I'm quoting my fellow blogger, D.B. Echo (at Another Monkey). It's getting really scary. I've already commented about Sarah Palin's apparent pleasure when people at her rallies scream, "Kill him!"
I got another example yesterday. I have a friend who lives in a suburb of San Francisco and has an Obama/Biden sticker on her car. The other day, she said "a couple of guys" made "ugly remarks" at her as she drove past them. Then she stopped at a light, and a well-dressed, prosperous-looking woman in a prosperous-looking car stopped next to her, rolled down the window and screamed, "Traitor!"
When did it become treason to disagree with someone? When did it become treason to want to change the government? This is what the Republican tactics of the last eight years have brought us to - they've been telling us, ever since 9/11, that anyone who disagrees with them is unpatriotic and possibly treasonous, and we must support them so we'll be "safe."
Do you all feel "safe" now? Is that why tens of thousands of people turn out to see Barack Obama and cheer for him, because they feel "safe"? I certainly don't feel safe if my neighbors feel they can scream insults at me because they disagree with me.
And the conservative commentators hammer this home on Fox News daily - Limbaugh. Hannity. O'Reilly. Coulter. In any organization, the tone comes from the top; and the top of this organization tells us that dissent is treason. The whirring sound you hear is Thomas Jefferson, spinning in his grave.
I don't claim they're treasonous (although they'd say I am). I say they're wrong; but what's really distressing is that they're so rude. Those who disagree are not merely wrong, they have to be insulted, and assailed as stupid and treasonous. And the conservatives lie - the oft-repeated McCain claim that Obama sponsored legislation authorizing giving sex education to kindergartners is a barefaced lie, repeatedly debunked by www.factcheck.org; and yet McCain keeps saying it, and claims it's true. This is Orwellian.
When did we lose civil discourse? When did it become impossible to discuss certain issues without falling back on slogans and insults? I have to admit my generation, the Baby Boomers, carry some blame for this. We were the ones who screamed slogans at rallies and labeled anybody we disagreed with as "pigs." So, we had something to do with the demise of civil discourse. But we weren't alone.
The most important question about civil discourse is not who stopped it. It's - how do we get it back?? I hate this. I hate conflict and screaming. But if I don't scream back, I'm leaving the field to the liars.