Partisanship? Well, First You Gotta Cross That Bridge Back To Sanity…
October 29, 2008
I’m naturally a worrier, so when I see this, and then another one up in Indiana, then Obama supporters threatened by an angry mob (not to mention some of the comments on the two articles from the Courier), all in a single day, I start getting fidgety. In February, my mother explained why she was hesitant about supporting Obama — he has two young daughters, she said. I didn’t get it at first, but it has to do with the fact that she’s old enough to have memories of the spring of ’68. I, of course, thought it was nonsense; that the nastiest racism would get would be votes against him. Now, with his election looking more likely — I’m genuinely nervous. (Not that I think it’s likely to happen, but I think it finally hit me that it could.)
So when I said earlier that certain extremes of partisanship — particularly those Freddie was talking about — scare me more than a little, I wasn’t talking about voting straight-ticket, watching Fox, reading DailyKos, or even taking everything either of those last two say as infallible truth. That gatekeeper I mentioned who made me nervous — he’s one of those guys who thinks it’s OK to hang an Obama doll from a tree because you don’t like him, and not understanding why people think it’s offensive; or the dumb schmuck out in California with the Palin effigy.
But let’s be honest: something seems to have snapped with some on “the right.” It’s over there that we get people shouting, “He’s a nigger!” “Kill him!” “Terrorist!” and threatening to beat 63 year-olds for wearing an Obama shirt. Maybe something like this is always there, on both sides, but I was blissfully unaware of it. But I have a hard time believing we’ve seen anything of this intensity since well before I was born.
If [a part of]* “The Right” wants to build up a cocoon where this behavior is OK, where political opposition is conflated with terrorism and its leaders are Manchurian Candidates by default, then there’s really nothing I can do to stop it. But in addition to making my life a hell of lot more difficult (since saying, “No, I’m not that type of ‘conservative,'” never gets old), it’s not going to win them any elections. And I’ll say right here that in no way will it make them better people, or us a better nation.
*NOTE: Added bracketed words, which I thought I’d written in original post. — JLW