Chapter 4 -- page 56
One of the most horrific and misguided thoughts of the time that got embedded in the American psyche was that compassion was equal to socialism or communism.
By 2009, just the comment of a compassionate governmental policy made the speaker into, at a minimum a socialist, and in the worse case, a Hitleresque demagogue who was striving to undermine the entirety of the USA. That may sound melodramatic, but phrases like that were actually used at the time by American citizens. I can still remember with disgust back in 2010 when President Obama was trying to implement some type of universal health insurance program so that every American citizen would have access to health care. The shocking thing to me is that a system, which cared about the general health of all citizens, was considered akin to Nazism by some people. Even to this day that still strikes me as the most absurd type of rhetoric. To me and many others, it was an unconscionable misuse of our American right to freedom of speech, and I argued at the time that it should be considered hate speech. To utilize NAZI imagery in an American political debate is simply immoral on any level.
The Republican Party and the Tea Party Movement were mostly to blame for this rhetoric, and as early as 1980, there had come a point where political expediency was the paramount goal. Rhetoric could be founded upon any truth or mistruth and could even be what many folks would consider slanderous. The shocking thing about this situation is that so many American citizens actually accepted this rhetoric and supported it. I can understand that there was disillusion in the US at the time due to the 2008 economic collapse but to sink to such lows should have been offensive to so many more people. This is why I argued so strongly that a new definition of freedom needed to be established, as we as a nation, had sunk just too far in our willingness to allow anyone to do or say whatever they chose in the political arena.