Americans too often forget how ugly politics used to be. In the 19th century, “tarring and feathering” was just one terrible way among many of “making a point.” Drenching somebody in hot tar is painful; putting feathers on that someone and sending them running was humiliating, as well.
And a sign of horrid cruelty.
Politics, which (we should remind ourselves) is how we publicly decide who gets to use the awesome and awful powers of the state (itself known to be the cruelest of cold monsters), can’t help but conjure up hate and violence. We must remain vigilant against that tendency.
So the recent killing of a Democratic campaign manager’s cat — actually, his child’s pet — and its desecration with the word “liberal” marked on it, has a context.
But that context is no excuse. It’s an incredibly sick, deranged, hateful act. We should all hope justice prevails.
The campaign manager responded reasonably, condemning whoever did it without casting blame about blindly. Too bad I can’t say that about the comments to the article on ThinkProgress.org. Many commenters there blame all “conservatives,” right-wingers, Rush Limbaugh, et al.
Like racist rhetoric, this paints blame with a wide brush, holding a whole group of people responsible for what one person in that group does. Shameful. But it’s even a bit worse in this case, since the guilty person has not been caught, so we don’t even know who did it or whether that person was actually a “conservative.”
Isn’t it time to get past blind hatred of the “they”?
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.