Let me be clear about something: The hateful rhetoric runs both ways. It's maddening, discouraging, distasteful and juvenile.
In viewing the recent video made by Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer that appears on YouTube, I decided to read through the comments. The more I read, the more aghast I became. The comments were of the most vile and despicable in nature. NC-17 stuff, honestly.
Two things started to pop out at me as I read. One, the majority of hate speech was running decidedly in favor of those coming from—wait for it—leftists. (This can't make reasonable and fair-minded liberals proud. But the right-wingers shouldn't be puffing their chests, either.)
And two, not one moderate voice from either side step in and denounced. That, to me, is the more disturbing part. More on that after I subject you to NC-17 comments.*
"why cant she just die... i mean i dont really wish death on anyone but if i did, you know... just die!"
"fuck u hoe racist bitch"
"This imbecile's popularity is based soley on being anti-Mexican, so her being a drugged out zombie is ok... pathetic"
"She is mad, cuz her crack pipe broke..lol.. she looks a real crackhead hooker..she looks like freddy krueger. Go Play Bingo Stop on Hate.KKK,Nazi Bicth"
Racist Bitch!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! coming from an immigrant family her self....DO I SEE A NEXT HITLER......I THINK I DO!!!!!!! THATS WHY ARIZONA IS AS BROKE AS IT IS....lame ass governer who doesnt know SHIT!!!!
And from the right:
"go take back your own country shitass.....where in a depression, we don't need your sorry ass here!!!"
"Fuck you chicken shit! You ILLEGAL? Watch and see how BIG she wins in Nov you Fucking Pocho!"
I honestly believe what needs to be done—and it matters not a whit whether you're a right-winger, left-winger or in between—is to denounce people like this. (Or, in the case of Muslims, denounce and openly call for an end to the violence that blasphemes their religion.)
The idiots from above are easy to spot. Yet it's people who we think are smart, like the WaPo's Eugene Robinson or NYT's Paul Krugman, that subtly cast and brand those who oppose the current party in power as 'racists'. They are more dangerous because they wield such tremendous influence due to their medium. The same can be said Fox's Glenn Beck who called Supreme Court Justice Sotomayor a "racist" and accused Obama being a "racist." Really? Seriously?
Look, people like this are sharp impediments on the road to truth. They flatten the tires on the issue(s) and make it impossible to get anywhere near a solution or to engage in rational and studied disagreement and debate.
The solution? Kick them out of the road every time you see it, moderates. And then maybe, just maybe, we might get back Reasonable Discourse-ville. If we were ever there at all.
*The thread was hijacked by about 4 rather bizarre individuals flaming one another, so I kept my selections apart from them.