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Repost: To My Conservative Friends and Colleagues

Reposted for topicality and to enhance my reputation as a seer.

Who needs to die before you speak?

We’ve already had one death arguably attributable to this insanity of refusing to recognize the authority of a duly elected president and Congress. How many more will it take?

Sure, the guy was a raving loon, but there are a lot of people out there right now who are being told insane things and believing them. They believe a man could be elected president without anyone verifying his citizenship. They believe Congress could and would pass a bill that mandates euthanasia. They believe they’re about to be rounded up and shipped to gulags or concentration camps for disagreeing with the administration’s policies. It doesn’t matter that those things are insane. These people have been whipped into a fine state of paranoia.

It’s easy to tell yourself you’re not like them, that you merely disagree with the changes that are happening. After all, you’re not insane, just conservative.

Will that matter when the next person dies over this? Representative David Scott has had a swastika painted on his office sign. Another representative was hung in effigy. Representative Brad Miller received a death threat. Senator Arlen Specter invited people to tell him what they thought about health care reform–held back the police who were concerned about violence and disruption–and still people screamed in his face and called him a tyrant. A man showed up to protest the president’s town hall meeting today wearing a gun and carrying a sign that said, “It is time to water the tree of liberty” (referencing Jefferson’s “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.”).

Those are just some of the politicians who are on the receiving end of violent anger. Fights are breaking out outside these meetings on health care. My husband was accused earlier this week, by someone who should know better, of planning to turn an old friend in for an “incorrect” political position. I can’t buy ammunition right now to go target shooting because it’s all sold out and has been for months. This whole thing is teetering on the edge. Someone else is going to die soon. Maybe lots of someone elses.

It will be your fault.

“Why?” you ask, “I’m not the one feeding their paranoia.” No, you’re not, but you’re the only people who can stop it.

They’re not going to listen to us. We liberals are already traitors and, somehow, simultaneously Nazis and communists. They believe we’re going to round them up and put them to sleep. They believe that if they listen to us, they die.

Some of them will listen to you because they know you’re on the same side. Some won’t listen, exactly, but will find their first reasons to doubt the lies because you speak against them. Some won’t listen to anyone but Rush and the rest of talk radio and their friends at Fox.

That’s where you need to do your most talking. Talk to the stations and tell them you won’t watch or listen while they refuse to speak against the violence. Tell them you can see how they’re dividing the country and they have a responsibility to do better. Tell them the same thing I’ve told you: Unless they speak against it, they who have so much influence, they are complicit in the violence. They condone with their silence.

Then tell their advertisers the same thing. Then the conservative politicians.

Unless you want the violence, you have to tell those in a leadership position to lead their people in a different direction. They represent you, and you haven’t argued up to this point that they don’t. If they lead us into more violence and death, they are doing it in your name.

If you don’t speak now, the next death will be your fault.

Comments

  1. says

    Part of the problem is that there was some very extreme rhetoric going on during the Bush administration on the left, especially people claiming that Bush would postpone the 2008 election. I don't think there was anywhere near the level of paranoia and rabble-rousing that is occurring by conservatives right now, but it does make the left look slightly more hypocritical. Unfortunately, I suspect that we will see more deaths before the conservatives get a grip on the more violent and stupid members of their base. Keep in mind that even after the Oklahoma City bombing and Ruby Ridge, the right-wing did very little to tone down rhetoric. And the rhetoric now is if anything even more extreme.