So TMZ, that bastion of reliable news, has reported a story about a McCain supporter being attacked in Pittsurgh. She was robbed and her face was mutilated. Here is the picture:
This is awful. The attacker was reported as having dark skin and wearing dark clothes. Does that mean that they were an Obama supporter? Did they attack this poor girl simply because she supports McCain? Was it politically motivated at all? People seem to think so because of the mark that looks, kind of , like a B, to some. To me it looks more like an 8, but that’s neither her nor there. I think this is a tragic thing to have happened, no matter what the motivations, or what the actual scar is supposed to be.
I think it is sad, though, that our nation is coming to this. Even if it wasn’t a politically motivated attack (it could have been, or it could not have been I have no idea), to mug someone and then brand them–cause that’s what this is, a branding–is shameful and atrocious. And if it was politically motivated, that is worse.
There is no reason to go around attacking and scarring people you disagree with politically. That is what people who are full of hate and fear do. This is the behavior of an extremist mentality, be it from the right or from the left, and it really has no place in a civilized society. I know America has its problems, but I would like to think that we are above doing things like this for political reasons. I mean people do shit like this all the time to others, but that us usually because they are just plain crazy, not because they are trying to make a political statement.
The violence and hate need to stop. We don’t need to go around shooting bear cubs or carving people’s faces up to make our political points. I know, America was founded on violence; that’s how we won our freedom. But that does not mean we need to continue the practice, when there are other options that have not even been considered; like a civil public discourse. Of course, it starts with our leaders, and there has been so much hate and mud slinging in politics the last 25 or so years (maybe longer, but I’m only 28 so that’s as far back as I go) that it has become acceptable.
We talk about change, and making this a better country. Well, maybe we should start with our behavior, and that of our leaders. If they spew hate, kick them out. We are a democratic republic, which means while our elected officials may make the decisions, we the people are the ones who decide who gets to lead us. If we are unhappy with the lies and hate and venom that spew forth all the time from our leaders, it is up to us to replace them with people who understand the power and importance of reasoning and integrity; it’s not just the leaders, though, it’s all the commentators, political analysts, and so called experts who do it too.
I mean have you tried watching Bill O’Reily or Chris Matthews? They may have some valid points to make, but all they do is shout. Shouting is not a civil discourse; in fact it discourages such a thing. The only thing shouting encourages is more shouting, and when we get to the point that we are raising our voices just to be hear over all the other loud voices, then we are not having a conversation; we are simply just having a shouting match.
People are people, and thankfully the American Constitution affords American people the right to free speech. How we choose to use that right is up to us, and I admit that at times I am guilty of shouting and irrational thought, that is part of being human, but more often than not I try to be civil and at least listen to what those who disagree with me have to say; I may not change my mind, but minds cannnot be changed until they listen to what others have to say, and not just hear it.
So please, leave the bears out of politics, and don’t go carving people’s faces, or lynching them, or assaulting them simply because their political/religiou/social views are different than yours. This country belongs to all of us; I think it is time that we remmeber that and start treating each other with respect and dignity. We don’t have to get along, but we should at least learn to listen and be civil with one another. Maybe then we can start working on other, important issues.