m a r k a n d e y a

Not the same America…

Posted by Brian on September 30, 2006

A certain letter in today’s Everett Herald caught my attention. Here’s the opening ‘graph:

A Tuesday letter writer is quite upset by “smug rooting for our enemies by Democrats.” The accusation isn’t backed up by examples, but the tone of demonization is all too familiar. The other night I was treated to an improvised bumper sticker: “Die liberal scum.” Is this the new tone of American politics?

The part in bold resonated with me because a few weeks ago I was also the victim of some verbal abuse by a right-winger while sitting in my car (a car with a couple of pro-Democratic party bumper stickers on it) with the window down in the middle of a traffic jam. This guy in the car next to me asked me if I believed the “garbage” on the back of my car and said it was “bullshit.” He also called me a coward as he drove away, apparently because I had too much consideration for those behind me and wasn’t willing to stop my car in the middle of the road and have an altercation in the street. And remember, this is in the middle of “blue” Washington State.

It was a harsh reminder of the state of America today, a country that I’ve spent very little time in over the past 9 years. I went through most of the 90’s with similar bumper stickers on my car and don’t remember dealing with similar abuse as a result of it, but the divisive rhetoric from the right over the past 7 years has made hating on “liberal scum” acceptable.

By “divisive,” I’m talking about the President George W. Bush running for re-election by badmouthing Hollywood and the blue states (“What would you expect from a senator from Massachusetts?”).

I’m talking about right-wing commentators like Ann Coulter and Michelle Malkin, who make a living by saying the most horrible things about roughly half of the American population.

I’m talking about the moderate Republicans out there who give their tacit acceptance of such tactics by sitting quietly while their leaders and spokespeople slander their fellow Americans who just so happen to have different political ideas.

And I’m talking about this pleasant, all-American  guy:

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I wrote about this campaign to demonize the left last year, and you can see the fruits of their efforts so far. Even with terrorism increasing, the economy slumping, and Iraq falling apart, the important thing is that “liberal scum” stay far, far away from the halls of power. Whatever damage a Republican administration might do is nothing compared to what might happen should a Democrat become president.

This is the new America… an America that I’ll just have to get used to.  

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10 Responses to “Not the same America…”

  1. Richardson said

    So you blame the divisiveness in America on Republicans? Sooo naive. Someone is in denial;

    “You know, the Republicans are not very friendly to different kinds of people. They’re a pretty monolithic party. Pretty much, they all behave the same, and they all look the same. … It’s pretty much a white Christian party.” — Howard Dean

    These bastards who run our country are a bunch of conniving, thieving, smug pricks who need to be brought down and removed and replaced with a whole new system that we control.” –Michael Moore, writing in “Dude, Where’s My Country?”

    “The (Bush) administration works closely with a network of rapid response digital brownshirts who work to pressure reporters and their editors for ‘undermining support for our troops.'” — Al Gore

    “But the vitriol also reflects the fact that many of the people at (the Republican National Convention), for all their flag-waving, hate America. They want a controlled, monolithic society; they fear and loathe our nation’s freedom, diversity and complexity.” — Paul Krugman

    “As I watched Tuesday night’s network coverage of the unrelenting political propaganda hour known as the Republican National Convention, the first thought that came to mind was of old newsreels of those self-congratulatory Nazi rallies held in Germany during the reign of Adolf Hitler.” — Hugh Pearson

    “I would like to apologize for referring to George W. Bush as a ‘deserter.’ What I meant to say is that George W. Bush is a deserter, an election thief, a drunk driver, a WMD liar, and a functional illiterate. And he poops his pants” –Michael Moore

    “If someone did this [9/11] to get back at Bush, then they did so by killing thousands of people who DID NOT VOTE for him! Boston, New York, D.C., and the planes’ destination of California — these were places that voted AGAINST Bush!” –Michael Moore
    [FACT: 9/11 was planned long before the elections.]

