Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Dark underbelly of the beast

Allow me to introduce myself. I am a traitor and an idiot. Also, my mother should have aborted me and left me in a dumpster, but since she didn't, I should "off" myself.
Kathleen Parker, a conservative columnist, has learned firsthand about the ugliness on the Republican right - express an opinion contrary to the party line and they will try to silence you. About a week ago, Parker has written that Sarah Palin was out of her league and should be dropped from the ticket. In response, she got thousands of emails, many of them incredibly ugly, even threatening. You can read her entire column in the Washington Post.
I'm glad Parker had this epiphany and now realizes how mean the spirit can be on the Republican right. Out in the countryside of the 6th District, we've experienced it for years. Stolen and defaced signs. Obama signs shot by high powered rifles. Threats to people who write letters to the editor or place signs in their yard. Some threats acted upon with vandalism and personal intimidation.
Times are rapidly changing here in the 6th. Folks who have had enough are asking, no begging, for Obama/Biden signs which are springing up all over the place. In the newspapers I read, letters supporting Democratic candidates at least equal those supporting Republicans. Perhaps I'm biased, but they are also better written and more thoughtful. So many of the GOP letters seem to be repeating talking points of the partly line (don't want to stray like Parker did, or you will be silenced, too).
I have many Republican friends who subscribe to conservative principles and would never engage in this mean spirited discourse. On the other hand, I know several, including a couple holding office, who will smile to your face while stabbing you in the back. And I certainly know Republicans don't have a monopoly on being nasty, but it does seem much more despicable (not to mention unAmerican) when the group in the majority tries to silence the minority. Perhaps we in part owe this mentality to negative ads approved by the candidates - if its OK for them to lie and make hateful allegations against an opponent, it must be OK for anyone.
So Kathleen Parker has learned, as the Bible taught, "sow to the wind, and reap a whirlwind." That is a lesson we can all take to heart.

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