Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Politics of Attack

This is precisely what I'd worried about. This editorial - Politics of Attack - from the NYTimes.com lays out the problem in detail. The level of hate has been rising steadily over the past few years and has reached a fevered pitch. I wondered when the racist tendencies that have been lying just under the surface would pop up like bubbles in boiling soup. I guess we know now. The most recent thing that I've heard is "off with his head," referring to Obama. McCain referred to Obama as "that one" in a derisive tone. Now I don't think that is necessarily racist in and of itself (thought I suspect it might be, but that's another post**). For me it's just indicative of the level of partisan hate that's been rising.

I was in college in the 80s. My roommate (still a close friend whom I'm lucky to have) was a Republican. I was a Democrat. Both of us were active in our respective college groups. We'd often talk politics, she being a political science major and I a minor. We'd go to see politicians together, of both parties, and talk about their performances afterwards. The most memorable of these was seeing then-Vice President Bush. She drove and we discussed it on the way home, laughing and joking as we always did.

Let's compare that to the daughter of a friend of mine. My friend commented that her daughter would be glad when the election was over because then her roommates would speak to her again. See, Daughter was voting for Kerry. After the election, everything was fine.

I'm not sure exactly why we've had this decline in civility and polarization. All I know is that there are about two conservatives that I can talk to with respect and civility. WE need to get back to that point. The sooner the better.

** I have heard from some that "that one"is code for a person you'd like to call a n---- but you can't because that person in within hearing range. I can't confirm on deny that, but it's certainly worth thinking about.

3 comments:

SagaciousHillbilly said...

There is lots of "code talking" going on. I hear "America isn't ready for a black man." That means "I aint votin fer no n!@@#$."
or:
"I've got nothing against blacks, but I'm afraid he'll only do thing for the blacks."
which means:
"I'm afraid of black people and I aint votin fer one."

Let's face it, how many black people do you think a guy like Puffy McBush knows on a personal level. Sure, he might talk to members of congress and the press who are black, but how many times has his invite list included black people. . . probably never or just that time when he needed to put on a show in Georgetown, so he invited Alan Keys.

MountainLaurel said...

Another that I hear often: "Nobody talks about the blacks being racist. They're just voting for him because he's black." That means: "Blacks are being favored above me, and promoting each other once they get into a position of any power, and the reason I didn't get that last job is because I'm white." boy, do I hear reverse discrimination a lot!

And speaking of code talking, what do you think of "that one?"

Muze Euterpe said...

I think we've reach a "new" low in this country where you can't use everyday language to voice an opinion against someone without being called racist.

I think it's paranoid to grab a phrase like "that one" and try to claim it's code.

I've hear a lot of people talk about violent comments being made at rallies, but I haven't seen any reports on anyone being arrested. Isn't it a big-time crime to make threats against Presidential candidate. If there are reporters video or audio taping these comments they have a civic duty to turn the recordings over to authorities.

And remember -- violent comments aren't exclusive to extremes on the right. More than a few protesters have hung Bush in effigy, called for his assasination and more. There have even been "warnings" of riots if Obama isn't elected.

What's up with that?