of people are afraid of the direction Obama is leading this country and a small few are acting badly by threatening violence. Peoples fears may be that they feel Obamacare is just one step in a direction Obama is heading. Socialism and Marxism is not the “functional change in America” that the people expected when they voted for Obama.

    I, personally, am ashamed of most of our politicians.

  22. ken t says:

    Let me see if I’m right,Some of the people think we have put a person in the White House ,who is not a citizen of our country,who bows down and prays as a muslim ,says that our country is not a christian nation,he and his spouse do not honor the american flag as it passes by in front of them, Said that as long as those in the US military were all volunteer people,why in the world would they raise so much hell when HE suggested that they either pay for their medical treatment,from battle field
    injuries or furnish their own insurance. And on and on and on, I
    just don’t get it! But I believe every bit of it Ken T

  23. Steve R. says:

    Weird that they didn’t list the Republicans that are having the same thing done to them.

    As BN said it is a sad time in this Great Country when violence seems to be the answer for everything from congress to the neighborhood corner.

  24. Mike & Janna says:

    Another great right on blog Bad Nick–keep up the good work! Our friends take so much of the e-mail crap as gospel that I said to them, “didn’t your Mom and Dad teach you that is something was too good to be true then it probably wasn’t good or true?” Well, the same holds for these outrageous e-mails and news stories–if it’s too stupid to be true then it probably isn’t true or good! And these same friends think Sarah Palin is some sort of saint–she is one of the people who started the stupid rumor about death panels!!!

  25. Earl Smith says:

    Good comments folks. Lets add the insurance and health care industries whose “executives” stand to lose big bucks to the list of rabble rousers. Seen “SICKO”? As to the violence, Video is an excellent teaching tool which is why it is used in schools.

  26. Allan W says:

    I do believe that the health care bill was bad and congress should never have passed it. I will do what I can to vote representive and senators out of office that did not listen to voters but I would never threaten violence to anyone in office. I do believe that those that threaten violence from either the left or the right are the minority but the media tends to publicize the violent or outspoken because it sells papers or gets more viewers on tv. It is also true that the majority of the media is not unbias but leans heavily to the left- CBS, NBC, ABC

  27. Sherri Reed says:

    Hey Nick – is this better? I tried to clean it up.

    I think a LOT of people are afraid of the direction President Obama may be leading this country and a small few are acting badly by threatening violence.

    People’s fears may be that they feel the recent Healthcare bill is just another step in a potential direction he may be heading. This adds to other fears – Socialism (where Government owns industry, e.g. GM and Chrysler}, and Marxism (where Government controls private industry e.g. U.S. Healthcare system). These decisions may not be the “functional change in America” and “Hope” that a lot of the people expected when they voted for Obama.

    My point is the possible reasons for fear by the American people. I, personally, am ashamed of most of our politicians.

  28. Kenneth says:

    I am still a proud American.
    I am ashamed of those who think their way is the only way.
    My way of thinking has not been the way of Washington.
    I believe in my country and my people, what every race, creed, color or national origin.
    I am a small American but proud.
    My country, right or wrong, my country.
    I will support the laws of our country.
    I will support our leaders, even if they are full of s***.
    I think the health care bill will help those who are in need.
    I hope for our country.
    I pray for our country and it’s people.
    I hope that all Americans know that we are in this together.
    Our only strength is our neighbors.
    I want to help all of our people not just those who need no help.
    Greed is not a virtue or a biblical mandate.
    LOVE THY NEIGHBOR AS THY SELF.
    As thy self.

  29. Gwen says:

    Where was all the fear when the last administration took the country into two wars and a huge deficit by giving tax cuts to the rich? The problem with Health insurance and the other companies that are “publicly held” – is they do everything FOR PROFIT. That is the reason that the jobs are going overseas and the premiums are going higher and higher. With the new health care – I can now change jobs because I won’t have to worry about pre-existing conditions. I grew up Republican. I worked to get Goldwater elected. I voted for Obama – BECAUSE I wanted change from where the Republicans had taken the country. I wasn’t rich enough to be Republican. If the Republicans had a better idea, they had the house, Senate and White House for 6 years. But the real shame is what is being taught to our children. Think about it – do you want a child to be in the environment we witnessed last weekend?

