Tea Party rally, Washington, DC, a protester wraps himself in an American flag, 12/07/09. (photo: Getty Images)
Reader Supported News | Perspective
It was supposed to be about humaneness and empathy and our social contract with each other. It was supposed to be about compassion and caring for one another like we would do unto ourselves. It was about health and healing and caring.
It became shouts of "nigger" and "faggot" and "baby killer." It became spit dripping off a Congressman and faxes with "nooses" and racial slurs and phone calls to the homes and family members with vile and threatening and disgusting messages from good "Christian" Americans.
It became vandalism against Democratic offices across the country. It became vandalism or maybe worse against the brother of a Congressman when his address was listed on Tea Party web sites and elsewhere.
When told the address was not the Congressman's, but his brother and his wife and four young children, Nigel Coleman responded: "Do you mean I posted his brother's address on my Facebook? Oh well, collateral damage."
And now 10 Democratic members of Congress find the need for extra security for their families and themselves.
The GOP leaders may try to distance themselves by calling these incidents "isolated." Or using Bill Bennett's logic: "Crude judgments about race is what the left does. The isolated idiots on our side who do this are not only wrong, but adopting the tactics of the left."
Mealy-mouthed denunciations, while castigating liberals, is nothing more than tacit approval of violence and vigilante mob mentality.
We are past the playground snickers of sticks-and-stones. We are past so-called "heated rhetoric." We are long past decency and decorum.
We are in a dangerous place.
The GOP has warmly embraced the Tea Party movement and its offspring. Will the GOP step forward and condemn them now? Strongly and forcefully?
People will get hurt. And who will be first to deny that their words and encouragement had anything to do with a "few crazies?" The GOP.
You can stop this, Republicans. You should stop this, Republicans. You must stop this, Republicans, or you are nothing more than accomplices in the reckless endangerment of citizens and families and the very democracy you claim to love.
Or you can choose to play politics with people's lives because of the power it might give you. After all, what is power without some collateral damage?
It was supposed to be about something good.
It was supposed to be about loving our neighbor as ourselves.
It was supposed to be about life.
It is now about death and destruction and decimation.
It has become surreal with the fringe on top.