    “White people scare the crap out of me. … I have never been attacked by a black person, never been evicted by a black person, never had my security deposit ripped off by a black landlord, never had a black landlord … never been pulled over by a black cop, never been sold a lemon by a black car salesman, never seen a black car salesman, never had a black person deny me a bank loan, never had a black person bury my movie, and I’ve never heard a black person say, ‘We’re going to eliminate ten thousand jobs here – have a nice day!'” –Michael Moore, writing in “Stupid White Men”

    “OK, I’ll predict that the rapture’s coming and you and I, Chris, are going up, and all these hypocritical conservatives who tell people not to do stuff but then they get caught doing are not.” — Maureen Dowd

    “Despite all of this stupid bullsh*t that the Republican National Committee, or whatever the f*ck they call them, that they were saying that they’re all angry about how two of these ads were comparing Bush to Hitler? I mean, out of thousands of submissions, they find two. They’re like f*cking looking for Hitler in a haystack. …George Bush is not Hitler. He would be, if he f*cking applied himself.” — Margaret Cho

    “(George Bush) betrayed this country! He played on our fears. He took America on an ill-conceived foreign adventure dangerous to our troops, an adventure preordained and planned before 9/11 ever took place!” — Al Gore

    “Aside from his scintilla of candor, Mr. Bush is still not leveling with us. As he said at his press conference on Monday, ‘the enemies of freedom’ know that ‘a democratic Iraq will be a decisive blow to their ambitions because free people will never choose to live in tyranny.’ They may choose to live in a theocracy, though. Americans did.” — Maureen Dowd

    “Americans did not vote for fascism – but the fascists now control all three branches of our government: the Presidency, Congress, and the Supreme Court. In 1935, Sinclair Lewis warned against the rise of an American fascism in ‘It Can’t Happen Here’. Well, it can – and it will, unless we stop it now.” — Bob Fertik at Democrats.com

    “So now the question is, basically, right now, how will (the Osama Bin Laden tape) affect the election? And I have a feeling that it could tilt the election a bit. In fact, I’m a little inclined to think that Karl Rove, the political manager at the White House, who is a very clever man, that he probably set up bin Laden to this thing.” — Walter Cronkite

    “It’s a real conflict for me when I go to a concert and find out somebody in the audience is a Republican or fundamental Christian. It can cloud my enjoyment. I’d rather not know.” — Singer Linda Ronstadt

    “Republicans don’t believe in the imagination, partly because so few of them have one, but mostly because it gets in the way of their chosen work, which is to destroy the human race and the planet. Human beings, who have imaginations, can see a recipe for disaster in the making; Republicans, whose goal in life is to profit from disaster and who don’t give a hoot about human beings, either can’t or won’t. Which is why I personally think they should be exterminated before they cause any more harm.” — The Village Voice’s Michael Feingold

    That took less than five minutes with Google.

    So what where you saying about Republicans causeing this? Any words for the “moderate” Democrats who ‘give their tacit acceptance of such tactics by sitting quietly while their leaders and spokespeople slander their fellow Americans who just so happen to have different political ideas’???????????

  2. […] There is no doubt that the political climate in America is more combative than a decade ago. But who is to blame? I believe there is some shared responsibility on both sides, although I of course fault one side a bit more (i.e., those that don’t know the definition of the word “lie,” who are generally less satisfied with life, etc.). So I had to respond to the post, ‘Not the same America…’: It was a harsh reminder of the state of America today … the divisive rhetoric from the right over the past 7 years has made hating on “liberal scum” acceptable. […]

  3. jtb said

    You know, the problem has been that one party calls me a racist for wanting laws against felony Social Security Fraud to be enforced and the other party cut my taxes.

    One party calls me “Talibaptist” for believing what the Bible says–not affecting anyone else’s behavior or lifestyle, just believing in my own religion–and the other party seems to support religious diversity…

    One party seems to actually care about spreading freedom to other countries and the other seems bent on removing the difference between America and any Third-World nation you can think of…

    The Republicans are moderates and centrists, if a bit disorganized, disfunctional, and inept. Democrats seem to be unhinged leftists. I don’t believe any of them are on my side (i.e., conservative); but the Republicans are not nearly as hate-filled as you claim, while the Democrats seem to be bent on self-distruction…

  4. Pelagius said

    I can empathize with Cathartidae’s viewpoint as an American returning from an extended stay abroad. The change in the country between the time I left in late 2000 and returned in late 2003 was startling, and it has only gotten worse. American politics have lost almost all sense of compromise, and I believe you can lay that quite soundly at the feet of Karl Rove and the man he brought to power.

