Tuesday, October 16, 2007

A Time Out for Hate-Filled Rhetoric

Why do people hate Hillary Clinton? Probably no part of my day occupies more meaningless effort than briefly reviewing and deleting hateful, unfunny, demagogic e mails about Hillary Clinton. Her name provokes what is apparently a knee jerk reaction of sarcastic derision toward anything and everything about this person. From what I observe, the hate is rapidly becoming the central rallying cry for presidential hopefuls, if not an outright mandatory precondition of calling oneself a Republican. On rare occasion I will listen to Rush Limbaugh, generally because I am driving a long distance somewhere and his is the only voice on otherwise rap music-dominated radio stations. This occasional exposure gives me, I think, the advantage of a longitudinal overview of what the man is about and it always surprises me to hear a grown man sputter, yes sputter, like an indignant teenage girl about some imagined or overblown event in a truly hateful way. It amazes me that he was able to maintain his bluster throughout the Republican years of power in Washington as though so-called liberals (curiously he never defines the term, but I assume he means someone who disagrees with him on anyone of the many topics he considers himself an expert. I wonder if my disgust at his illegal pill-popping antics maakes me a liberal) were responsible for the failure of the Iraq war, the mountain of deficit that our children and grandchildren face and the approximate deaths of 100,000 from handguns since September 11th. I hear his hate, I feel his hate, and it continues to amaze me that despite all the man's obvious imperfections and shortcomings, his message of hate attracts such a following. The guy is smart, I give him that. It is and remains beyond my comprehension how the Bush and Cheney Republicans can have screwed up so much of what is/was (depends on the meaning of is) America is all about and, yet, Limbaugh can muster enough rage and hate about Democrats to sustain his role as the chief puppeteer of Republican belief and thoughts. Chief among his targets is, of course, Hillary. I notice that somehwere along the way, the pet phrase 'ditto-head' has been dropped by Limbaugh and the flock that follows him, presumably because it was because of the logical inference that many were allowing the man to do their thinking for them. Hate filled messages do injustice to our first amendment rights just as surely as warrantless wiretaps. Of course people are free to believe and say what they believe in. The danger is in accepting such talk as gospel and shutting one's mind, collectively and individually, to others who just might have something positive to add to the mix. Dialogue is what makes this country great. Limbaugh's stock in trade is belittlement, bullying and verbal abuse, and given the sorry state of affairs that Republican dogma coupled by sheer incompetency has caused, it's time to give the lady a break.

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