Democratic Tolerance

This is what someone did to a billboard in St. Paul. Mitch Berg
, a fellow MN blogger
has some very astute observations on this hate crime

One: Quite simply; they’re used to being in charge – Minnesota used to be their playground, "Berkeley on the Prairie". No more. A neocon apostate has taken "their" senate seat from their newly-canonized martyr. LIke the redneck whites of the Deep South after reconstruction, they don’t like all of us uppity conservatives getting off the plantation and gittin’ funny ideers. They’re angry – and feeling threatened. And they’ve been striking out for years, in ways both condescending (Keillor) and puerile (Paulapalooza) and corrosively bigoted (the billboard vandalism).

Two: What do the following people have in common: Someone who paints swastikas on a billboard of a Jewish man; someone who straps a bomb to his chest and walks into bus full of children; someone who sets off a bomb at an abortion clinic; one who flies a plane into a building packed with innocent civilans? All of them have adopted a warped, twisted, sick interpretation of their religion.

"But Wait! The Minnesota Democrat Farmer Labor Party isn’t a religion!" Enh. For some, it is. You’d have to meet them – some of them are no less dedicated than any monk, and regard their party with no less devotion than any nun. And their prophets! Paul Wellstone couldn’t have just been the victim of bad conditions and an inexperienced pilot, they say, he must have been shot down! A victim of a "Bushie" conspiracy! He died for our sins! Of course, one’s prophet and martyr mustn’t die of mundane causes: Wellstone could no more have been laid low by an inexperienced pilot any more than Jesus could have choked on a a blinz or Joan of Arc could have stepped in front of a moving draftwagon. No, martyrs must die martyr’s deaths. And those who oppose the martyrs are the infidels, and nothing is too awful for them.

We’ll be seeing much more of this sort of thing in the future. Count on it.

I fear that he’s right. The Christian Coalition and the religious right were excoriated for mixing religion and politics. The current Democratic activists are turning politics into a religion – and in many ways that’s much worse. If you regard your opposition as some kind of heretic, what’s the point of civil political discourse? It’s no longer matters of politics and policy, but a crusade. That’s exactly what the attitude of the left has become. Bush isn’t just wrong, an opinion which reasonable minds can hold – he’s evil. The GOP is some kind of Lovecraftian agent for evil out to restore slavery and ban free speech to the minds of the radical left.

Except that radicalism is spreading. It’s no longer confined to just the rabid Democratic partisans. The hateful rhetoric of the left has created an entire class of people who reflexively assume that Republicans are innately harmful, and conservative ideas too dangerous to be given a hearing. This attitude is in itself dangerous, as when partisanship becomes religion, democracy dies.

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