Its been 5 days since the horrible shootings in Arizona. I've spent the past few days wading through the fever swamps that are the forums at websites like National Review, Salon, Huffington Post and the Wall Street Journal. The vitriol and invective going back and forth between the left and the right has constituted perhaps the largest pile of skull-splitting nitwittery....uh..ever.
To be clear, I am no "moderate"...one of those insufferable snobs who always hover in the air over and above every big political issue of the day claiming neutrality, wringing their hands and saying idiotic things like.."oh..a pox on BOTH their houses!!" No, I am a man of the right and as such have been infuriated by pundits who have come out of the wood work blaming conservative voices for the slaughter in Tucson. I will not here dignify such crackpot psycho-analysis from the likes of Keith Olbermann and Paul Krugman with a defense. However, as maddening as the left can be at times like these, I have also seen an equally maddening argument that comes from my side of the political spectrum. It is this...any liberal political idea that is advanced in this country both grand ( health care) and humble (school lunch menu overhaul) is met by many on the right as the second coming of the Soviet Union!!
If Michelle Obama wants school kids to eat more veggies its because she secretly wants to grab the power to come into our homes and arrest us if we put a twinkee in juriors' lunch-box. If Democrats in Congress want to make it more difficult for crazy people to buy guns, its because they secretly are working on their REAL plan to confiscate every gun in America so that when they declare us a Communist nation we won't be armed!
I say..argue with them on the merits of their ideas...but start with the assumption of good will. You may say.."But Doug..the liberals are always lying about OUR motives!!" To which I would say...so what! Its true. For years any conservative who wants lower taxes does so because he loves the rich and hates poor people. If we oppose affirmative action its clearly because we are knuckle-dragging racists. Well..its not true and not fair when they do it to us...but its just as not true and not fair when we do it to them. Are there some on the left who really WOULD like to declare us a Communist country?...maybe a few on the fringes. But there are some on the fringes on the right with some rather wacko world views as well.
There was a line in the Presidents' speech last night that brought a lump to my throat. He was talking about Christina Green, the 9 year old girl who was killed and he was listing her many accomplishments. Then he said.."I want us to live up to her expectations. I want our democracy to be as good as she imagined it" I was choked up because the President, MY President spoke the truth..beautifully and simply the truth. I didn't vote for him and would never vote for him..but I give him the benefit of the doubt because I believe that he wants the best for our country and in that moment I was proud of him. I don't want to live in a country where I'm not allowed to have a moment like that with a politician who I disagree with.