Democrats are Not Immune from Ignorance
Over the last few years I have become very acquainted with politics. I formed my views during the Bush presidency, and they have remained rather stable since then. I disagreed with just about everything George Bush did as president. I disagreed with his economic policies, his foreign policies, and his huge power grab for the executive. However, upon voicing my opinions I was referred to by republicans as un-American and unpatriotic. I felt this sort of ignorant name-calling was unique to the neoconservative side of the American political system. However, recent events have proven me wrong.
Ever since Barack Obama entered office and his policies have come under attack from Americans in opposition to them, I have noticed something about democrats: they are not immune from using ignorant, ad hominem attacks. I can’t say I was surprised by this fact, but I am severely disheartened and ashamed of the democrats for allowing themselves to fall into this trap. I had gotten used to republican propaganda, which went so low as to use September 11th as a whipping boy for all of us who refused to believe that preventative war was needed to provide security. I got used to the phrase, “If you don’t like America you can get out!” They almost had me convinced I hated America until I remembered that my arguments were based on facts and statistics, instead of emotionally charged personal attacks. However, where democrats once stood with me in opposing these irrational accusations, they are now the accusers.
I began noticing the change as soon as Obama entered the White House. Where anti-war protestors used to be called “unpatriotic,” tea party and town hall attendees are now called, “fascists,” “racists,” and, “evil-mongers.” Anybody opposing the agenda of our president is belittled into believing their arguments are politically incorrect and a result of overreaction. Democrats have seemed to become so far removed from their old anti-Bush viewpoints that I have actually been called republican for standing in opposition to the same wars they used to contest. This confused ideology shows that democrats have fallen into the, “you’re either with us or against us,” mentality that once pervaded the previous republican administration. This mentality doesn’t allow for the recognition of any alternative viewpoint. The black and white, bipartisan act of assigning every dissenter into a negative stereotype is a quick way to artificially gain the moral high ground to an uninformed audience, but it doesn’t help the country in the least bit.
Democrats seem so shocked that I can be against the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and still dislike Obama that they begin using some illogical defense mechanisms. First, they resort to the belief that I for some reason supported Bush in his unnecessary warmongering. In their minds, it seems, you must have liked Bush if you dislike Obama. This attitude is the result of total complacency with the two-party system. Second, they begin reminding me of how bad a president Bush was. However, the fact that Bush was a horrible president is not relevant. What is relevant is that Obama is carrying out the exact same horrible foreign and domestic policies Bush did. The fact that democrats now support him in doing so shows they are no better than the tea partiers who were silent when Bush increased government and implemented socialistic economic policies but now get outraged when Obama does the same thing. I was against the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and our huge empire while Bush was president, and I’m against them now. Obama could end them with the stroke of a pen. Until he does that, he will continue to receive my criticism in the realm of foreign policy.
More importantly, there seems to have been excessive use of crying racist to attack, not the argument, but the person who is criticizing Obama. It would behoove democrats to go ahead and accept the fact that not everybody attacking Obama is racist, and to continue these mindless accusations serves only to undermine their intelligence while further demoting the integrity of their party. Racism is about exalting ones own race above all others, not disagreeing on political lines. Picking out everyday phrases in a political commentary and accusing one of racism where there obviously is none serves to undermine the very progress we have made in the realm of race relations in this country. Anybody who would use the election of our first black president as an excuse for political gain through a proverbial witch hunt deserves more of the rope than do the actual witches. I was hoping eight years of being the opposition party would give democrats the ability to use the moral high ground… I guess I was wrong.