The resignation of Van Jones is about more than Van Jones, more than Glenn Beck. It is part of a concerted effort to neutralize progressive champions who are trying to fix the problems that are ripping this country apart.
First they came for the Communists, and I didn’t speak up, because I wasn’t a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak up, because I wasn’t a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn’t speak up, because I wasn’t a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn’t speak up because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me, and by that time there was no one left to speak up for me. -Martin Neimoeller
McCarthyism is the politically motivated practice of making accusations of disloyalty, subversion, or treason without proper regard for evidence…The term is also now used more generally to describe reckless, unsubstantiated accusations, as well as demagogic attacks on the character or patriotism of political adversaries. -from that communist source, Wikipedia
The resignation of Van Jones last night is the culmination of a deeply disturbing pattern from the last several months. The spokespeople for the right have made it acceptable to spout hate-filled speech and unfounded accusations to the American public. This must stop.
- The recent wave began with the Teabaggers. At first the media left pounced on the anti-tax tea parties with mockery and scorn. Part of the strategy was to ignore their efforts and let the absurdity of these demonstrations undermine their own credibility. Isn’t it funny that they didn’t realize they were calling themselves the perpetrators of lewd and offensive acts? Funny, when it got to the point where “Teabagging the White House” was a rallying cry. Funny.
- Next came the Birthers, the group of “fringe” right-wing activists who refuse to accept President Obama’s birth certificate and legitimacy as President of the United States. Those wingnuts, including prominent Members of Congress.
- Next came the Deathers, the flank of the right claiming that health care reform will “kill granny.” The leading Republican working on healthcare, my own Senator Grassley of Iowa, told seniors in Winterset that they had much to fear from coming healthcare reform.
- Then came the healthcare town halls, which frankly disgust me. Individuals around the country were encouraged to use intimidation and scare tactics to shut down discussion of reform. To prevent any amount of dialogue to happen, which threatening physical violence at our elected officials.
- Finally, after a week of taunting the left with racially provocative statements, Glenn Beck began attacking Van Jones. Beck lead the media in an assault on his integrity, history and ability to serve in the White House.
And the Obama administration allowed Jones to become the first casualty of 21st century McCarthyism. This is a pattern designed to take down progressive champions one by one. And it must be stopped.
Although there is a concerted right-wing effort to prevent the left from passing much needed reform, one thing is for sure: Glenn Beck has become one of the loudest and most toxic spokespeople for 21st century McCarthyism. And Fox News and his sponsors are profiting from his hate-mongering. We need to hit them where it hurts: corporate profits. Beck has already become toxic to over 50 sponsors through work of the Color of Change. (This kind of campaign was pioneered by a blogger named Spocko and was highly effective in removing hate-talkers from the air in California two years ago. This works.)
We must stand up for the vision Van championed, of a clean energy future that lifts all boats and we must stop companies from profiting from and legitimizing Glenn Beck’s poison.