Here’s the deal. I came out a while ago as a commie pinko liberal hippie. Politics, social justice and advocacy are major passions in my life and I was going to write a well-reasoned, thoughtful post next week about how neglecting to write about those subjects is making me feel inauthentic and like I’m hiding big parts of my soul from my own self. I was going to introduce a series of periodic soapbox posts gently so I don’t scare anyone with my commie pinko liberal hippie ranting but now I’m going to skip that and just plunge right into the ranting part because of some assholes in Kentucky.
I’m also going to cuss a lot because I’m too fucking angry to come up with better words. Sorry ’bout that.
See, here’s the deal. There’s a Senate race going on in Kentucky between a Democrat who doesn’t get much coverage because he’s not very interesting and Rand Paul who is extremely interesting because he’s the son of past Presidential hopeful Congressman Ron Paul, the man who first experienced the Colbert bump. Rand Paul is a libertarian with some ideas about the Civil Rights Act and Americans with Disabilities Act that are so far out of the mainstream that the GOP sent handlers to Kentucky after he won the primary to sit on him and not let him talk out loud in front of people until the last possible second. Now, he’s talking up a storm and making people angry, which is fine. He’s also making other people love him, which is also fine.
One of the people on the Hate Rand Paul front was a lady who works for liberal commie pinko hippie organization MoveOn.org. She went running up to him to present him with a fake employee of the month award from the fake RepubliCorp that MoveOn has made up. While she was doing that someone either tripped or pushed her and then STOMPED ON HER HEAD while she was on the ground. Then someone stomped on the recently-operated-on foot of a Rand Paul supporter.
Then my fucking head exploded.
This morning on my way to the Metro I saw a Republican candidate for state senate standing outside my metro stop. I’m planning to vote against this guy next week but instead of stomping on any part of his body, I simply smiled and said “Good morning.” You know why I did that? Because I’m not a cock-smoking asshat who thinks violence is a viable solution to ideological disagreement.
Look, we’re having an election. Again. We have them every two years. People feel passionately about them. People get all fired up and say all kinds of shit and half the candidates are idiots who have to take out ads explaining that they’re not witches and Saturday Night Live has to do skits about it and that’s just the way it goes. I’ve been an election watcher for a long time and I can tell you with absolute certainty that, despite strong feelings on both sides, the only people who will suffer any immediate effect the day after the election are the candidates and their staff. The rest of us will see no change. None at all. The House may go Republican, governors may have to move out of their mansions, Sharon Angle may usurp Harry Reid but none of us are gonna die. Or be richer. or poorer. Or anything. It will just be Wednesday. And by Thursday we’ll be gearing up to do it again in two more years.
Which is what makes the Kentucky Stomping Incidents even more appalling.
The crowd outside that debate wasn’t angry mob staging a violent coup to oust a dictator: they were there to watch a two white guys in suits talk a lot about why they should get a job where they’ll get to talk some more. No one’s life is at stake. No one’s home or family is going to be lost or saved because of the outcome of the Kentucky Senate race. No one is in immediate danger. There was no self-defense needed. Instead we have cretins doing harm for no purpose at all.
And we wonder why kids are bullies.
Folks, shit like this makes me think that we are not mature enough as society to handle the responsibility of maintaining civility. We have political candidates who tell their followers to “reload” when things don’t go their way and we have activists stomping on each other and we have a Senate Minority Leader who literally said that if he takes majority power next week, he’ll use his position to focus entirely on defeating the President in the next election. What the fuck? How about we all use all that energy to gin up solutions to major problems instead of just generating more anger, more rage, and eventually more violence?
Politicians need to be the vanguard of civility in discourse and stop demonizing their opponents because none of them, not a one, is actually as bad as their opponents say. And we voters need to stop demonzing the members of the opposition party because none of them are as bad and Fox News and MSNBC want us to think. We’re all Americans. All of us. No one wants to destroy America. No one wants to see other Americans fail. So all of us need to grow the fuck up and treat everyone else like they’ve grown the fuck up and focus on the solution, not the problem, and certainly not on what names to call other people.
Rant over. Whew.
OK, I’m going back to my much-needed blogging break. I’ll be back next week, hopefully feeling calmer.