Ah, the Democrats got their thongs in a bunch this week because this column dared — dared, mind you — suggest President Barack Obama is not the epitome of perfection.
The emails that flowed over the e-transom were, shall we say, less than gracious. I haven’t been called so many names since my first marriage.
Some simply suggested I go to hell, go straight to hell and forget about passing “go” or collecting $200. Others stringed so obscenities together that I stopped counting.
You gotta love rabid partisanship. It keeps anger management counselors in business.
Of course, I’ve heard all this before. Got the same thing from Republicans about this time eight years ago when I raised questions about the love of their lives — George W. Bush.
How dare I attack their icons?. Who the hell do I think I am?
The fun thing about partisans is that they are so easy to rile. They become so myopic, so focused on the illusionary superiority of their singular point of view that they lose all sense of reality.
To the left, George W. Bush and Republicans are agents of Satan. To the right, Obama and Democrats are godless commies who want to drive the nation to socialism.
Both sides will scream to high heaven if you suggest they are partisan. They claim they question their leaders but then they usually add that the other side is worse. Even Democrats who complain now about some of the Bushian policies of Obama usually add the caveat that “he’s not as bad as Bush.”
Neither extreme view is true, of course, but truth has no place in a partisan world. To paraphrase an old cliche, truth is the first casualty of war and politics. Truth and its companion logic cannot exist in a partisan world where one-sided viewpoints must dominate and coalitions are for wimps.
If coalition-building and consensus became integral in today’s governing process, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Keith Olbermann, Ed Schultz and other partisan progandists like them would be on the unemployment line like too many other Americans.
Rather than look for a solution, all partisans want to do is bitch and moan about the perceived faults of the other side. The other side must be demonized, not embraced. Differing opinions must be ridiculed, not considered and opposing points of view do not — in their minds — have a place, even in a so-called “free” society.
America cannot continue down this course of self-destruction. Americans cannot continue to ignore democracy while attempting to import it to other parts of the world.
We, as Americans, cannot resolve our nation’s internal conflicts until we resolve the conflicts within ourselves.
How do we do this?
First of all, let’s stop shouting at each other.
Then let’s start listening.
Can it be that simple?
But it’s a start.