Wednesday, March 17, 2010

It's Just Mean

At one point, some in the group opposed to the Democrats' reform plan appeared to lecture and mock a man who held a green placard saying he had Parkinson's disease. "If you are looking for a handout, you are in the wrong end of town," one guy told the man with the placard. Another person could be seen in Columbus Dispatch video throwing dollar bills at the unidentified man, who was sitting on the ground. --From an article by Tom Diemer in Politics Daily

So once again, the vocal, angry Right are up and protesting. Because health care reform might actually be getting close to legislative success (flawed though it is) and Fox News told them to. Where these people find the time--and the energy--I'll never know. But what's really striking to me about this particular nugget--and if you watch the video from the Columbus Dispatch it's even more vivid and appalling--is just how hateful these people are. And I mean that literally; they are full of hate. The man who threw dollar bills at the (utterly silent) gentleman sitting on the ground, started screaming at one point, his voice rising to the hysterical, shrill pitch of a wolverine in heat. He was literally spitting hate all over the place. The display was so egregious almost all the MSNBC hosts highlighted it yesterday. Ed Schultz called it "gross". I couldn't agree more. The complete lack of civility, even common decency, was shocking and very, very sad.

And it made me realize, once again, why I could never be a Conservative Republican or date a Conservative Republican or at this point, have a cordial lunch with a Conservative Republican. These people are, quite simply, mean. Now, I'll admit it: I'm no picnic on the grass myself. As any readers of this blog, or random folks in line at the Ralph's, know, I can be a straight up, unapologetic bitch. But I hope a) I reserve my bitchiness for people who make themselves into nice big ol' targets--the self-important, the entitled, the aggressively, purposefully stupid and b) I come hard-wired with a healthy dollop of Semitic self-loathing, which I think keeps me from being totally insufferable.

But the more I see of the vocal, pointed spear-head of the Republican party--which I think is just a distilled bolus of everything the quieter, more mainstream "center" believes--the more convinced I am that anyone who identifies themselves as a believer of this ideology in fact, bottom line, just believes this: "I matter; you don't". That's it. This isn't a nuanced political philosophy at all, George Will and David Brooks and Tony Blankley and their fine vocabularies be damned. It's just the caterwauling of a schoolyard bully: "Get out of the sandbox, it's MINE!"

Think about it. What are their core beliefs?
A) Lower taxes. Why? I want more money for ME ME ME!
B) Smaller government. Why? I don't want to pay taxes (see A) and the government might help OTHER people and I don't CARE about other people, I care about ME ME ME!
C) Little regulation on business. Why? I own/might own/dream of owning a business someday and when I do...don't tell ME ME ME what to do! If I want to pay my workers $4 a day that's MY business and if I want to spew toxins into the local water table or create complex financial services that are nothing more than legalized gambling and bring down the entire economy--tough titties!
D) Rigid immigration laws. Why? I don't like people I don't know and sure don't want them in my country! They are not ME!
E) Strong military. Why? People who live in other countries are not ME so what the hell; kill 'em!

I think--I hope--the Progressive/Liberal/Democratic ideology is simply more humane. Civilized. Compassionate. Empathetic. Isn't the entire Progressive movement founded on ideals of helping the disenfranchised, social justice, empowering the powerless? Ideals that are, at their core...kind. To me, it's become just that simple. Progressives care about everyone. Conservatives care about themselves, their families and their friends (maybe)--in that order (if the wife steps outta line, she is gone). They can claim all they want that their point of view is just another, legitimate political approach. But I'm starting to think it has nothing to do with the "art or science concerned with guiding or influencing governmental policy"--the definition of politics. Because that would mean they have some interest in actually governing--which implies some level of concern and interest in the populace--and I really don't think they do. They just want that sandbox all to themselves. So you there, sitting on the ground, with Parkinson's? Get out.

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