Listen to yourself

There’s some hatred out there. You can feel it in the health-care debate. You can see it on the social networking sites where generally reasonable people are comparing their friends and neighbors to Nazis and the President of the United States to Adolf Hitler.

That’s really fucked up.

And you know what? It sounds really familiar.

Everything. Ev … er … y … thing that’s being said by the right-wing mob was said by the left-wing mob only a few years ago (although, fascist was probably a better comparison for the neo-cons).

Let’s do a memory check:

Remember when George W. Bush’s Secret Service was rounding up and sidelining protesters of the Iraq War so they wouldn’t be part of the television coverage? Those people claimed their First Amendment rights were being violated.

Sounds sort of like the conservative types who are protesting health care changes.

Remember when it was revealed that the FBI was infiltrating certain domestic groups—like war protesters—to look for terrorists? Didn’t liberal groups get up in arms about that (not too loudly, fearing self-incrimination)?

Sort of reminds us of the Department of Homeland Security’s recent warnings about white veterans, racists and local-rights groups swelling the ranks of domestic terrorists.

Remember when liberal groups began complaining about the costs of George W. Bush’s bailout of the banks?

Sounds kind of like what we’re hearing with regard to programs like Cash for Clunkers.

Remember when liberals were complaining about the military methods used in the prosecution of the Iraq War?

Kind of sounds like the complaints we’re reading about the prosecution of the Afghanistan war.

Literally, the list can go on and on. All this does is tell us something about the makeup of this country. Ideologically, we are still split right down the middle. The percentages who hate Barack Obama and everything he stands for almost exactly mirror those who hated George W. Bush and all he stood for.

Speaking to the people who thought they hated Bush, remember how you felt a few years ago about the leadership of this country. You were an American then—as patriotic as any of the neo-cons.

These people who hate the government and its policies right now are as American as you were. They feel exactly as you did: impotent, disappointed, angry.

In a cult of personality like the one that surrounds the President of the United States, it’s easy to demonize one individual and to brand everyone who believes as he or she does as evil. But these people you’re talking about are your cousins, your neighbors, your fellow Americans. Yes, the shoe’s on the left foot right now, and Obama supporters should demand all the changes from government their activism won them.

But be careful who you hate. Because sooner or later, the shoe will be on the other foot again.