The following conversation occured yesterday as a result of me posting a Keith Olbermann clip on my Facebook page. For clarity's sake Mr. F. (the person I'm speaking to) is a conservative Facebook friend of mine from Ohio and we have frequent political discussions regarding numerous topics. He despises Keith Olbermann, so the fact that he even watched the clip was in itself a minor miracle. This was my response to the foolishness surrounding the shootings in Arizona:
As Mr. Olbermann inferred, two wrongs don't make a right.
The rhetoric is dialed up on both sides to unacceptable levels. Yet from where I'm sitting it's my opinion that all of this foolywang started getting out of control with the Willie Horton ad in the 1988 Presidential election. Lee Atwater, Karl Rove & Jack Ambroff ratcheted up the volume until moderate Republicans such as Jack Kemp either towed the party line or were left behind.
Then the left followed suit. Sound bite one upsmanship became the defacto rule in the political playbook. People just got mean. Plain old downright mean. There's no other way to say it. I for one wondered aloud when the Democrats were going to let "Rham off his chain" to get some people in check. I'm not saying the Dem's can't dish it out, but in my recent memory, the conservative viewpoint has been effectively disseminated for political gain.
So like a bullied kid in the schoolyard, the Democratic party is now aggressively & publically engaging in tactics that 50 years ago no politician would of dared put their name on. They have become what they despised. I recently read a Michelle Malkin post about liberal political death imagery and while I personally don't care for her or much of the garbage that spews from her mouth (Obama's baby momma indeed); I was shocked to read about Playboy's list of conservative women they would like to hate f*ck.
Advocating for the rape of a woman because you don't like her views? That sounds like some Taliban crap. Why the person who wrote this has a job is beyond me. Ms. Malkin's post was enlightening & disturbing at the same time.
Liberals and the left are frankly tired of taking sh*t off of a bunch of what can best be termed as political bullies. Conservative commentators & bloggers are smarting from being taken to the woodshed when their incendiary words may have borne fruit. But thats the rub; no one knows why this nut case in Arizona did what he did. And I frankly believe that the only reason why people want him to talk is to possibly validate their argument.
Rush Limbaugh hopes for the President's failure, Glenn Beck outright lies and distorts the truth; Sarah Palin mocks an effort to eradicate childhood obesity. Any thinking person would be a damn fool to not sense the undercurrent of hate. It seems that the three public figures I just named stir the pot only to line their own pockets. I find them abhorrent and irresponsible. I don't listen to their shows because I find them mean. In my opinion they tiptoe right up to that very thin line between hard-line commentary and racism. The greatest irony is that for all of the xenophobia in this country, the discussion on the right is---of all things---being driven by Rupert Murdoch of Fox Newscorp. I love that people who think that the Dream Act is planting "anchor babies" are being strung along by an Australian.
And since we're talking irony, the same lawmakers who held unemployment hostage acquiesced because they were able to extend tax cuts to the people who need them the least. Some say this action in the end will further raise the deficit and hurt all of us. If that's true, where's the fiscal responsibility the Republicans were talking about? Moreover, it's just another example of mean spiritedness. Letting people go without money in the winter around Christmas time is positively Scroogesque.
By the way this Fox News jihad against Ted Williams is so intense, it would push a teatotaler back into the bottle. Any reasonable person should be able to imagine that Mr. Williams may not have been a model citizen before his new found fame. We all knew it was only a matter of time before it came out. In fact, any reasonable person should have expected it. Yet for a country that claims to be steeped in the Judeo-Christian tenets, I'm seeing a disturbing amount of ill will towards Mr. Williams. Whatever is motivating this venom remains to be seen, but I contend that his past failures don't need to be continual grist for Fox News broadcasts & their website.
When I was at church camp during my tween years, some girls were exceedingly mean to me for two summers in a row. That second summer session ended with my underwear being placed on the flagpole. It just simply got too much for me and I tapped the lead bully on the shoulder and threw a right cross into her jaw. Was I proud of what I did? No I wasn't. But you bet those girls and everyone else left me alone next year.
When my fellow Americans that happen to be conservative root out the hatemongers, the sexists, racists & the homophobes from their party; perhaps the left wouldn't be on the defensive. Perhaps the lines wouldn't be drawn so firmly in the sand. Perhaps---just perhaps---people could sit down like we're doing now and have an honest discussion without resorting to name calling. But if you think people are going to sit around and let Mr. Limbaugh, Mr. Beck & Ms. Malkin run our collective underwear up the flagpole and continue to take it, then I fear nothing will really change.