I was unfortunate enough to see this disturbing billboard in my Facebook newsfeed recently:
“DEMOCRAT: a person too stupid to know that they are a communist”
The billboard then went on to further its attack:
“DUMB DEMOCRATS NEED TO WAKE UP!!! What part of Communism don’t you understand? There’s nothing more closed than a liberal mind…”
I’m guessing the part of “communism” that Democrats don’t understand is much different than the part that the poor intellectuals who thought this gem up don’t understand since all the Democrats I know believe in free enterprise and are not very prone to totalitarianism like most actual communists all too often are.
What is most irritating about this distasteful message is the circumstance under which I had to witness it. It was not too long after I posted a brief comment to Facebook indicating how condescending attitudes need to change if we expect our political process to work again. Obviously, some of my Facebook friends seem to think not less but more condescending (and more excessively obnoxious) attitudes are required.
Sentiments like the ones found in the billboard described above may galvanize their target audience but they also alienate people like me, moderates who have had in the past voted for Republicans. The amount of disgust generated in me by that posting is hard to describe in words but it is enough to make me never, ever want to consider voting for another Republican ever again. Why would I ever vote for another Republican if there is a chance they all suffer from such small minded ideas like the ones articulated in that billboard? Also, why would any rational, respectable, responsible person ever think this is an acceptable message to propagate let alone to legitimately think?
While the ideas expressed in the statements of this billboard are riddled with foolishness if not just for the amount of irony they contain, the more important point is that this is exactly the type of thing we can do without in a country that has prided and built itself on compromise. These statements are not only absurd but they apparently demonstrate the limited thinking capacity of the “Right Wing” (assuming the “Right Wing News”, the group sponsoring this billboard, is representative of the “Right Wing” of the Republican Party). Resorting to name calling is quite a simpleminded thing to do but, undoubtedly, juvenile.
The people responsible for the sentiments in this billboard and anybody who has a propensity to find them even remotely appealing are beyond hope. They really have no conceptual understanding that if you insult and offend people with absurd comments lacking in intelligence but plentiful in the amounts of disdain and innuendo they can carry, you are not very likely to achieve any type of productive resolution to anything. In a country built on compromise to finding workable solutions to political problems, such a failure is unforgivable but extremely dangerous to our country’s very existence as a nation.
There are people who really do need to “wake-up.” They are the people who think that the other guy must be the dumbest person around because he doesn’t think like the orthodox men like themselves. And when you really start to think about it: just how smart is it to think that you have all the answers while everybody else who disagrees with you has none of the answers? How many times in history have we seen people who have correctly evaluated the natural order of their environment only to be ridiculed by those who were so sure that their own erroneous view of the world was so much better?
For example, how about we consider the people who advocated that the earth was round or that the earth revolved around the sun? How about we consider how much they were ridiculed by the “Right Wing” of their day? While I am not really proposing that the Democrats have anything in their platform that is as illuminating as some great scientific discovery, the point is that you tend to miss things when you are so clouded by your own orthodox notions of how things are. These unbending absolutes being assumed can and often do prevent you from considering the merits of the other argument being made.
The bottom line is these billboards do nothing to help the dialog that needs to happen between the political parties but, in fact, they only serve to widen the divide making it almost impossible to have any type of discussion at all. This particular instance is the most offensive I have ever encountered. It doesn’t just attack leaders of the opposition party, it attacks the multitude of American citizenry who are the members of the Democratic Party–a party that has a long proven history of promoting the interest of the common man, standing up against tyranny, totalitarianism, including communism, and those who would seek to end our freedom, liberty and religious tolerance.
It really is time to “wake-up” to the notion that we need to promote a more courteous, respectful, less condescending and less confrontational approach to politics if we really expect to get anything done in this country. Doing anything else; now, that really would be “stupid.”