Monday, October 13, 2008

Politics and Hate, Anger

As I've noted recently, the current meme in the media is that McCain supporters are angry. I suppose this is to make you think that McCain is somehow unfit to be President because of this. Ironic, isn't it, that one of the negatives on McCain earlier was that he couldn't control his temper. Now his supporters think he is being to nice to Obama. How times change...

This post is really to get you thinking about politics and how hate and anger play a role. Consider the following two very long, very thought-provoking posts.

The first starts with an email from a reader to Instapundit. This reader is angry about the unfairness of the election process and is going to take it out on Obama. To quote him:
This is surely small of me, but if Obama wins, I plan on giving him as much of a chance as the Democrats gave George Bush. I will gleefully forward every paranoid anti-Obama rumor that I see, along with YouTube footage of his verbal missteps. I will laugh and email heinous anti-Obama photoshop jobs, and maybe even learn photoshop myself to create some. I'll buy anti-Obama books, and maybe even a "Not My President" t-shirt. I'm sure that the mainstream bookstores won't carry them, but I'll be on the lookout for anti-Obama calendars and stuff like that. I will not wish America harm, and if the country is hurt (economically, militarily, or diplomatically) I will truly mourn. But i will also take some solace that it occurred under Obama's watch, and will find every reason to blame him personally and fan the flames.
Glenn finds this attitude troubling. He says:
I understand where he's coming from, but . . . . Well, it makes me sad to think that this is where we are. Personally, if Obama's elected I intend to give him a chance and weigh him on his actions, not his party. But I agree that he's not likely to get much of a honeymoon -- except from the press, which has been giving him one for about a year already.
I find this discussion fascinating. For eight years, the left has push the image of Bush as the intellectual equivalent of a lemur monkey. They have been disrespectful beyond description. You can almost see the hate boiling inside them when they talk about George Bush.

How then should the right respond to an Obama presidency? My first reaction--and hopefully yours--is to take the high road. Respect the office if you can't respect the person holding it. Judge Obama on his actions, as Glenn suggest, not on your fears.

That said I can already see I will find it difficult to do so. I don't like Obama's past. I don't like that someone with his background gets to be President of the United States. I have to force myself to be calm about it and to realize I don't approve of every past President either. This will just be one more.

What makes it so difficult is the level of hate and anger that brews on the left--this is the subject of the second post I will link. Michelle Malkin has catalogued some of the more outrageous examples of hate against McCain and Palin. As an example, here's artwork calling Palin a MILP--a Mother I'd like to Punch.

Or this:

And this:

What level of self-restraint does it take for people that support McCain and Palin not to mock and attack Obama in the same way? Would you blame someone if they used the same tactics?

In the end I agree with Glenn at Instapundit. How sad we have sunk to this level of national "discourse". But read both of the posts I linked here and come to your own conclusions.

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