Sorry for the length, but I didn't have time to write a short blog.

Monday, October 15, 2012

A Discourse of Intolerance

The other day two things happened: one on my Facebook page and the other in the news.  The first was a picture of a truckload of manure dropped at a Democratic headquarters in Ohio.

This was followed by the report of a drive-by at another headquarters in Denver when someone shot through a window.  

Election rage is no longer uncommon, and it seems to me to have become worse.  What is just as disturbing is that we cannot talk about it.

When the manure incident occurred, this is what I saw as part of the commentary*...
         Posted with picture "This is not right, but very funny, but still not right!!!!"
          Comment 1 "Thats because there (sic) LIES ARE FULL OF ****."
          Comment 2 "The sad part is it wasn't as big as the pile that was already there"
          Comment 3 "And the mutual respect for fellow Americans' points of view continues to go down the drain. Not the way I believe the founding fathers wanted us to behave towards each other..."

And so it goes in perhaps one of the most polarized elections in memory.  People seem sometimes incapable of explaining their point of view with anything other than acts of not arguing a point of view but hating someone because of their point of view. The rage is not unique or Republican or Democrat.  In the Texas town of Romney, for example, a vandal painted Obama over the town's sign.

If you want to see rage and hate in all its glory though, just go on during the debates.  You will see not only clever and satiric lines and the repetitive, you will see the rage and haters and racists.  They have so little in information having never fact checked things like their extreme left or right commentator who has filled them with hate.  You may not agree with the politics of Bill Clinton, but one of the things he said in his now famous convention speech:

        Now, there’s something I've noticed lately. You probably have, too. And it’s this. Maybe just         
        because I grew up in a different time, but though I often disagree with Republicans, I    
        actually never learned to hate them the way the far right that now controls their party seems 
        to hate our president and a lot of other Democrats.

You see the hate or rage that seem to be part and parcel of this election, seems to me to have gone beyond a disagreement of ideologies of two parties or systems of either liberal or conservative, Democrat or Republican.  It worries, if not scares, me just a bit.  We have, it seems, allowed the inmates to run amok if not put them in charge of the asylum. I do not understand how someone can find such acts as humorous or worthy of any comment other than disdain.  To think that someone would risk shooting a person to make a statement is beyond right. 

Even more disturbing are those who would purposely stir the fringe of other groups such as the recent and appalling use of the mock movie on the life of Mohammed or the the burning of Koran which they know would cause violent reactions. These people don't seem to realize that they are doing exactly what the fringe they fear and attack also do?  

There was a politician in New York who announced he'd "clean out Albany with a baseball bat" and then endorsed an ally who likened a Jewish leader of the New York senate to  the "Antichrist and Hitler."  In another incident, a group of young thugs attacked and tortured three men because they suspected they might be gay.  I just don't understand how anyone could be so hateful or intolerant.  How could anyone think their moral beliefs are so much better than someone else?

Is it because of the technology that the haters are so easily seen on Twitter and Facebook? Is it that our television has pushed forward the ludicrous like Honey Boo Boo and redneck pawnbrokers and toothless exterminator?  Is it because we've forgotten what we were taught in Sunday School that we love and forgive and that all people and lives are important, making all ideas of some small and great values?  Have we forgotten the right to speak out our ideas and to sit and discuss them?  Have we forgotten as my friend on Facebook points out what our founding fathers hoped for us?

Hate is a terrible thing and quite honestly something that consumes far too much time.  I do not understand how religious organizations can think that they should be the ones to cast the first stone.  It was certainly not as I was taught to believe.  How or when did we become so intolerant?  When did it become wrong to be Republican, Democrat, or Independent?  When did science become a dirty word among some?  How did teachers become the enemy of the extreme conservatives?  Why is being a moderate or liberal or conservative more than a point of view so worthy of someones hate?  Does someone know so little that hate is the only thing that gives them power?  It is hate and ignorance that causes fear of anything different and fear becomes a violent and driving force. 

I just don't understand.

"Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people." ~Eleanor Roosevelt

“It does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are 20 gods, or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.” ~ Thomas Jefferson

*names and profanity removed all other items are as they appeared.