Stirring up Hatred and Anger: Open Letter
First, I want to thank all the good people on the blogs for reasonable, heart-felt messages which contribute to educating the rest of us.
A funny thing happened on the way to the rally – I actually listened to what the Conservatives were saying.
An honest appraisal of your posts helps me realize I DO AGREE WITH YOUR VALUES, such as:
– Limited Government
– Fiscal Responsibility
– Individual Responsibility,
and the complaints about big government, takeover of businesses, and over-taxation.
No one in in their right mind wants to pay too much in taxes, be forced to do certain things or be abused by the powerful and elite.
So, even believing in limited government, I hear a story on MSNBC about how bankers sell worthless “derivatives” to unsuspecting consumers;
the bankers make BILLIONS, get bailed out and walk away with their profits, and the taxpayer gets the bill.
Keith Oberman points out “It’s those #%4*&! Republicans who evaded regulators. We need more government oversight of those b@$terds!”
And you can see how now anger seems justified; hatred becomes OK agaist these criminals.
Repeat the above with Health Care, Foreign Policy, the Environment.
Sure I believe in limited government, but I don’t want some businessman to clear-cut the entire Amazon Rain Forest just to make a profit,
at the expense of altering the planet’s climate.
So the commentators stir the pot, whip up anger and I am tempted to vent on the “idiots” on the blogs.
The same thing happens on the Right. Glenn Beck, Hannity stir up the emotions, focusing on the #%4*&! Liberals!
Now demonizing, killing the opposition becomes the right thing to do.
Once you are angry the only question is:
“Who’s to blame and what must their punishment be?”
We all lose by that.
I am beginning to think two things.
1. Both the left and right wings have developed a formula that “works” for them. Stir up anger and demonize the enemy.
2. It’s non-contradictory, even wise, to hold two diametrically opposed ideals at the same time – like limited government AND regulatory oversight.
Example: I like to think of myself as opposed to torture, and love ridiculing Cheney and John Yoo for legalizing it.
Then I read where these terrorists take over a shool in Russia, killing innocent children and teachers. (Yeah, that’ll win me over to Islam!) And I’m thinking “OK, attach the wires to their genitals and I’ll pull the danged switch myself until they’re fried!” So no one is really a pure left winger or right winger.
I suspect some of my opposition – people who demand limited government also want oversight to end the abuses. By bankers milking the system, they ruin the ideal of limited government.
So, I want to apologize for the times I’ve fallen into that anger trap.
Any time you want to stop my rants, just say something like:
“Mmm!, sounds like you were angry when you wrote that!”
And I’ll probably admit my mistake.
Alas, I’ll still be a leftist but I hope never again to insult Conservative
Anyway, that’s my 2-cents. Hope you will respond.