A Further Perspective

Not Playing with a Fuller Deck

What's the matter with all those bitter liberals?

By 1.20.11

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In the wake of the Tucson massacre which claimed the lives of six people and injured thirteen including Democratic Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, the liberal media fell all over themselves trying to assign blame to Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Tea Party activists and conservatives in general for this horrific tragedy. The fact that Jared Loughner did not travel in conservative circles did little to deter these baseless accusations.

Yet when James Eric Fuller, one of the survivors of the Tucson massacre and a left-wing activist, leveled a death threat against Tea Party activist Trent Humphries at a television taping for ABC News' This Week with Christiane Amanpour one week after the massacre, did we hear conservative talk radio, Sarah Palin or Tea Party activists accuse Paul Krugman, Keith Olbermann or Jane Fonda of inciting violence?

No, we didn't.

Conservatives recognize that individuals are responsible for their own actions irrespective of what is being written in the New York Times, foamed at the mouth on MSNBC or randomly tweeted in 140 characters or less. While it is true that only days before Fuller threatened Humphries he had placed the blame for the Tucson massacre on Palin, Beck, and defeated Nevada Senatorial candidate Sharron Angle, who can say that Fuller wouldn't have threatened Humphries or any other Tea Party activist under a different set of circumstances? By Fuller's own admission he was planning to "shout down" any Tea Party activists who came down to Congresswoman Giffords' event. Fuller subsequently accepted responsibility for his actions and issued an apology to Humphries through a close friend who said his behavior represented "misplaced outrage."

Apology or not, as of this writing, Fuller remains involuntarily committed pending a psychiatric evaluation. While Humphries is contemplating pressing charges against Fuller, he expressed compassion towards the man who threatened his life. "I don't want to harm this man, he's not an enemy. I want to make sure, if it's a mental thing, it's really, really taken seriously because this can't happen anymore," said Humphries. Suffice it to say, Humphries does not neatly fit the left-wing narrative of a Tea Party activist as a racist, redneck ruffian who has no regard for anyone's well-being other than his own.

All of which begs the question why liberals are so bitterly clinging to this narrative? Why are liberals unable to extend even the most basic level of courtesy, decorum and respect to the likes of Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Tea Party activists and conservatives in general? The best that I can tell is because liberals cannot accept that they live in a country where there are ideas other than their own. They are unable to accept that conservative ideas resonate with more people than their own ideas ever could. Of course, a lot of it has to do with the fact that liberals simply don't understand conservatives and our ideas. Liberals would better serve themselves by reading up on conservative ideas. But why read up on conservative ideas and confront them in a coherent, logical and reasonable manner when you can accuse conservatives of being complicit in murder? Conservative ideas and the people who articulate them are to be condemned, not countenanced.

So long as the leading lights of liberalism insist on maintaining such a distemperate disposition towards their conservative counterparts this state of affairs will not change. Simply put, we can expect the Krugmans, the Olbermanns and the Fondas of the world to persist in not only blaming the ills of this country and indeed the whole world on conservatives but to propagate the idea that conservatism itself is some form of mental illness.

Now, of course, there are some conservatives who have advanced the idea that liberalism is a form of mental illness. I, for one, do not accept such a proposition. What I do accept is that this country is full of people who do not share my beliefs or thoughts and in turn I, along with many others, do not share their beliefs and thoughts. As such I accept that there are and that there will always be competing political philosophies. Disagreement and discord is a permanent feature of democracy and should not be looked upon as inherently unhealthy. In fact, disagreement and discord are an essential function of civil society.

However, what is unhealthy is the assumption that one's political adversaries and the ideas they advance are done so in bad faith and with the intent to spread ill will. Of course, no one has a monopoly on virtue. But so long as liberals continue to play their cards by impugning Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Tea Party activists and conservatism in general in an ad hominem manner I can only conclude that liberals aren't playing with a full deck. Or should I say a Fuller deck?

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About the Author
Aaron Goldstein writes from Boston, Massachusetts.