    The Democrats now feel no remorse in playing just as dirty – and why should they? They fought the last election with one hand tied behind their back and look where that got them (Swift Boated). If you want to see what happend when both sides stoop to Rovian politics, look no further than the Virginia Senate race.

    In the meantime, this administration has governed as if 49% of the country didn’t exist, pushing an extreme, evangelical agenda. Why does the Department of Homeland Security have a “Center for Faith-Based Initiatives” when it can’t even adequately protect our shipping facilities?

    I’m returning to a more level-headed, rational Western Democracy soon, and probably for good. The future for the USA does not look bright from across the waters.

  5. jtb said

    The whole EU will be Muslim in 5 years, give or take. They just behead or enslave those who disagree.

    Pelagius’ arguments about dirty politics show as either naive or a lies. Look at the indictments this week against the founders of Air America (Charles Rosen, etc.) for stealing $1.2 million in Federal money from the Boys and Girls Clubs…

    There’s dirt EVERYWHERE in politics. Everywhere.

    Some people haven’t figured out that the USA is in a shooting war started by radical Islam. Some people want to blame Bush/Cheney/Halliburton–in the face of evidence that clearly shows the Islam vs. everyone else struggle has been going on for over 1000 years. The only way to avoid THIS war is to just surrender. Feel free to choose your own path.

    Bush will be replaced in 2008 by whomever the voters choose (just like every other Presidential Election in US History) and if we’re lucky, it’ll be someone better. Get over it. Move on…

  6. angus said

    maybe the reason why american conservatives are so pissy these days is that its slowly dawning on even the most strident partisan that their crew, their policies and the implementation of said policies is a complete cluster fuck and has been for the past six years. the center piece of their administration, that cute little social engineering project in the middle east has blown up in their faces and they are completely befuddled as to how to extract themselves from this mess. (much like the sorcerer’s apprentice in ‘fantasia’) now what do you do when your entire justification for your political existence is as useful as mao’s little red book? and just as riddled with lies and wrong headed assumptions? admit you were wrong and try to change course? no! of course not! you blame the people who told you that it was a colossal mistake in the first place and get even more belligerent. “its all your fault that we fucked up!” gotta admire the balls of brass it takes to pull that one off though.

    btw, brian, have you heard from ‘american’ lately? i wonder what he has to say for himself these days?

  7. If Richardson and jtb can’t see the difference between a the president of the US, a man put in office to represent all Americans, badmouthing the left and a b-list comic and a washed-up 80’s singer badmouthing the right I’m not going to bother explaining.

    Angus, American disappaeared when I stopped writing about American politics after the 2004 election. I guess his only reason to drop by was to bicker with me. CLassy…

  8. Richardson said

    Uh, you used “some guy” who cursed at you and your bumper stickers, and a very weak comment from Bush about a senator from one state. The quotes I provided included the head of the Democratic Party and the VP of eight years for crying out loud (guess you missed those), and many prominent entertainers (i.e., those that have a wide audience and some influence) – all saying “horrible things about roughly half the popluation.” Yet you act as if only Republicans are guilty of this, and ignore the magnitude of what the left is doing. Take off the blinders and see the blatant hypocrisy in your position.

  9. Richardson said

    A recent counter-example;

    http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalradar/2007/07/biden-calls-bus.html

    “During a Fourth of July campaign stop in Iowa, Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden, known for suffering from acute foot-in-mouth disease on more than one occasion, had some strong words for the president and some GOP rivals in the 2008 candidate pool.

    As reported by the New York Times, Biden said of President Bush, ““This guy is brain dead. I know I’ll be quoted, I’ll be killed for that.” “

    But I guess it’s still different when Dems do it.

  10. […] by Brian on October 11, 2008 About two years ago I wrote this post lamenting the way the angry and hate-filled right has made America a worse place to live. One time […]

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