Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Long Division

A year ago I did a piece during the nomination and approval process for Justice Neil Gorsuch.  The point was that the complaints about how divided we are now as a country were silly, in that we have always been divided and ever shall be.

Liberals are liberals because of whatever makes someone that way, and conservatives are conservatives because the opposite influences are the case.  Trying to have a candidate who claims to "Unite us, not divide us" is fruitless because (A) no one actually wants to divide us, and (B) we cannot be really united because, well, we are innately and environmentally different and, ah, just see (A).

But we are indeed politically divided, and unfortunately the rhetoric has gotten pretty bad, sort of like in the British Parliament on a bad day, except without the wigs and wool-sacks.  There is no way a sitting congressman (OK, she was standing, but you get the idea) should be encouraging people to harass government officials in their homes, in restaurants and other personal spaces, and not be censured and fired on the spot.

But we have gotten to where for the Democrats to censure Maxine Waters would be to say that she was not only wrong but criminally wrong, even though she was, and that would sound too much like it is actually all right to be a Trump Cabinet member.  God forbid that be thought OK, right?

So this weekend I was going to take the little lady out to eat in a little village by the seaside.  We got down to the area we were looking for and I saw an eatery that clicked with something in my mind.  Sure enough, we had been advised, or warned, or whatever the right word is, about the place.  Was the food not good?  Was it dirty?  Well maybe, but that was not the warning.

No, we were told, they were unfriendly to Trump supporters.  I couldn't recall what the incident had actually been, or whether someone had been kicked out, or had a MAGA hat confiscated, but that was their reputation -- I thought.  I looked them up on the Internet and their site was full of things the owners supported that suggested that yes, it was the place we'd heard of.

So we didn't eat there.

I can assure you that five years ago, I could not have cared less what the politics of the owners of any restaurant I ate at were, nor any shop I patronized.  We owned a bridal shop, and I daresay we did not advertise our political leanings in any way, lest we lose business we could not afford to lose in those financially perilous Obamanomics days.  We understood "Republicans buy sneakers, too" (from yesterday's piece).

But now you wonder.  If Democrats in Congress are advocating harassment of Cabinet members for no reason other than who their boss is, do I really want to eat food prepared by people who would actually do that, or at least not renounce someone who did?  Is that where Democrats are these days, and where the discourse has descended to?

I truly believe we will discover in November just how much the Democrats and the left in general have shot themselves in their collective feet by letting violence be deemed OK -- extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice, but extremism to the point of harassment, in opposition to supporters of a sitting president is no virtue.  I guess if they're fine letting MS-13 ooze over our borders to murder people, they're just as OK with violence in the service of their "causes".

We yearn for reasoned discourse.  I'd be delighted to take time to listen to the rationales for liberalism from someone willing to do it at a civil decibel count.  I do not hold my breath, since liberalism has nothing to recommend it, which is why the left resorts to violence so much sooner than we do; they've run out of ideas that actually work.  But I would talk and I would listen.

I'm just not happy with a USA where I care what the owner of a restaurant thinks of my politics.

Copyright 2018 by Robert Sutton
Like what you read here?  There's a new post from Bob at www.uberthoughtsUSA.com at 10am Eastern time, every weekday, giving new meaning to "prolific essayist."  Appearance, advertising, sponsorship and interview inquiries cheerfully welcomed at bsutton@alum.mit.edu or on Twitter at @rmosutton

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