Skip to comments.Days of rage: There's something happening here (David Reinhard)
Posted on 10/26/2008 9:05:33 AM PDT by jazusamo
There's battle lines being drawn Nobody's right if everybody's wrong -- Buffalo Springfield
What is happening to us? What explains the boorishness, hate and even violence that increasingly mark our politics?
No, this isn't another prissy commentary on "negative" ads -- another high-sounding homily on how we ought to focus on "the issues," by which the writer means "the issues that I think voters should focus on." Nor is this a screed against demonstrations, however boisterous, or some young fools' lawn-sign stealing. There's no interest here in trampling on free-speech rights or spitting into the wind of what must be a rite of passage.
What troubles me -- what should trouble us all -- is the outbreak of largely liberal intolerance we've seen over the last few elections, and especially this one.
Something's happening here, and it's getting scary.
We've had two 23-year-old males here tossing Molotov cocktails to burn down Gene Scrutton's John McCain sign in the Sellwood neighborhood.
In Minnesota, graffiti messages ("u r a criminal resign or else") were spray-painted on the garage of U.S. Sen. Norm Coleman's St. Paul home.
A 23-year-old Michigan man, a Democrat, has admitted to plotting to detonate a homemade bomb in the tunnels near the Republican convention.
In the Washington, D.C., suburbs, a motel with a McCain sign on its lawn received threatening calls and a McCain-signed pumpkin patch was vandalized.
In central Florida, the Republican headquarters manager told police he believed that his home with two McCain signs was shot up because of his support for McCain.
It doesn't involve physical violence, threatened or real, but "The Daily Show" host Jon Stewart's "[expletive] you" to Sarah Palin in a recent comedy (?) act suggests how far we've gone in the age of the unhinged.
Yes, I know this stuff runs both ways. Here in Oregon, we had the hanging of an Obama cut-out at Newberg's George Fox University. The Washington Post reports that Obama signs in Alexandria, Va., were painted with racist epithets. We learned Friday that a McCain campaign worker's claim that she was beaten up and had the letter "B" cut into her face because her car had a McCain sticker was a hoax. Such deranged doings are just as appalling when it comes from the right, though my sense is that this hate-filled intolerance more often comes out of left field.
I also know we're a big country, and a few goof-balls do not a national trend make. But I don't think I'm committing sociology based on a few incidents. We're talking about more than a few beer-addled goofballs here.
A young friend of mine was working for the Bush campaign in 2004. One weekend he left his car outside a friend's Eugene house for safekeeping while he was out of town. Upon returning, he noticed the "W" sticker had been removed from his car. Hey, buddy, you were supposed to take care of my car, he said to his friend. Oh, yeah, his friend said, my father did that when he was here this weekend. He couldn't stand a student having a Bush sticker on his car.
Now, mind you, this wasn't a practical joke. The father was dead serious, and he wasn't some ne'er-do-well with a six-pack of beer aboard. He was an immaculately credentialed Portland professional who also headed a major community organization.
I love politics and public policy, but the ugliness, the anger, the coarseness and even the threats of violence I've experienced as a conservative opinion-writer in achingly "tolerant" Portland have contributed to my decision to leave the business after this election. My heart was starting to harden -- do we conservatives not have hearts, do we not bleed? -- and I didn't want that to happen.
I joked at first about some of it. When a reader sent me my column covered with dried feces, I looked on the bright side. He could have said he wouldn't .... on my column. I took comfort in the fact law officers visited the Iraq War foe (a peace advocate!) and the liberal critic (a Portland public school teacher!) who threatened my family. But the constant expletive-laced rants, the nifty Nazi-Hitler-German references, the holier-than-thou hate for any opposing view from the half-informed -- well, it's not what our public discourse should be about. It wasn't in a better age. If I sometimes responded in kind (and I did), forgive me.
What accounts for this rage? Maybe it's that so many feel the White House was stolen from them eight years ago. Maybe they just feel entitled to rule. (Dude, where's my country?) Maybe it's the Iraq War. Or George Bush, though many lefties have worked themselves into the same derangement syndrome over Palin. Maybe the cause is deeper. I don't know. I only know it's not a good thing for civil society.
