Thursday, June 18, 2009

In politics shared hatreds are almost always the basis of friendships.

So said Alexis de Tocqueville whose Democracy in America remains one of the most insightful treatments of both ever written.

That observation is one of the reasons that I am disturbed by the concerted effort of the New York Times and others on the American left to portray some ill defined thing called "the right" (but which includes mainstream conservatives) for the violence committed by a few disturbed individuals.

If they're not talking about you, then why worry about it? This an oddly insensitive question. Assume that the Department of Homeland Security or the editorial page of the New York Times tried to blame "populists" for a few twisteds that killed wealthy businessmen who they regarded as "leeches" enjoying riches built on the bodies of the poor. What if Fox News blamed the anti-war movement for the murder of a military recruiter? If you're not one of them, why worry about it? If you are not one of those "bad" blacks that a racist rails about, why should you care?

The problem with Krugman, Rich and Napolitano is that they paint with a broad brush and create the impression that the other side is somehow associated with "hate" and steadily push opposing discourse beyond the pale. See, e.g., Rich's claim that critics of Judge Sotomayor's racialist notions of the law are little different than a Nazi murderer or referring to the Obama administration's strong statism as "socialist" is the equivalent of calling the President a "terrorist."


Billiam said...

Umm, Mr. Rick. I believe that many on the left called Bush a terrorist. Of course, they also equate Christians like myself to terrorists, so I guess I'm not surprised.

illusory tenant said...

Isn't it just a tad disingenuous to equate political attitudes with "race"?* The former are subject to reasonable persuasion, the latter an immutable artifact of biology.

Let me add one more query to your litany: Suppose you were continually told that, as a non-Christian, you are morally defective and evil and will be tortured and burnt for all eternity, condemned to suffer.

In that case, I know they're talking about me. Yet I've never lost a moment's sleep over it.

* One of these days, we need to abandon that entire concept.