Thursday, April 01, 2010

Whatever happened to civil disagreement?

Say what you will about the U.S. health-care debate, I can't remember ever having experienced such vitriol in American politics. People shouting one another down at town-hall meetings? Politicians being the victims of ethnic slurs, and even being spat on?! What has become of my birthplace?


Anonymous jdub said...

Hogwash. There is no evidence at all of ethnic slurs. With all the cellphones, cameras, etc., there is absolutely zero evidence of that, and I know people who went to a number of the protests in Washington, DC and the people were overwhelmingly polite and quite diverse, contrary to the news reports.

And, the so-called spitting incident, is overstated. The video clearly shows that the person was speaking/shouting with great enthusiasm and that some spittle flew out. He didn't expectorate on the congresscritter. And, contrary to the congresscritter's statement, the guy wasn't arrested.

In fact, the only real credible threat of violence was made against a Republican, Eric Cantor, largely because he is Jewish.

What has become of your birthplace? The media and politician lie, that's what has happened. In reality, nothing else did.

Thu Apr 01, 04:52:00 PM 2010  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

JDub, I sincerely hope you're right.

Thu Apr 01, 04:58:00 PM 2010  
Anonymous Too Old to Jewschool Steve said...

I've spent a lot of time studying U.S. history this school year, with a daughter taking AP US history. It's been a long time since I had thought about, or looked back at, our political history, but the current hyper-partisanship is by no means unique. There are numerous periods in which the level of rancor was this high, if not higher. The mid-1800s (pre-civil war) was rife with it. There were fist fights on the floor of the House of Reps (very Taiwan). And the time leading up to the South's secession (they still call it the War of Northern Agression down there) was far worse than where we're at now. I think the distinction today is the 24 hour news cycle and the fact that television news in particular is now purely entertainment and needs to feed and intensify the contention to juice the amount of viewers.

Thu Apr 01, 11:09:00 PM 2010  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Too Old to Jewschool Steve, you may be right about the media magnifying the problem.

Fri Apr 02, 11:08:00 AM 2010  
Anonymous Miami Al said...

Not to mention the Red Scare and blacklisting, internment, the political rancor around Vietnam...

The anti-Bush/anti-GOP rhetoric was particularly nasty in the last few years.

The 1990 were relatively peaceful with a calm, divided government.

The left just hasn't been the recipient of angry energy for a while, because they haven't been in power like this since the 1970s.

Sun Apr 04, 09:33:00 AM 2010  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Good points, Miami Al.

Tue Apr 06, 11:54:00 PM 2010  

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