A Response by a Conservative Thinker

A Response by a Conservative Thinker

Published: Jan 9, 2011 at 7:05 pm

In response to the article titled “Caught in the crosshairs…we reap what we sow…” by leftist Karen Porter in the Daily Local:

The events of yesterday in Arizona, in which a U.S. Congressional representative was shot in the head, with a bullet going through her brain, and a federal judge, a 9-year-old girl, a young man at the beginning of a wonderful professional career and preparing for his wedding, and, reportedly, three senior women who could have been any of us were shot and killed brings the culmination of the hate-mongering that has been building in this country for too long. We do not know yet the disturbed shooter’s motives, but we can see every day the climate that led up to his brutal acts.

We see and hear the hate speech every day on Fox “news” and hear it on “hate radio,” nationally and locally. We hear the hate speech spewing forth from the mouths of the right in an incessant drumbeat of “hate the President,” “hate Congress,” “hate the courts,” “hate your government,” “hate liberals,” “hate Democrats,” “hate immigrants,” “hate gays,” “hate environmental wackos” – HATE, HATE, HATE. We’ve seen it an teabagger rallies nationwide, we’ve seen and heard it in recent political campaigns.

We in West Chester have experienced the right’s hate-group language, visuals, and smears incessantly for three years now on the corner of High and Market every single Saturday morning at The Chester County Peace Movement’s peace vigils (now running every Saturday for 8 years). I’ve been called every vile name you can imagine, including a “Soviet.” Our own President Barack Obama has been called a Muslim, and horrible pictures defiling his image held up on posters by our local hate wackos. These people have never even tried to disguise their hate, with too many intimations of potential violence and use of weapon imagery.

Three years ago, I had to change many of my own personal habits out of threats from our own homegrown right-wing wackos – I don’t park in West Chester’s indoor parking lots any more, I cross the street if I see one of the wackos coming, I don’t take my beloved walks after dark in West Chester any more, I am on constant alert for what I know can happen at any time. (Not to worry – I’m not afraid; these days, it just comes with the turf, it’s part of life.)

We used to have many children at our peace vigils – parents don’t bring them any more because they don’t want them subjected to the hate speech and visuals, but they also don’t want them physically threatened. Many people, particularly older ones, who used to come to peace vigils, simply just don’t come any more. It’s too dangerous, they fear. We used to have more musicians, more peace music – some of our musicians also felt threatened or just didn’t want to be part of the vitriol.

So yesterday’s tragic event could have happened anywhere. We in CCPM know it could just as easily happen here. In the midst of the many “honks for peace” we hear every Saturday, we also get the angry faces, full of hate, that yell taunts and jeers at us as they speed by in their cars; we also get the middle fingers; we also get the hate-filled and hateful faces that we know could become something more at any moment. Every public official, every activist in this county faces the dangers of the hate-filled right-wing fanatics every day. It’s something we just learn to live with.

But why should we? Why should those people yesterday have been killed or wounded?

Why?  We are all  asking that this morning.

Karen Porter, Esq., Director
The Chester County Peace Movement*
Daily Local News Community Blog: http://chestercountyleftbank.tumblr.com/

Here is what I would say to Karen.

Interesting article. Do you watch Fox News everyday? If not, do you ever watch it? Can you give me some examples of these everyday occurrences of “hate speech” that you speak of? Can you give any examples of conservatives saying that we should hate immigrants, gays, environmentalist extremists, etc.? You seem to be outraged by conservative criticism of Obama but were you equally as outraged at the disgusting hatred that the far left showed toward Bush? I denounce some over the top criticism of Obama (Hitler comparisons, anything involving his race, etc.) but the truth is that the hatred directed toward Bush was arguably worse. He was called a racist, likened to Hitler, said to be worse than Saddam Hussein, and signs that said “Kill Bush” or something along those lines were not a rare sight at left wing protests. I could be wrong but I highly doubt that you denounced the despicable behavior of those on the far left. I also doubt you spoke out against Al Gore and the environmentalist extremists when a gunman, inspired by Al Gore, held hostages at the Discovery Channel headquarters because of some grievance over “global warming.” You also didn’t see conservatives using the incident en mass as a political tool to smear the left even though we knew what the motive was–which is not the case thus far for this present tragedy.

I urge you to count how many times you said the word hate in your article and then good luck finding such a high “hate” count in an article written by someone on the right. Your article is filled with derogatory terms such as “hate wackos,” “hate-filled right wing fanatics,” the vulgar and immature “teabagger,” and so on. I am sorry that you feel threatened and I have no way of knowing whether or not you are overstating the “danger” you face as a person with highly unpopular political views. I will say that you should not be threatened or intimidated for your views, however unpopular they may be. Our soldiers that you protest against are fighting for your right to speak freely and it is un-American to threaten or intimidate someone for their political views even if such views are perceived as anti-America. I can tell you that I have met many of the people who stand across the street from you in support of our troops and they are not hateful or violent in any way. The founder of the American Sheepdogs is a great guy. That is not to say that emotions are not going to flare when people who either served in the military themselves or have loved ones fighting now see people protesting the troops that are fighting for their very right to protest. As for the people driving by, there are some wackos that I have seen. One guy yelled out his window to “kill all the (expletive) Muslims” which was disturbing because I have a Muslim uncle and I know that there are many peaceful Muslims in the world and I don’t see how killing every member of a religion is any better than Nazism or Taliban rule. But so many cars drive by so a few crazies like him are to be expected.

You and I will probably never agree on many issues but we can and must be civilized. There is a lot of hatred in the political discourse in America and it is certainly not just those on the right that are to blame. In this article, any good points you may have are overshadowed by your dishonest attacks on Fox News, willful blindness to left wing (and Islam-inspired, for that matter) hatred, and excessive name calling of conservatives. If you want moderate folks to listen to your message you have to take this into consideration. I am happy that you are freely expressing your views because that is what America is all about and our troops are making incredible sacrifices to defend that right. The irony may escape you but that’s okay.

Sincerely,

Bill Hanrahan