    Thanks Nick, for providing a sane place to voice our opinions.

  30. Ben says:

    Obama’s big achievement seems to be the complete division of America. Just because you CAN do something doesn’t mean you SHOULD. With so much opposition to the healthcare bill, Obama should have stepped back and scaled it back to something more people could agree on.

    Some of Obama’s post-passage speeches show he relishes his “win” and doesn’t care that half of us are angry…not the trait of a great leader. “Elections have consequences.”

  31. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Nick Russell. Nick Russell said: A new Bad Nick Blog titled Agree With Me Or Die! at http://badnickblog.com/?p=467 […]

  32. Pam says:

    Another good post, Nick. It reminded me of a book by John Avlon that I’m reading that I think you might like. It called “Wingnuts: How the Lunatic Fringe is Hijacking America.”

    Here is the description of the book from Amazon:

    “What’s a Wingnut? It’s someone on the far-right wing or far-left wing of the political spectrum – the professional partisans and the unhinged activists, the hardcore haters and the paranoid conspiracy theorists. They’re the people who always try to divide us instead of unite us.

    “Wingnuts” looks at the outbreak of extremism in the opening years of the Obama administration – from the unprecedented government spending that spurred the Tea-Party protests to the onset of Obama Derangement Syndrome. John Avlon explains how hate-fueled rumors take hold (one section is called “How Obama Became Hitler, a Communist and the Antichrist”), looks at the ‘hunt for heretics’ that is taking place inside both parties and details the rise of hyper-partisan media. Avlon profiles preachers who are praying for the president’s death, goes inside the growing “Hatriot” movement and parallels the “Birthers” and the “9/11 Truthers.” The book compares current merchants of political paranoia with past fear-mongers and finds that divisive demagogues have sold this snake oil before. But the two parties’ increased polarization and the echo-chamber of the internet are helping the fringe blur with the base, making the Wingnuts more powerful than ever before.

    We are allowing paranoids, hysterics and hyper-partisans to hijack our politics – but it doesn’t have to be this way. Avlon asserts that centrists need to stand up to the extremes on both sides and declare their independence. The book ends on a hopeful note – the conclusion is “How to Take America Back from the Lunatic Fringe.”

  33. Deb says:

    Sarah Palin’s quote “Don’t retreat, Reload!” was as irresponsible as it can get. She and her camp say she was speaking metaphorically, but go on the US4Palin website and it shows her aiming some sort of (military?) weapon. The woman is dangerous and don’t think she’s doing all this for the “good of the country.” She already campaigning for 2012.
    The people of this country bent over and took the shaft for 8 years of secrecy, war-mongering, and lies at the hands of the most do-nothing Congress and administration ever. With the 2 party system, there will ALWAYS be half the people unhappy with what’s going on in Government. The cry of “Vote the bums out” just means that more “bums” will be voted in by the opposing party. Then 2 years later there’ll be more “vote the bums out” cries. Give me a break. No wonder there’s no progress in this country.
    Let’s just give this reform a chance to work and if it needs to be tweaked let’s work to tweak it. Obama and Congress and the Senate did not vote against the “will of the people”. They just didn’t vote the way the Republicans wanted. btw I am an independent so I don’t give a crap who’s in office, just DO something constructive!

  34. Celeste Vaughters says:

    Your points are very well taken, Nick. I can’t believe the political violence we are witnessing.

  35. Paul says:

    I do believe that the health care bill was bad and congress should never have passed it. I will do what I can to vote representive and senators out of office that did not listen to voters but I would never threaten violence to anyone in office. I do believe that those that threaten violence from either the left or the right are the minority but the media tends to publicize the violent or outspoken because it sells papers or gets more viewers on tv. It is also true that the majority of the media is not unbias but leans heavily to the left- CBS, NBC, ABC

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