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


4 Responses to “Partisanship? Well, First You Gotta Cross That Bridge Back To Sanity…”

  1. Calvin Says:

    There are bad apples in every bushell. The radicals in each party do not define the party. I am not sure where you obtained you view that “‘The Right’ wants to build up a cocoon where this behavior is OK”. Please know that it is not correct. There are a vast number of people in both parties that are appauled by the actions of their respective wacky fringe participants and do not agree that it is acceptable behavior.

  2. JL Wall Says:

    You are right — I somehow didn’t wind up with what I meant to write in that line: “A part of ‘The Right'” was what I thought I wrote. I’ll correct and note that. I was somewhat guilty of culling from the very worst examples there, but they were what were on my mind. I guess what I’d like to hear is Rush Limbaugh (or someone like him) pause for just a moment from ranting about the “intellectualoids” and how they’ve ruined the GOP and talk about how that crowd in Miami isn’t doing them any favors, either.

  3. Valerie Curl Says:

    Bless you.

    Hatred is never acceptable based on race, creed, color, ethnicity or religion. Not in this country.

    Regardless of the party, hatred is not acceptable.

    Remember JFK, MLK, and RFK? Their death were unacceptable.

    Disagreement over policies and ideas is okay. Hatred is not okay.

    I’ve seen Obama hush supporters who issued hateful comments about McCain. I’ve only once seen McCain tell his supporters that hate is unacceptable…yet, the videos abound from McCain-Palin rallies in which people shout truly awful, hateful things about Obama and all Democrats.

    As a USAF brat and wife of a Vietnam vet, I’ve been truly ashamed of Captain and Senator McCain for not speaking out against those who shout the obscenities I’ve seen on videos from his rallies. McCain’s military honor requires better of him.

    As far as I’m concerned, McCain has destroyed his honor and his integrity by not speaking out loudly and clearly and stopping the hate emanating from the radicals at his rallies.

  4. Calvin Says:

    Valarie, I do not think it is fair to opine as you have about McCain. I watch a lot of political reporting on various stations and have never heard Obama shush his hateful supporteres the way McCain has, but I would not jump to the conclusion that Obama has not done so. The media only shows you what they want you to see. Unless you are at each rally, you do not know how many times McCain or Obama has spoken out about the off base statements of their respective supporters.

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