By now, certainly you’ve heard of the incredible flap caused by John Kerry’s words the other day. I’m going to break my self-imposed exile from political subjects to say a few things about this. However, my take is more philosphical, so perhaps I can be forgiven for jumping into the fray.
As you can tell from this site, I really am a Douglas Adams geek. The
Hitchhiker’s Guide series of books were the only ones ever to make me laugh out loud (waking Lintilla in the process). One character I have never been able to get out of my mind is Agrajag . Agrajag is the large, mad, fat, bat-like creature, who was inadvertantly killed by Arthur Dent in every single one of his previous incarnations. For whatever reason, every single “life” of Agrajag was ended by Arthur.
This caused Agrajag to hate Arthur with the deepest, most seething hate ever seen. This leads to the funniest, most pathetic scene in the whole series (described here by the Hitchiker’s Guide Project):
After Agrajag became aware of his many, many deaths, he diverted Arthur to a ‘Cathedral Of Hate’ in order to take his revenge.
He got it wrong, tho, and brought Arthur to the Cathedral before one of his deaths actually occurred. In his anger, he tried to kill Arthur anyway, and wound up dying. Again.
Sometimes, we let politics have way too prominent a place in our lives, and when we lose (as happens frequently in politics) we become Agrajag. Everything we do, everything we say, even think is another building block in our Cathedral of Hate. It overcomes us, makes us highly irrational, many times makes us do things that lead to our own undoing.
There was a time in 1998 – 2000 when we on the right became Agrajag. Bill Clinton had beaten us at every turn (we were the good guys in the government shutdown of 1995), and he turned it against us. To those of us on the right, impeachment seemed quite rational (he HAD broken the law), but, in retrospect, it was madness. To this day, conservatives cannot let it go.
Well, my friends, this is where the Left is today. Their hatred of George W Bush has consumed them. Every ounce of their being is dedicated to his demise. And, just as the Right did in 1998, the Left feels that the rest of the country shares the same passion of hatred. There are cathedrals of hate spread all over the internet, different denominations: Bushitler, Shrub, Chimpy, and the more general “Repug”.
It was this mindset, I believe, that caused Senator Kerry to speak his mind. He was comfortable, among friends. I’ll take him at his word: his intention was to insult Bush, not the troops. But his wording and phrasing caused the statement to be an incredibly stupid thing to say 1 week out of an election. It may be only a few words, but “Study hard, or you’ll end up in Iraq” is loaded with all kinds of implications; Kerry cannot escape the “or”. I really don’t think he meant it that way. But I DO think his hatred of George W Bush caused him to say something that he now wished he hadn’t.
Things have gotten completely out of hand. Politics has become entirely too personal. We should be brothers in arms, deciding on how we will handle a few policy disagreements. Instead, we call each other wingnut and moonbat, we call the First Lady a “Stepford Wife”, and the former First Lady “Shrillary Witch”. We have silly arguments over who loves God more. We have built Catherdrals of Hate so strong and high, I have to wonder: if a real enemy attacked the US, would we even defend one another? Have we, finally, lost “The Water’s Edge”? I seriously don’t know.
If you find yourself using terms like “moonbat” or “wingnut”, if you would never socialize with a person on the opposite end of the political spectrum, if you find yourself getting physically ill whenever George W Bush or Ted Kennedy get on the television, if you find yourself spinning the recent words of John Kerry or Rush Limbaugh, I have some advice, from someone who’s been there. My advice would be that of The Old Man in the Hospital to Larry Donner in “Throw Momma From the Train” :
The Hate is no good for you. Let it go. Or I’m leaving you.