When I was young and first became a journalist, I quickly developed the requisite “thick skin.” It’s a necessity of the job, because no matter what you write, even something completely innocuous, there will be someone who’s ready to criticize you and tell you why you’re a complete moron.
These days, decades later, our entire culture seems to have devolved into one ongoing shouting match, and we’re all walking around like pachyderms just for our own protection.
Call it the “Days of You’re,” as in “you’re … (fill in the blank).”
We all engage in these fusillades of rhetoric, particularly us commentators, but I wouldn’t be proud to call myself conservative if I didn’t see the greatest sins as being committed by the Left.
I know a Tea Party leader who has a standard list of names she and her “teapots” are regularly called in the media and elsewhere, said like it’s all one word, “racistbigothomophobe.”
In my experience, labeling people and besmirching their character is just a reflex with most liberals, almost genetic, like Tourette syndrome, whereas with conservatives, it’s mostly defensive.
Look at Eva Longoria’s recent Twitter fracas. The Obama campaign official and actress felt compelled to retweet a message calling Mitt Romney a “racist/misogynistic twat,” hardly a choice of words that reflects well on a supposed feminist such as Longoria.
Of course, maybe the problem is magnified in my mind as I live in California, where never is heard a conservative word … or else we’ll key your car, vandalize your house and threaten you with bodily harm.
Liberals’ verbal violence leads very quickly to threats of actual violence. Just the other day, MSNBC’s host Lawrence O’Donnell actually called out Mitt Romney’s son Tagg.
Last I checked, O’Donnell looks to be a grown-up man, but he was actually making fun of the eldest Romney son, who’s in his 40s, because he’s named “Taggart.” Then, like a schoolyard bully, O’Donnell stood up from his desk and on air challenged Tagg to a fistfight.
This show of playground spitball was apparently triggered because Tagg said in an interview he’d like to take a poke at King Obama for calling his dad a liar.
In the interview, Tagg said Obama’s comment made him want to jump out of his seat, “rush down to the stage and take a swing at him. But you know you can’t do that because, well, first because there’s a lot of Secret Service between you and him, but also because this is the nature of the process.”
Note that Tagg was defending his dad, and I doubt he was serious because he acknowledges that such comments are part of politics. Also, I just can’t imagine any of the Romney clan being so disrespectful of the presidency as to actually take a swing at even someone so reprehensible as Obama (oops, there I go again), were the opportunity to present itself.
O’Donnell, on the other hand, seemed deadly serious, and he made it clear he wasn’t doing it to defend anybody:
“You’re mad at President Obama for calling your father a liar? Let’s get something straight. He didn’t call your father a liar. I did. I’ve been saying all year that your father is a liar. I’ve repeatedly said that your father lies and is trying to lie his way into the White House. So, you want to take a swing at someone for calling your old man a liar? Take a swing at me. Come on. Come on! And don’t worry. There won’t be any Secret Service involved. Just us. And I’ll make it easy for you. I’ll come to you. Anytime, anywhere. Go ahead, Taggart. Take your best shot.”
Like they used to say, them’s fightin’ words.
And it’s really just a loudmouthed variation on the liberal standby tactic of telling someone to “shut up.”
The reason liberals have to resort to shutting up the opposition, of course, is that they never have a leg to stand on.
(Wait, I feel the sudden, uncontrollable need to launch a rhetorical fusillade. …)
Note to O’Donnell and other liberals: The current president is a serial liar, that’s a fact, and we all understand that your violent outbursts are the outward manifestations of the cognitive dissonance created by your pretense of moral superiority conflicting with the reality that your president is a dweeb and your philosophy is sophomoric.
And besides, your mama dresses you funny.