Democrats as “The Other”

The fundamental problem is Republicans have identified the Democratic Party as ‘other’, which means whatever is done to us is OK because we aren’t legitimate in their eyes.

Like classic school yard bullies, they begin with our name. Republican Senators and Representatives consistently refer to the “Democrat Party”, delegitimizing us by demeaning our name every time they say it. It’s a petty slight, but one that is rooted in a dogma of superiority that  necessitates a chain of action that cannot end in anything other than violence.

It establishes a climate that it’s not our ideas that are wrong, but our very existence.  We aren’t “real Americans”.  They are the only ‘true patriots’.  They aren’t battling with us as equals in a fight over ideas.  We are a priori inferior, and because of that a danger to the ‘homeland’.

We are in effect heretics, and apostates are outside the law, and can be – must be – treated as such.  Pat Buchanan laid out the way at the 1988 Republican Convention, “There is a religious war going on in our country for the soul of America. It is a cultural war, as critical to the kind of nation we will one day be as was the Cold War itself.”

john galloglyReligious wars are far more savage than wars of conquest.  Just ask the victims of 9/11, the Irish during Cromwell’s time, or the Jews during World War II.   Our country was founded by people who  rejected those religious wars that haunted the Continent they left.  Men who believed in the Enlightenment, and the triumph of ideas, logic and civil government over the tyranny of violence.

Unless we call the Republicans and their media allies on their culpability in the shoot of Rep. Giffords, I think this will just get worse.  It is time to take back our country and make it again a democratic republic based in the rule of law, not a jihadist state where violence is substituted for the ballot box.

John Gallogly

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Comments

  1. annieR says

    We, including our congress and our President, are held hostage by the NRA. They are bullies who will have their way with no regard for the people’s wishes or the consequences. They are willing for drug cartels and mentally ill people to have all kinds of guns and ammunition. Any political representative who raises a question in that regard will not be reelected.

  2. Jay Levenberg,Esq. says

    This is so nonsensical as to be unworthy of a response. However, I will try my best. Polls show the American people do not buy the argument that political rhetoric has caused this violence. I can cite many speeches of the President, that taken out of context, t sound like a call to arms. Political rhetoric has always been heated in this country and what is going on today is really no worse than 100 years ago. In fact, some of the things said 100 years ago were far worse. What the debate should really be about is mental health and how it is handled in this country. Clearly, this guy in Arizona was very sick. Our laws concerning mental health over the years give too much privacy to the patient as well as too little control by people in authority to do anything about a mentally ill person until it is too late. The fact that colleges cannot release information to parents about the health (mental or otherwise) to parents is just plain “insane.” Unless the student is emancipated, parents should be advised of the health of their child so that they may intervene at any point. Yes, children want to keep secrets from their parents but the greater good is served by parents having the ability to intervene when necessary. Also, the schools are limited in what they can do, short of expelling a student which might help the school but not society at large. We simply have to have a way of involuntary commitment for a period of time for those that are clearly in need of mental health treatment. We have reached a point where parents can’t even see the grades of their children in college without a waiver from the student. We need some real changes in our laws regarding parental influence, particularly kids in school after their 18th birthday. I wish the debate in Washington was focused on this issue instead of the phony business of political rhetoric which, no matter how distasteful will always be a part of American politics.

    • annieR says

      When a mentally ill person walks around in an environment where guns visibly proliferate and can be easily acquired, why would he or she not assume that weapons would be obtainable? And, in fact, they are.

  3. John Vollbrecht says

    Eloquently elaborated upon, John.
    Didn’t George Herbert Walker Bush call for “a gentler, kinder
    America?” And “a thousand points of light?” All with a straight face?
    Well, what do we hear from George and Shrub now? The Silence of
    The Conservative Anarchist NO Party doth speak volumes.

  4. says

    John G.’s point may at first seem small or silly, but it’s quite true and apropos: “like classic school yard bullies, they begin with our name. Republican Senators and Representatives consistently refer to the “Democrat Party” … a petty slight, but one that is rooted in a dogma of superiority…” This dogma maybe won’t inevitably lead to violence, but it sure promotes it.

    Much the same occurs when someone who calls himself William – and perhaps every so often uses the nickname Bill – is however repeatedly instead called Billy. The usual effect and evident intent is deliberate needless demeaning and insult.

    The danger from this systematic insult of Democrats is real even if it is mistaken to blame the Tucson incident on it. Considering the gun-man’s expressed sentiments and weapon, that incident and its terrible toll owe little to repeated insult of Democrats, a lot more to repeated insult of everything labeled ‘government’, and yet more to NRA-promoted toting of modern semi-automatic weapons as if they are the basic defensive arms contemplated in the Second Amendment.

  5. George says

    Oh, come now. How much difference does it make whether the person in the crosshairs is referred to as a member of the “Democrat” Party or the “Democratic” Party? The average demented fascist Repugnican (aka Repugnant) gunslinger ain’t gonna notice the distinction. He just sees “target”.

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