The right makes much more use of chain e-mails than everyone else does. But a friend just forwarded me one called "The Gathering Storm" featuring this picture, kind of a digital version of a black velvet painting:
There was a text credited to Jerry Wilson, with the slogan "Live Free or Die Fighting" added.
This is pretty much the gist of the text, such as it is:
There are a growing number of citizens in the US that are ready to fight to shut down the government’s grab of personal freedom, it’s blatant abuse of the constitution, and it’s [sic] attempt to replace the American way of life with socialism. ...
... at least John McCain was an American.
Mark my words friends. All across America groups are forming. They are forming out of anger and out of desperation at the thought of losing America. They’re not militia groups, terrorists as the Department of Homeland security would have you believe; they are Americans, loyal to the constitution. They are mothers and fathers and grandparents. They belong to groups like the Minutemen Civil Defense Corps, the Peaceful Resistance, the Constitution Party, the Young Conservatives, the 9/12 Project, and Grassfire. Right now they are fragmented, each focused on their own cause. But sometime in the next two years, our government is going to do something really stupid and these groups will come together. Watch for it, wait for it ... get ready. It will happen.
When that event happens, whatever “it” is, our great country is going to plunge into chaos for a while. I pray to God that we make it through that time and emerge a stronger, smarter country. [my emphasis]
This basically amounts to nothing more than a vague expectation of a secular apocalypse. Trying to discuss individual points in a missive like that one is pretty much useless because it doesn't really make arguments. It's mostly atmopherics for those oriented towarde that viewpoint already. But I can provide some links on the specific organizations the letter lists:
Dave Neiwert has more on the split in the Minuteman group in The Minuteman implosion Orcinus blog 06/04/07. This in itsef raises an interesting inconsistency in the chain letter; it essentially recommends both groups, who see each other as deadly enemies.
Peaceful Resistance: I haven't been able to find any information on a rightwing group by this name
Constitution Party: the Alaska Independence Party (AIP), the neo-Confederate group with which Sarah Palin has been closely associated, is an affiliate of the Constitution Party. Max Blumenthal and Dave Neiwert say of the the group:
The Constitution Party boasts an openly theocratic platform that reads, "It is our goal to limit the federal government to its delegated, enumerated, Constitutional functions and to restore American jurisprudence to its original Biblical common-law foundations." In its 1990s incarnation as the U.S. Taxpayers Party, it was on the front lines in promoting the "militia" movement, and a significant portion of its membership comprises former and current militia members.
Young Conservatives: It not clear to which group this refers
9/12 Project: This is the name Glenn Beck gave to his early efforts to organize the Tea Party groups, who are currently trying to shout down town hall meetings by members of Congress.
Here is another one I just received. I'm including the full text here with some comments inserted. TruthorFiction.com verifies its authenticity (also I didn't check to see if this version matches theirs exactly):
Sent: Sunday, August 09, 2009 9:24 PM Subject: Fwd: Fw: Letter to Obama]
it really took some guts for a VP of Procter and Gamble to send this letter to the NY Times, even though they did not publish it.
Lou Pritchett is one of corporate America 's true living legends- an acclaimed author, dynamic teacher and one of the world's highest rated speakers. Successful corporate executives everywhere recognize him as the foremost leader in change management. Lou changed the way America does business by creating an audacious concept that came to be known as partnering." Pritchett rose from soap salesman to Vice-President, Sales and Customer Development for Procter and Gamble and over the course of 36 years, made corporate history.
AN OPEN LETTER TO PRESIDENT OBAMA Dear President Obama:
You are the thirteenth President under whom I have lived and unlike any of the others, you truly scare me.
You scare me because after months of exposure, I know nothing about you.
This is probably the key to this particular letter. To state the embarrassingly obvious, Barack Obama is one of the most famous and most intensely researched people on the planet. If Pritchett knows nothing about Obama - and that's literally what he says - why is he writing this open letter? As you can see below, it's all open-ended, unfounded reasons to fear the American President.
You scare me because I do not know how you paid for your expensive Ivy League education and your upscale lifestyle and housing with no visible signs of support.
You scare me because you did not spend the formative years of youth growing up in America and culturally you are not an American.
You scare me because you have never run a company or met a payroll.
You scare me because you have never had military experience, thus don't understand it at its core.
You scare me because you lack humility and 'class', always blaming others.
You scare me because for over half your life you have aligned yourself with radical extremists who hate America and you refuse to publicly denounce these radicals who wish to see America fail.
You scare me because you are a cheerleader for the 'blame America ' crowd and deliver this message abroad.
You scare me because you want to change America to a European style country where the government sector dominates instead of the private sector.
You scare me because you want to replace our health care system with a government controlled one.
You scare me because you prefer 'wind mills' to responsibly capitalizing on our own vast oil, coal and shale reserves.
You scare me because you want to kill the American capitalist goose that lays the golden egg which provides the highest standard of living in the world.
You scare me because you have begun to use 'extortion' tactics against certain banks and corporations.
You scare me because your own political party shrinks from challenging you on your wild and irresponsible spending proposals.
You scare me because you will not openly listen to or even consider opposing points of view from intelligent people.
You scare me because you falsely believe that you are both omnipotent and omniscient.
You scare me because the media gives you a free pass on everything you do.
You scare me because you demonize and want to silence the Limbaughs, Hannitys, O'Reilllys and Becks who offer opposing, conservative points of view.
You scare me because you prefer controlling over governing.
Finally, you scare me because if you serve a second term I will probably not feel safe in writing a similar letter in 8 years.
Lou Pritchett TRUE - CHECK: http://www.snopes.com/politics/soapbox/youscareme.asp This letter was sent to the NY Times but they never acknowledged it. Big surprise. Since it hit the internet, however, it has had over 500,000 hits.
Keep it going. All that is necessary
Open-ended fear, based on - well, fear. This is the Republicans' style of opposition, it's their style of governing. A more sophisticated version of this put us in the Iraq War.