Granted, this Jim David Adkisson is mentally unstable. The mentally unstable are suspectible to jumping to irrational conclusions. However, I cannot let the facts slip my mind that the man was reading politically charged books written by shock jocks (Michael Savage, Bill O’Reilly, and Sean Hannity) which ultimately served to fuel his anger towards what he called “the liberal movement” (which is an amorphous statement if I ever heard one). Has it really come down to this? All of our mud-slinging–meant really to inspire the “soldiers” and activitists to the call of duty for a side–is tipping the weak-minded insane to a breaking point.
Is there any way out of this mess? Is there any way we can stop pointing angry fingers at each other and shouting all this hate speech at each other? Why can’t we all just talk to each other like the rational human beings we supposedly are instead of name-calling on both sides of the fence (for Dems are just as responsible for this bad behavior as the Repubs)? I’m getting tired of this war of us v. them. It has got to stop.
I’ve never seen this country so divided. It’s painful to watch. I don’t know how or when it happened, but somewhere in the last ten years, someone drew a line in the sand and told people to cross to one side or the other. It used to be that no one knew what who was. We kept our politics quiet to ourselves–this was not the stuff of polite conversation. Now, everywhere we go, someone has to let slip their opinion of one side or the other when the conversation hasn’t even started. (One guy on a bike ride blamed the rain on George W. Bush, which, while funny, made me feel a little awkward even though I’m not GW’s biggest fan.)
Not that I don’t support social activism. We all know I’m right there on the front lines, marching for gay rights and abortion rights and social justice and world peace. I will fight for these causes until the last breath leaves my body. And I will stand up in the appropriate forum to discuss these views. But out there in every day life, unless provoked by someone else, I’m not likely to just burst out my views. I keep the chatter among my liberal friends. We talk amongst ourselves. I strive to avoid name-calling–everyone has their reasons for why they believe what they believe and I do not feel that someone who doesn’t agree with me is any less intelligent or has thought out the issue less thoroughly.
I listen to the quiet, rational voices of NPR who never shout at each other or the guest with the opposing view. There are no “shock jocks” to speak of on NPR. Yes, I realize they are a liberal media outlet. However, they strive to be fair by presenting the other side of an issue and allowing that person to speak their views without interruption or snide comments. They don’t shock my nerves, they don’t name call, and they don’t paint a “us v. them” picture of the world. Why can’t the conservative media outlets be just as calm in their approach? (Perhaps there is one I’m not aware of?)
I can’t say anything about Michael Savage because I’ve never listened to him. But people like Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity do nothing but spew self-righteous, “us v. them,” hate all liberals propoganda. And the liberals are just as bad with their batch of hate mongers such as Randi Rhodes, whom I’ve personally listened to and find utterly repulsive. The O’Reillys, Savages, Coulters, Hannitys, Randi Rhodeses of the world say things to purposely make your blood boil. They call the enemy “them” and suggest that “they” are something less than human. When you dehumanize the opposition, it’s easier for you to think things about them that are horrible. If they aren’t human, then it’s easier to think of killing them. It worked in Nazi Germany with the Jews; it worked with our treatment of the slaves in America. If they are not like us, they aren’t us, and we can treat them worse than we treat animals.
Lastly, both sides trumpet the end of America As We Know It, claiming the other side is solely responsible for the deconstruction and causing the emotional among us to panic. If America, like the once great Roman Empire, is truly on its downslide, the real fault is those who break apart the populous by appealing to its volatile emotional sensibilities. The bigger a dividing line they dig in the sand, the further apart from each other we become. And then it’s easier for us to throw the first rocks across to chasm that start the civil war. What kind of country are we if we fight amongst ourselves instead of stand together to face the bigger issues of the world?
I’m asking for this hate mongering to stop. I know that no one listens to me and it doesn’t really matter what I say. I’m just frustrated and hurt by the whole war of wills between two groups of people while the rest of us sit in the middle fuming at both sides. Acts of anger are escalating to new levels in this country and I fear it will draw out more madmen who take these voices as the gospel for all that is true. Madmen who can’t tell the difference between hate speech and reality are bound to come forth out of the shadows because this crazed environment is not keeping them in check.
This attack on the TVUUC is no different, to me, than those crazy Pro-Lifers who shoot doctors at abortion clinics. It never ceases to amaze me the logic of the killer–kill a doctor to save a baby’s life. Take out the innocent parties because you can’t handle working through something you don’t agree with in a rational, logical way. Guess what, folks: I believe God sees all murder the same way. I do not condone violent acts done in the name of God. All murder is wrong. The last time I checked the Ten Commandments, the rule did not read, “Thou shall not kill. Unless the victim is an abortion doctor or a liberal.” There’s no asterisks by the Commandment with a footnote at the bottom explaining all the cases in which God considers it permissible to kill.
Are we all just slowly going insane? I think I’ve figured out why in the last year I’ve withdrawn myself from following politics as heavily as I used to–I’m just getting tired of arguing. My head aches and my stomach feels nauseous and I just don’t want to have any more debates with people about why I don’t like GW or who I think the next best president will be. Everyone’s so charged right now that you can’t have a rational debate without someone getting insulted and hurt as though what you say is a personal attack against them. I hold these shock jock political talk show hosts solely responsible for this climate because they have invoked emotions and craftily heightened the fervor of their listeners. They made a war out of something that was once a polite debate. We are just as guilty for allowing these hate mongers a forum in which to speak. And now, we’ve all got blood on our hands.
I hope we’re happy with what we’ve done.