Sunday, January 16, 2011
I realize it doesn't entirely make sense, yelling and screaming as I do, about the yelling and screaming. Not entirely. On the other hand, there are times when the only way to be heard in a room of screaming people, is to get up on a chair, beat on a garbage can, and holler: will everyone just shut the f*ck up for a minute!!??
How can I justify my sometimes excessive style of writing here, when it's about excesses of the other side? Well, for one, because I'm pointing out lies and inconsistencies, and I'm pointing out the damage they're doing. Because it drives me crazy that it's become SOP for the GOP. Because I happen to know -- it's not arguable -- that democracy is predicated on thoughtful debate by a well-informed public; and that what passes for thought and information on Fox "news" and in the mouths of the most revered of the RWS™ is exactly the opposite.
When I ask if the overheated rhetoric is a good thing or a bad thing, none of my RW readers choose to answer. When I point out that, sure, there are crazy things said on both sides, but there is simply no equivalent, on the left, to Limbaugh and Hannity and Beck and O'Reilly and Malkin and Ingraham and dozens more, either in substance or scope, no one can refute it. When I point out how absolutely dishonest and inconsistent with even her own utterances is Sarah Palin, how high-school is her world view, people are amazingly easily able to ignore it. Still consider her presidential material. How could I not scream and pull out my few remaining strands of hair?
If seeing a video like the last one I posted isn't enough to make RWS™ and those who love them pause for just a fleeting moment's reflection, take a brief look inward, then what is? Surely it's not sitting down and speaking with our inside voices, is it? Would they even want to? That's neither how they make their millions, or what their millions in listeners want. Or, rather, what they've been taught to want. To their own detriment. Because their hate and shallow thought is a hell of a lot easier than the effort needed to make it all work. In tough times, fairly tales go down easier than truth. Hate and blame are clean and simple; problem solving is not.
As I've made clear here many times, I'm hardly a blind partisan. I've criticized Obama on Afghanistan, health care reform, Gitmo, and caving too quickly on the devastating Bush tax cuts, among other things. But, unlike the RWS™, I don't lie and I don't make stuff up. I don't call for revolution, taking up guns. I don't mischaracterize what's said. Rather, I point out lies, hate, mischaracterizations, and the damage they are doing to our democracy.
How can a person not become enraged about that? If people can be made angry over the patently false, the demonstrably untrue -- Obama born in Kenya, hates America, bent on destroying our very way of life -- then why not over actual dangerous stuff, things that do threaten us, that are true and observable: the RWS™ and those who love them don't believe in democracy (they want their country back after a democratic election, and they came unarmed this time), they are peddling lies (death panels, tax rates, birth certificates) and hate (eliminate liberals, kill Michael Moore [that was Glenn]) and fear (reeducation camps, aiding terrorists), they have degraded education (Texas, creationism as science), they do prefer Soviet-style message control, they do not see those with whom they disagree as "real Americans" (direct quote from you-know-who).
I'd love to be having interesting and challenging discussions about the right level of taxation, which spending cuts make the most sense, the consequences of leaving or staying in Afghanistan. I'd relish hashing out the difference between free speech and hate speech, between tough political argument and rhetorical death matches, in honest recognition of the current atmosphere. Such a discussion, as we've learned lately (as if we didn't know it all along), is simply not possible. Especially when very rich and successful screamers, and the party that loves them, have so much at stake in keeping the climate exactly as it is. No matter the destruction it engenders.
Mainly, though, since I know my words reach only a few ears and that a good percentage of them are hearing-impaired, writing here is just a way for me to deal with, to lessen, the physical and very real tension I feel when I read the day's news, read of the latest outrageous thing said by those considered oracles by our fellow citizens of the right wing variety.
Other than the occasional letter to the editor, giving to people and causes in which I believe, the rare attendance at a caucus, it's all I've got.
Against the red tide, it ain't enough.