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The Sikh Temple shooter, essentially a member of the quintessential core of the Republican Base, at least before he went on his deadly rampage? Ignorance, stupidity, violence, guns and hate, he had it all. The same day, a mosque is burned, for the second time, in Joplin, Missouri, also supposedly 'heartland values' territory like Wisconsin.
Sadly ironic that due to our culture of fear of 'the other' and widespread xenophobia, the victims in this tragedy were more likely to be profiled as a possible threats than the perpetrator. A 2008 survey found that 100% of Sikhs in NYC reported being subjected to secondary screenings at some US airports.
Hate crimes against Sikhs were already so prevalent that Congressmen sent a letter to the DOJ to investigate them in April of this year. Problem is the FBI form doesn't have a check box for hate crimes against Sikhs, although there are about 22 other groups of people Americans may commit hate crimes against, from gays to Catholics. Apparently, Sikh hate crimes are listed as Muslim hate crimes, although Sikhs are not Muslim.
Wade Page, a white man, was unhinged enough to put his hate into action in a bloody attack on people of the 'wrong religion'. Those who tended to his poison tree of hate don't really seem to care however. If they did, they might shut-up and stop stoking the fires of intolerance in the minds of 'The Base' and its battalions of militia members, gun wackos, and skinhead goons.
The goal of Republican leaders and media personalities appears to be to spread fear, hate, lies and misinformation to 'get out the vote' of The Base. Michelle Bachmann (Muslims working for 'America's demise') and Allen West ('you attacked us' to an American Muslim) and the message is amplified in the right wing echo chamber of Fox News, whose viewers are usually the least well informed on almost any fact or issue, of any news watching population in America. Rush Limbaugh 2011 "Obama believes he is the twelfth Imam, into caliphate building".
The GOP knows how to 'push buttons' and exploit the hate and ignorance. It is what they do. The body count be damned. The GOP is well experienced at it. The goal is to divide, distract, target hate at 'the other; and stoke the fear in the ignorant, frustrated, clueless and brainwashed, all with the goal of winning elections. The modern GOP has no mission beyond power. If they cared to address the serious problems our nation faces, which they don't, it wouldn't help as they have no experience or idea of how to use government to move the nation forward. Education of the people or even themselves is not a goal. What they desire is whatever this country has to offer. Mostly, they want control of the government for their own ends, and those ends always come with a dollar sign in front.
America and it's ignorant, armed white bigots, its lunatics and its gun massacres, its saber rattling candidates who threaten another war in the Middle East, its do-nothing Congress, must look like a very sorry place to much of the world.