Tuesday, August 21, 2012

It's ok to Hate & Persecute Conservatives

We can all agree racial and religious discrimination is wrong,
but how are we taught to treat others with differing political views?
A few months ago, the Insider published some right wing  and left wing propaganda that had been circulating around facebook to generate discussion. As a result- one of our anti-fans published a essay in the local Patch blog telling the world the Insider advocated hate  in an exaggerated essay titled "Local Blog Advocates Ignorance & Hate". At the Insider, we are in fact fans of the Middletown Patch and Editor Cassandra Day. Day does a fairly good job of covering both sides of the local political spectrum; a lesson the local print papers won't ever seem to learn. The fore mentioned piece pretty much didn't phase us one bit- after all its free speech (albeit nonsensical); in fact it helped spike our readership! The issue continues in the media. When right-leaning folks offer a critical view point of opposing views in a analytical comparison or comical way, as done on this blog for example, it's almost always considered mean spirited & mud slinging. On the contrary,  a piece slamming a GOP politician or believe system it is accepted as fact so much so that readers rarely raise an eye brow- a double standard clearly exists that most readers aren't even aware of.  Read the piece below. After you are done substitute in the names of President Obama and VP Biden. Now what is the tone and your general reaction? If doing this exercise you are disturbed you may be prejudice towards conservatives and not even be aware. 

After the primary the Insider made a joke (ok, not a great joke) about losing Democratic candidate Susan Bysiewicz's platform  which was based on the "every woman" tactic to liken herself to the middle class. The reaction to this comment on our facebook page from friends was astounding.From the reaction one would think  we attacked a patron saint or tripped Mother Teresa, clubbed a baby seal or something. In actuality, a intelligent discussion thread resulted. The above article makes a MASS generalization about conservative citizens as inferior HUMAN beings. Most comments thus far listed below it condone this. Cue the crickets. In grade school, American students are all taught racial, religious, gender, cultural etc etc discrimination is wrong. But what about discrimination based on how one perceives authority and government - how one believes society should function- ie political beliefs. What does this say about what we are teaching our children about tolerance of others with different thought processes? Should we all behave and not be critical?  Or, should be all grow a thicker skin? Many conclusions can be drawn.

On August 17, 2012 cartoonist Bob Englehart of Middletown published a cartoon in the Hartford Courant calling  GOP Presidential candidate Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan "Mitt & Twitt." He also writes: "The great thing about moderates and liberals is that they can change their minds after learning new information, or understanding justice and fairness.Conservatives cannot, under any circumstance, change their minds. The old way is the best way, every man for himself, I got mine and nobody helped me, now you get yours the same way;  you failed, it's your own damn fault. What a wonderful world it would be."

Englehart  is a talented, clever guy and we would never deny him his right to free speech. Maybe he will do a guest cartoon for the Insider some day? Doubtful . But there is a point: Englehart basically eludes to, and says with out saying that the reader should conclude Conservative minded people are stupid and inferior-  conservatives  cannot process simple thoughts such as drawing different conclusions- ie changing of ones mind. If the Insider say, said this about liberals would there be no reaction? Would a cartoon of a parody of the Obama name with a certain like sounding middle-eastern name be as funny and acceptable?

Though D's and R's have different view points as far as government structure- and really when you get down to it the driving force behind this is how money should be spent-( it is what makes the world go round) are we that different to be so divided? The Insider concludes that both groups love their families, value community, and are charitable- just in different ways. We checked to find research done by a credible academic group on whether 'mud slinging' campaign tactics used by candidates has produced any relevant general conclusions  The only conclusion we could find was that  it is a case by case situation without any general rules being discovered. There is a phrase "mud slinging is as American as apple pie." There is also the phrase "two wrongs don't make a right." Most voters have said they do not like candidates who mud slinging, however, the average person, we think can't tell the difference when facts are skewed in subtle ways by the main stream media; especially when in local media a clear practice of prejudice against conservatives in Middletown has been a common practice for years.
The question is - should we all behave or is there room for the mud to fly?

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