The Rockaway Irregular by Stuart W. Mirsky ‘Herd’ On The Street
The Rockaway Irregular by Stuart W. Mirsky
‘Herd’ On The Street
It’s getting ugly out there. The other day I was surfing the Net and came across a site with e-mailed comments concerning the current political contest. The bulk of the comments were hostile to Bush, conservatives and Republicans . . . in spite of the fact that the accompanying survey showed a 56% majority of respondents in favor of the current administration and its policies. Why the discrepancy? For one thing it seems that Bush opponents are just madder than anyone else. This is evident from the quality of contemporary political discourse as seen in the current crop of Democratic presidential hopefuls, their operatives and party leaders.
If Teddy Kennedy can say that Bush fraudulently cooked up the Iraqi campaign for political purposes and bribed world leaders to support him without a shred of supporting evidence, if Richard Gephart can lambaste the president as a "miserable failure," if Howard Dean (and Wesley Clark before him) can suggest that the spurious allegation that Bush knew about the 9/11 attacks in advance and allowed them to happen is an "interesting theory," and former Clinton Secretary of State Madelaine Albright can aver that the Bush administration might just have Osama bin Laden under wraps somewhere until the politically opportune moment to reveal his capture, what can we expect of the Democratic rank and file?
But truthfully, I was flabbergasted by the level of unthinking hostility and pure vitriol these e-mails from self-avowed supporters of "anybody but Bush" revealed. Here are some of the choicer comments: "If everybody knew the entire dossier of ‘Baghdad Bush’ ...Any Democrat or Any independent could beat Bush! Only the coverup of all the failures, deceit, corruption and lying would keep Bush as the continuing ‘current resident’ of the White House!"
"The Only ‘Good’ Republican...Is A Defeated Republican!"
"Gore would not have let Bin Lauden (sic) get away. Gore has no business dealings with Bin Lauden. Gore would have let the UN attack Iraq thus saving American lives and money. Gore had no business dealings with Saddam either, nor did he want to steal any money! The minority that voted for Bush are little better than traitors to our great country!"
"The stupid conservatives out there forget that Bush did not win the popular vote!!!! Don’t Forget People... Gore Won By Half A Million Votes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
"It Apears That 56% Of Stupid Americans Prefer Bush, A Man Whose Goal Is To Sacrifice And Kill As Many Of Their Young People As He Can In Order To Enrich Himself And His Friends. . . Americans Are Sick People!"
"Most of you Bush lovers are so uneducated - you are incompetent to vote. You could not pass an 8th grade test on American Government. . . .Yet somehow you call yourselves ‘patriots’. Your stupidity is astounding."
"If you had told me two years ago that Osama bin Laden would still be at large in December of 2003, I would have never believed it. Bush has failed his most important mission. .
"All Of You Are Fooling Yourself If You Think Bush Is Going To Be Re-Elected. He Sent Our Troops To Die....For What!!! For His Own Personal Vengence And Its Not Fair!! I Will Not Vote For Him... .....He Will Go Down As One Of The Most Unqualified Presidents In History!!"
"I Hate Bush Soooo Much I’m sorry but I do. I just can’t stand him."
"Name one person who could possibly be hated more than our own GWB? OBL? No f***ing way. Saddam? No f***ing way."
"I’m sorry but anybody is better than bush. i’m so sick and tired of him pushing his ‘christian values’ down everybody’s throat. . . . i feel that he’s taking care of a lot of unfinished business from his daddy being in office at taxpayer’s expense."
"I respect most peoples decision, but Anyone that supports George Bush is a racist, ignorant, moron which lacks the character to help build this nation lead this world into prosperity in peace."
"Bush spells only destruction and hatred."
Well that’s a sampler of what I found and, I fear, an indication of what’s happened to political discourse in this country today.
Perhaps it tells more about the condition and state of mind of the people who typed these remarks than it does about the nature of the Bush presidency or Bush’s real chances for re-election. But it also tells us something about the mindset and attitudes of the political opposition in this country and what the self-indulgent shift to leftwing extremism on the part of today’s Democratic bigwigs is doing to this country’s sense of civility and our precious democratic process.
Whatever the outcome in 2004, there is likely to be Still more of this bitterly poisonous acrimony. If Bush wins, it will further polarize those who so resent their loss of the presidency in the last election that they have lost all sense of proportion and comity with their fellow Americans who supported Bush. And if he loses?
Does anyone seriously think that a loss, in the face of this kind of vicious character assassination, will not embitter Republicans, too? Are we in for a cycle of greater and greater anger and polarization, then?
If so, it’s clear who’s to blame . . . those leaders who seem unable to step away from their own ambitions and prefer, instead, to fan these flames of bitterness to animate their political cadres in hopes of gaining entry to the Oval Office.
But then what?