Do people really think that everybody who disagrees with them about politics is
B) an unwitting tool of the forces of evil,
C) an amoral slimeball, or
D) all of the above?
Really? Like, it’s us against them, Gondor versus Mordor, Rebel Alliance vesus Galactic Empire? Because, if that’s really the case, then shut up, get a gun and start shooting – what’s left to talk about? They’re just orcs and cloned storm troopers anyway – why waste your breath, just cut to the chase.
BUT – if among your opponents are some actual human beings, then ENOUGH WITH THE BASHING, ALREADY!
Currently, the Tea Party people seem to be getting the worst of it, but that changes moment to moment, I’m sure the socialists and liberals are taking their share of incoming fire, too.
While acknowledging that, yes, there are some stupid, ignorant, gullible people out there, and yes, there are evil people out there, too, who gladly use the gullible as tools (and the gullible are often gladly so used in return for getting to pretend they are with the cool kids), I’m really not convinced – yet – that the situation is so bad that it’s constructive politics and acceptable humanity to sneeringly insult and dismiss *everybody* who shares a particular political point of view I happen to disagree with.
Memo to liberals: Tea Party people have some valid points. Many of them are very aware that certain established forces are trying to co-op and neuter their movement, and are fighting it like mad. Many of them are appalled at the same exact behaviors in government and business that appall the socialists in your camp. There are plenty of goofballs in that movement, but, hey, take a look in the mirror before you start thinking there’s any higher percentage of goofball Tea Partiers that goofball Liberals.
Memo to Conservatives: Socialists have some valid points. Amoral capitalism – which is what we’ve got, once you get a little past the mom and pop level of business – is compelled by its own internal logic to do Very Bad Things. Very. Bad. Liberal outrage at the injustices perpetrated in the name of profits is real, and, at least sometimes, completely valid. Not all liberals are closet Stalinists who hate America. Many love America as much as you do.
Yes, evil people and nuts are out there. But, at least as a working assumption, let’s assume that many of our fellow Americans are worth talking to in a civil manner even if they don’t agree with us politically. For if our opponents are, in fact, as our President put it, ‘enemies’, the rational alternative is not name-calling and sneering. If our ‘enemies’ are really orcs and stormtroopers – well, you know how that turns out.