I’ve been following coverage of the shooting of Arizona congresswoman Gabrielle Gifford, and despite those who (rightly) wish it were otherwise, the main focus of the coverage is very, very political.
Google’s real-time feed is clogged with “Liberals using the shooting as an excuse to...” this and “Republicans to blame for the shooting because of...”that. It is the newest fodder in the American Political Machine of Unending Dispair, and on top of being a tragic situation in and of itself, it is also highlighting the rotting, festering ball of bullshit at the core of American politics.
I can’t even think the words American Politics without wanting to barf. It’s just disgusting. All of it. Politicians. Pundits. Political media, both left and right wing. And it’s only getting worse
For the eight years we lived under Republican rule it seemed like all I heard was hate and bigotry and ignorance. Fuck these guys! Bomb these guys! Deny the civil liberties of these guys! We are America, fuck yeah, and we rule this bitch—you don’t like it, fuck yourself and go somewhere else where you ain’t got no freedom and see how you like it! You don’t like the way things are being run? Shut your un-American piehole and bow to the flag.
Now that we’re living under Democratic rule the hate and ignorance and bigotry is still there with one noticeable exception—now it’s not only OK to speak out against the evil government and their evil Socialist ways, it’s your downright Great American Duty, and if you agree with the liberal commies well, then, you’re just part of the problem.
I thought the election of Obama would be a step in the direction of an increased awareness for the need to conduct ourselves and our political and social discourse in a more compassionate and tolerant manner, but that seems to have been incredibly naive of me.
Democrats hate Republicans and Republicans hate Democrats and most people hate both of them, and the only solution anyone has to any of this seems to be adding hatred to hatred. More hate-filled rhetoric! More pundits screaming at us what we should think! More trolling! More violent protests and “crazed lone gunmen”!
It’s a vicious, disgusting cycle, and it’s almost impossible not to occasionally get sucked in. I freely admit that my feelings towards people like Ol’ Dubya and Sarah Palin are less than savory and that I’m ashamed of policies like not teaching evolution in schools and denying anyone the right to marry. But spewing hate and negativity is clearly not helping anything.
There is no compassion any more. No tolerance. No true willingness to attempt to meet the needs (not just the self-serving requests) of everyone. No drive to do anything but bitch and complain and blame the other guy for everything that’s fucked up.
If I’m wrong and it’s there, hiding in some remote crack that I can’t see, please ,show it to me. Please, prove me wrong. Because for now I am sick of it all. I’m sick of the hate. I’m sick of the intolerance. I’m sick of the bickering. And I’m especially sick of the tendency to use senseless tragedy as an excuse for more hatred, intolerance and bickering. And I’m gradually losing hope that it’s going to get anything but worse.
Now, I don’t want to sound like a liberal hippy or anything (OK, I lied, I totally do), but I think what we need right now is to collectively take a deep breath, count to 10 and hug it the fuck out.
We need to pull our shit together and realize that it’s compassion and tolerance, not vitriol and violence that are going to sustain us. Seriously. Because every slur we hurl, every piece of hate-filled rhetoric we spew, every bullet we shoot, every bomb we drop is slowly killing us all.
“The Universe speaks in many languages, but only one voice...It speaks in the language of hope. It speaks in the language of trust. It speaks in the language of strength, and the language of compassion. It is the language of the heart and the language of the soul. But it is always the same voice. It is the voice of our ancestors speaking through us. And the voice of our inheritors waiting to be born. It is the small, still voice that says we are one.
"No matter the blood, no matter the skin, no matter the world, no matter the star, we are One. No matter the pain, no matter the darkness, no matter the loss, no matter the fear. We are One.
"Here, gathered together in common cause we agree to recognize this singular truth and this singular rule: That we must be kind to one another. Because each voice enriches us and ennobles us, and each voice lost diminishes us. We are the Voice of the Universe, the soul of creation, the fire that will light the way to a better future.” - Ambassador G’Kar (Babylon 5)