From one of my two or three regular readers in reaction to this (by the way, the emailer is hardly a leftie):
You know, call me slow on the uptake, but this just hit me.
Liberals will call for all members of BushCo to be tried as war criminals, as they should be. But I’ve yet to see anyone call for Bush to receive a bullet between the eyes.
It’s only the conservatives & rednecks who would see Obama be killed. Or see someone spit on. Or someone else called horrible names.
But they claim to represent the majority of Americans. I bet that if the majority of Americans were polled, they would see things differently.
Aside: I don’t think I’ll take that bet. I think the majority of Americans do not consider throwing bricks through office windows and threatening children optimal ways of petitioning one’s elected representatives incongruously assembled.
I have wondered about this myself: the calls for hatred and violence from the right seem frequent; those from the left, so rare that I cannot think of one off the top of my head.
I haven’t addressed it, because, back in my younger days when I was marching in protests, I heard a lot of pretty horrible things come from the mouths of anti-war activists. I wondered whether writing about it would be a pot-kettle-black kind of thing.
These days are different, of course. Back then, to get a platform, you had to get noticed by the press. Now anyone can set up a blog or a social networking account and have a uncensored megaphone. (Getting noticed may be something else altogether.)
As I think of it, though, I don’t recall anyone who was remotely a mainstream opponent of the Viet Namese War who would have even thought of calling for the assassination of a public figure; the protesters wanted less killing, not more. Even the looniest loons, the ones who thought bombing stuff was a means of protesting bombings, tried to bomb buildings when they were empty.
I don’t think anyone shouted “baby killer” (then an anti-war slur, rather than an anti-abortion one) or “You lie” from the floor of Congress back in those days.
The reservoir of hatred on the political right in this country disturbs one.
The Republican Party’s actions not only to appeal to but also to foment the hatred disgusts one.