Over at the right-wing blog I read regularly, there have been a number of posts about the Dallas police shootings. I’ve skimmed the comments and tried to refrain from chiming in. I figured I’d let them all have their primal scream. But this comment got to me:
“a motorist shot an officer three times as the officer walked back to his car during a traffic stop.”
To you animals in Obama’s half of America…that will most certainly make cops less skittish during routine traffic stops. Do you want the police to act more civilized? Then clean up your rotten, uncivilized culture. You can’t have a civilized police force when your culture is corrupt as well as feral.
I responded with this:
And this is the kind of guilt by association, massive over-generalization and fingerpointing that is one of the reasons why we are such a divided country. It exists on both the right and the left and until it ends, we might as well give up. In your world, everybody who supports Obama is an animal. Everybody who supports Obama is either a part of or supports a “rotten, uncivilized culture.” Making these kinds of statements makes it impossible to even begin to have a conversation. Why bother? You’ve already prejudged me — which is entirely consistent with your entire comment pattern here on PL.
The guy who made the initial comment regularly accuses me of wanting men to be in bathrooms with little girls and other nefarious things because I’m a liberal. His comments usually are completely off-topic. And oddly enough, based on nothing I’ve never said. For instance the bathroom comment — I’ve never stated a position on the whole transgender bathroom issue because I don’t know what my position is. And yet, I’m tarred with what he thinks is an outrage.
His response to my comment above was this:
It’s certainly not my half of America that’s encouraged a culture to dumb itself down and become more violent.
Why bother, if you’re never to take responsibility for your votes. Just look at you, more angry at me than the garbage of your half of America now shooting cops for sport. There is a divide. The civilized half of America vs the not so civilized half.
To which I responded:
Odd, I don’t remember ever encouraging anybody to dumb itself down or become more violent. In fact, both of those concepts are anathema to everything I stand for. Odd also that you believe I’m angrier at you than at people who are shooting cops. You have absolutely no idea how I responded to the events of last night. Odd also that you suggest “my” half of America is now shooting cops for sport. One idiot at a protest at which hundreds, if not thousands, participated peacefully shot some cops and you have half of America shooting cops. Yes, there were a couple more incidents today. All of which are abhorrent and evil. But you’re still fundamentally wrong in your outrageous statements that tar “half of America” with the evils of a few idiots and madmen. Otherwise, you’re responsible for the idiot who shot up Planned Parenthood and the idiot who shot up the church in Charleston.
As I said … apparently, this is the one thing we can agree on … there is a divide. The divide is caused by the true believers on both sides who are completely unwilling to acknowledge any validity to the opinions of those with different perspectives. And you’re one of the people who engage in that — prejudging anybody and everybody who doesn’t toe your line. It makes it absolutely impossible to try to cross the divide. You sir are a prime example of the biggest reason for the divide.
During the course of the comments volleying back and forth on this thread and another on the same post, I was trying to get some acknowledgement of the point I made in my post last night. That there seems to be an unbridgeable divide that exists between the true believers of both sides who refuse to acknowledge any possibility that the other side may have some valid points. There seems to be a lack of interest in finding the middle ground. And this is what that got me, as other commenters, including the original commenter chimed in:
You are the problem. You are the one that attempts to create moral equivalency. Yes, there is passion on both sides of an issue but there is only one truth.
I tell you what – you clean up your side and get off your high horse. Your ilk has called us racists, sexist homophobes who joyfully push granny off the cliff for decades. And your side exists solely for power. Clean up your side then you can have the moral authority to preach to us. Otherwise your side gets what it gives. Perhaps we’ll even “bring a gun to a knife fight.”
But to your broader point regarding civility, give it a rest. In my experience it is only liberals who talk about finding common ground, not because they are interested in common ground but because it gives the illusion of open-mindedness. And since liberals love to view themselves as thoughtful and insightful, that illusion is all that matters.
In addition, liberals have no idea how demeaning our culture in general is to conservatives. Because your political positions tend to be default feel good positions- Save the Planet, Eracism, world peace, etc- it is easy for you and those who don’t think too hard about politics to assume that your opponents are stupid and evil – pro-war, anti- poor, etc. And since your feel good positions make you feel good about your basic humanity, you would never entertain the notion that your self-righteous smugness is nauseating. (It is.)
So keep looking for that middle ground you don’t really want to find, and keep imagining that you occupy the higher moral ground. Keep coming here and lecturing us about how unwashed we poor fools are. It’s what you liberals do best, and it is at least moderately entertaining.
The interesting thing about this comment is that when I bring this up I always, always make sure to say that it is a problem that exists on both sides, both liberal and conservative, right and left. I never claim, nor do I believe, that this is a problem that exists only on the right. I hang out on a couple of liberal blogs and the closed-mindedness there is just as bad.
Get off your moral pedestal. I think that in general Obama supporters are ignorant. You demonstrate that here with every post. I live and work amongst your type. I have no interest in “discussing” anything with you. Your posing as open minded is laughable. That you seem to think I (and other commenters here) want to be seen as open minded is downright hilarious. I despise what you stand for, though I certainly would defend your right to express your insipidity. I guess I just hope you understand that conservatives see through your BS even when you can’t.
if not the garbage that is your President, who’s rhetoric is whipping up cop assaults/killings all over the country than who? Other than you Obama voters who have enabled all this through your ignorance, corruption, and malice.
I asked for any evidence that Obama has encouraged assaults on cops. He couldn’t do it.
Save us your selective self righteous claptrap. Obama had the option like Lincoln to take the moral High ground. Instead he chose to wallow in the sewer of his divisive agenda. He ratifies barbarism. I would that Martin Luther King could be president right now and provide the words that this miscreant refuses to. I have nothing but contempt for you, who justify his careless and indeed deliberate divisive tactics.
No sir, you are a member of the plausible deniability class. Pure ostrich. Anything to avoid facing what is obvious. You want to parse words and relitigate every argument, anything to occupy space to keep the truth out of your mushy little brain. At best you are a wishful thinker, at worst you’re a cowardly ideologue, who gives quarter to miscreants and tyrants and prolongs their inevitable demise, but not before they wreak havoc and cause innocents to lose their lives. Anything to maintain your self-righteous posturing as the Arbiter between two extreme positions. I spit you out of my mouth. There is no middle between Good and Evil. Only the weak and addlebrained.
I’ve probably gone on too long with this. The truth is that if I had tried this kind of dialogue on a left-wing blog, the same thing would have happened. And there lies the rub. Those of us in the vast, mushy middle need to raise our voices. We need to drown out the noise of the extremes. They are destroying this country, and many others, with their extreme views and their true belief in their opinions and their causes.