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24 May, 2010 21:10

Political divisions growing in America

Gun laws in Georgia and the recent Arizona immigration law appear to be evidence of growing divisions in America and ability of public frustrations to translate into legislation.

“It all boils down to being afraid,” said Thom Hartmann, a radio host and political analyst from Portland, Oregon.

Hartmann argues that groups who can profit from fear and hysteria are feeding the new laws. Such groups are unable to garner support without fear and are using it to move their agenda.

In Texas, a fight over revising a history textbook has broken out as a group pushes to make social studies texts more conservative. Some of the issues involved include an increased focus on controversial figures like Joe McCarthy and conservative thinkers like Phyllis Schafly along with more details on the negative consequences of affirmative action and the downplaying of figures like Thomas Jefferson.

“In my opinion, this is whitewashing history, pun intended,” said Hartmann.

The Obama administration has inadvertently inspired a growth in conservative angst and the Republican Party has picked up on the trend.

“The racist right is coming back on this, and you’ve got the Republican Party, in this case the Republican Party who controls the school board down in Texas riding that horse and doing everything they can to get some PR and promote their agenda,” said Hartmann.