Yesterday, my iPhone shuffled through reasons you can’t corral “the left” for damnation in the court of public opinion after U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise was shot.
It’s impossible to listen to the voices of Simon & Garfunkel, Bruce Springsteen, etc., and think “all liberals are bad.” Same for watching movies with Kevin Spacey, Don Cheadle or Leonardo DiCaprio. Or art, comedy, poetry, etc.
These are some of the reasons I keep a level head when people on my side of the aisle want to blame “the left.” Part of me wants to, because Wednesday morning’s attack by a former Bernie Sanders volunteer, plus riots in Portland and Berkeley, plus Kathy Griffin juggling severed Trump heads plus colleges banning conservative speakers plus Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar” refashioned as a Trump assassination in New York plus plus plus plus plus plus…
Then people like me — who have no personal animus toward those who hold different political beliefs — force myself to take a deep breath and repeat it like a mantra, “It’s intellectually stupid to think what you’re thinking.” I don’t mean that as an empty platitude. A friend is a friend. They’re more valuable than you’re political philosophy.
Besides, it is intellectually stupid to lump “the left” into this cauldron of hate, this basket of deplorables.
But this is what makes it important for #TheResistance to tone down its act.
Because these violent spasms force me to remind myself that I have cherished liberal friends. What about the people who don’t remind themselves they have many friends on the left? Provided they don’t seek vengeance, they’re going to keep their beliefs silent, but they’re also going to become stubborn, tune you out and take the strident unbending screeds of Ann Coulter to the ballot box.
The “silent Trump voter” is how we got President Donald Trump in the first place.
In Freudian terms, #TheResistance is the id run wild. It’s a hissy fit so extreme that it makes Sean Hannity look like the superego by comparison.
You want to know why I never hated President Barack Obama? It’s because people have the right to vote in their own self-interest and frankly, President George W. Bush had a horrible second term. How can I look you in the eye and tell you that the response to Hurricane Katrina was appropriate? I can’t. Hate Obama? No, sir. I was embarrassed by those on my side of the aisle who used race to describe their hatred of Obama’s policies or the man.
I had to humble down. It’s not fun to admit when “your guy” screwed up on a catastrophic scale, but Bush did. I had to disavow and condemn pointless, sickening hatred.
Well, friends, buddies, ol’ pals, #TheResistance is screwing up on a massive scale. Don’t spin this as an argument for gun control. Don’t tell me the Republicans started it first. Nancy Pelosi didn’t get shot. Gabby Giffords did, but that wasn’t from a conservative.
Simply put, #TheResistance is fucked up. I can’t correct it, but you can.
You have to humble down. You have to condemn this because it’s the right thing to do. Or if the word “right” makes your skin crawl, it’s the morally correct choice.
You don’t have to like Trump. You don’t have to accept blame for the shooting because you didn’t do it, but you can’t deflect it, either. You have to condemn the extremists on your side. Maybe even think before you speak or post.
Go listen to some Simon & Garfunkel while you’re at it.