The so-called protesters now prowling town meetings throughout the country aren’t really interested in stopping President Obama’s health care reform plan; they’re about stopping Obama.

It’s that simple and it’s clear too, that they’re really not following Rush Limbaugh’s publicly proclaimed I-want-Obama-to-fail edict. Just the opposite. They’re leading it. Limbaugh is merely executing orders he derives from his 15 million+ faithful listeners. This is the same sinister force that years ago, compelled Ronald Reagan to open his quest for a second term in Philadelphia, Mississippi, site of the slaying of three Civil Rights heroes. Reagan knew what he was doing. It’s the same sinister force that at the time applauded police brutality/racial profiling and whatever else necessary to preserve its racially oppressive system.

Of course, that evil force disappeared for awhile, seething in hibernation in the underbelly of the Republican Party. But the election of Obama got their juices flowing and again has made them blind to the Christian faith that teaches them to love all humankind and, more specifically, to think it’s okay not to care about the 49 million Americans without health care.

Look closely and you can see the rage in their eyes and listen carefully when they mention the President by name and you can feel the hostility in each syllable. Their body language and demeanor oozes with racial animosity, held in check – for now – only by tv cameras, photographers and reporters with tape recorders and pens in hand. Financed by corporate greed, rattled by economic fear and motivated to act by extreme right pundits, they -of the mob mentality – will deliver the violence that’s sure to come.

The racial bigotry witnessed by the world during the Civil Rights Era lingers in the hearts of millions of white Americans who are losing control of a country that they believe belongs to them. Indeed conservative pundit Pat Buchanan, railing against the nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor’s nomination to the Supreme Court, in essence, said that this country was founded by whites, built by whites and should be run by whites.

When President Lyndon Johnson pushed Congress to pass Civil Rights legislation that changed the face of the South, Dixiecrats of the Democratic Party moved as one into the Republican Party. They formed the base that still represents that segment of the South unwilling to move into the future on racial matters. They, too, would rather have a white leader – competent or incompetent – than an extraordinarily capable African American who has demonstrated the courage, commitment and competence to solve this country’s pressing problems.

Put simply their mission is to discredit and attack the Obama presidency even when it might be clear that it’s moving in the right direction and making life better for all Americans. They have the financial backing and media access to continue their assault until the next election. The question is can a mission designed to destroy a presidency through fear-mongering, distortion and deception draw sufficient support from independent-minded voters? Or, will most citizens of these United States continue to want to create a better world by seeking and supporting leaders, like Obama, who strive – and encourage each of us to strive – to be the best that we can be?