Obama's not my candidate -- McCain is -- but, if he's elected on Nov. 4, Obama will be my president and I'll be happy to cheer two things. One, the fact that the United States has, at long last, elected an African-American president. Two, the possibility that Obama's election might deliver us from this nastiness. I think it's called the audacity of hope.
VERY well said. Indeed, a small minority, on both sides, are stoking what is quickly becoming a civil war. I have friends on both sides of the aisle and we are able to get together, talk football, etc. abd generally enjoy each other’s company.
I am sure not going to be the modern day Hank Reardon for the communist scum. I prefer the John Galt solution.
He won't be mine.
"Obama's election might deliver us from this nastiness."
Ha! You should know lefties better than that.
Don't count on this for a moment, Mr. Reinhard! The rage and depravity of the left goes so far beyond the election of any one candidate or set of candidates. The vicious leftists will not rest until they have completed the project of turning the USA into a socialist nanny state with conservatives relegated to a few powerless token representatives, if that.
I was annoyed to find that somebody had scraped the “Women for McCain-Palin” bumper sticker off my car last night. But that’s ok, I just stuck on another one. I have a supply...
I think the country is split into two halves that increasingly realize they are not compatible with each other.
His friend’s Dad prolly did him a favor. If the “W” had stayed, he might be minus a windshield.
I think Obama’s election (let’s pray it doesn’t happen!) will be just the beginning of the nastiness. For one thing, Obama and the left, who are nothing if not vindictive, will be looking for payback against everyone who criticized them.
And for the first time, I think I’d have to say he wouldn’t be my president, either. He hates America. I’ll just have to keep my head down and my mouth shut for 4 years.
That's it in a nutshell.
The only thing stopping them from outright soviet like tactics is the second amendment.
Once that goes, the Obama reeducation camps will be loads of fun singing Were gonna spread happiness! Were gonna spread freeeeeeedom! Obama
His color is his only qualification for the presidency. I'd sooner elect a lump of coal.
I think you’re right. We have to make an all out effort to work against him being elected.
This is the New Left in action. 40 years of socialist revolution. They have gone from being the agitators in the streets buring down the armory, shooting up police cars, robbing banks, blowing up the Pentagon, meeting with the North Vietnamese military to pledge their support (a clear act of treason), to BEING the movers and shakers of the modern DNC and anchors of the national media.
They DO feel entitled to the power. They are still dishonest about their Marxist ideology. But they still honor it.
Oddly enough, it is the New Left that also caused Lyndon LaRouche to become critical of the Democrat party while at the same time continuing to run as a Democrat.
The entire character and modus operandi of today’s leftists
(starting with Clinton in ‘92) has shocked even me, and I started as one in the late 60s, though within a year or so, became thoroughly disenchanted. They’ve had nearly twenty years to perfect their techniques, and have gone through any number of phases, but their hallmark is always
bullying, intimidation, willful misrepresentation of the truth,bringing demagoguery to EVERY issue, and the cultivation of the next generation of “useful idiots”. Obama’s candidacy is just an extension of Clinton’s 8 years of dysfunction, and the Clintons are too stupid to know that they paved the way for their own demise, so they’re left with nothing to do but save face by going out bravely and pretending to “enthusiastically” campaign for him.
They too think they are extending their careers by their willingness to swallow hard, and take the only option that seems to be open: possible positions in a new Obama administration. They don’t know McCain is going to win: they’d have been FAR better off to campaign for McCain.
The animosity from the left has become so virulent that the left is ready, willing, and with Obama in the White House, able, to deny fundamental constitutional freedoms to what it views as obstructionist conservatives. The ‘tolerant’ left will not tolerate criticism or dissent. If we don’t cling to our guns, religion and freedom to speak, we will lose them all in the next four years, and no one on the left will bat an eye or raise a finger in our defense.
David Reinhard is spot on about the level of intolerance to be found in tolerant Portland and western Oregon...sorry to see him leave, but, certainly understandable given the circumstances...I expect my wife and I will be leaving Portland in the next few years for a more hospitable climate as our business plans come to fruition.
I will never accept a marxist as president of the united states NEVER!!
Wake up David.....it’s war!!
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