Ok,that's a terribly broad and sweeping generalization,sorry for that.But I am fed up.
I've been patient.I've been tolerant.I've been civil.Believe it or not,I've even been rather nice to my fellow neighbors and community members who don't share my religion or politics.We're all in this together,aren't we?
Yesterday was the tipping point for me. I ran out to get some pool chemicals after dinner and what do I see? Right there in the Lowe's parking lot? A big,black SUV with a"Liberal Hunting License"slapped on the back window(also,see this).And a W sticker.And a Ralph Fucking Reed(and yes,that IS his middle name, for I have decreed it so)bumper sticker.Nice.Yeah,there's your Homeland feeling of Security right there baby.
This right wingnutty hostility is nothing new here in the South,sometimes it's even kind of funny.A guilty pleasure to be sure,because making fun of the impaired isn't really all that difficult or sporting,but sometimes,you just can't not do it.It's either that or go completely insane.I prefer humor over insanity myself,but hey,that's just me.
In the run up to the 2004 election,and to only a slightly lesser degree in 2000,the fear and loathing in the air was so thick around here you could cut it with a chainsaw.Every TV in every public venue(bars,restaurants,even stores that sell TVs)was tuned to Fox news.In line at the store, conversations in parking lots, people at the next table in a restaurant,at the pharmacy,conversations inevitably drifted to war and politics.When people are relaxed and in their comfort zones,their guard is down,and if you pay attention,you hear some amazing things around here.
"Damn liberals shouldn't even be allowed to vote.They're lucky we let them,shows how open minded we are."(I shit you not,I heard this while waiting to get my car serviced in early 2004.I could spend a whole post on that one alone,but let's keep going)
"You take God out of the schools,and of course our kids won't be ready for college when they graduate.Those liberals want to ban the Bible too,you just wait and see what happens if one of them gets elected around here.They have to be stopped,by whatever means necessary."(and this woman holds a job and drives a motor vehicle,amazing)
"Democrats are going to STEAL the elections,mark my words."(if true,this proves Democrats are lousy criminals,don'tcha think? I smell a campaign slogan in there someplace.)
"I'm tired of being persecuted for being a Christian.Just the other day some stupid liberal was complaining about the kids praying before their soccer game.We ran him and his wife and that little brat of theirs outta there fast."(never mind the 3 new churches and enormous private Christian school down the street-which has a long waiting list,or the fact that irony is just completely lost on these people.Or how objecting to public prayer qualifies as persecution.Or how the guy just knew for a fact this person was a Liberal.)
You see,I don't think that it's that there are really NO progressives here,it's just that they've been scared and intimidated into silence for the most part.And honestly,who the hell can blame them for being scared of this crap?
I think the time has come to ask these so called "conservatives",many of whom claim to be "Christian"a few questions:
So,if I'm to understand you correctly(because heaven forbid you'd ever be misunderstood)you're actually saying that it's perfectly OK by you for a neighbor to shoot one of your neighbors for being a registered Democrat?
Or perhaps what you really mean is that it's perfectly normal and sane to advocate that Americans arm themselves and go hunt down and kill the American family down the street because they hold liberal beliefs?
Would it be alright with you if,in a random house to house search on your street,liberal families were dragged out of bed in the middle of the night,taken into their front yards and lynched?Would you enjoy seeing those bodies hanging in the trees right next to your kid's school bus stop?
What would you do if I had a "Conservative Hunting License"sticker on my car?Would you be appalled?Outraged?Driven to violence against me?
Look,I know this moron with the hunting license sticker is probably full of shit and couldn't fight his way out of a wet paper bag.Most of the people in this country who cheer for violence cry when they stub a toe or go home and kick the dog around when someone cuts them off in traffic.It's real easy to run your yap about shit like that and most people are too self centered to do anything that might earn them a bruise or interfere with their TV schedule.But there also comes a time when common sense should be the rule,rather than the exception.Not to mention just being an overall decent human being.
With Freedom of Speech also comes the assumption that most Americans are not complete idiots and understand cause and effect(something that is completely lost on the Party of Moral Responsibility).The idea here being that unpopular,disturbing or perverse ideals and rhetoric would be relagated to the fringes(not shut down or censored),not go on to become a mainstream sensibility.The Founders counted on us not ever forgetting that common sense and at least a basic understanding of integrity would be the keys to a successful democratic republic.Nowadays,being a thug is not only acceptable,it's rewarded(see Rove,Karl),it's a goal to aspire to.
And someone's gonna get hurt or killed eventually as a result,it's only a matter of time.
I hesitate to use Rwanda as a comparison here,but hate speech via hate radio played a HUGE role in the genocide there.That's rather hard to ignore.Inexpensive AM radios were handed out freely,and information was given out over the airwaves as to where"the cockroaches"could be found and exterminated.And we all know how that turned out.
No,we aren't Rwanda,and we should thank our lucky stars we aren't.
However,it does prove that hate speech incites violence if people are fearful and driven to see the "enemy"in anyone that's not exactly like them. And maybe it's past fucking time for this shit to be pushed out of the public discourse,scorned,and made unpopular again.
I keep a Sharpie marker in my glove box.Mostly because I send alot of packages to far away family and friends,and it comes in handy to mark out old delivery bar codes from re-used boxes.Sometimes I'm in a hurry and forget to do it at home,hence the marker in the car.I found a new use for it yesterday.
In bold black letters I wrote on the hunting license sticker:
I AM ANTI AMERICAN.KICK ME.