In recent days, against my better judgment perhaps, I have spent a good deal of time perusing the comments section to our posts. And I found that no matter how many facts you offer to counter the assumptions certain critics make about the GOP, Republicans in general and the people protesting the President’s proposed health care overalls at townhalls across the country, they still hold to their narrow view of the GOP.
It’s long since time to call these people what they are: prejudiced. According to Merriam-Webster’s, a prejudice is a
2 a (1) : preconceived judgment or opinion (2) : an adverse opinion or leaning formed without just grounds or before sufficient knowledge b : an instance of such judgment or opinion c : an irrational attitude of hostility directed against an individual, a group, a race, or their supposed characteristics
All these apply to some of our critics. We say that the protesters are a diverse lot, they define them by the most extreme membes and focus on a supposedly compromised organizer. We say we have legitimate concerns about the president’s health care plan, they tell us we’re astroturfing tools of the insurance lobby. We make arguments against health care, they call us racists, suggest we are Nazi sympathizers or call us “evil-mongers.“*
This is not to say all those who criticize Republican ideas are prejudiced. Many, if not most, are not. It’s not that they criticize us (and our ideas), it’s how they see us. While my junior Senator is clearly prejudiced against Republicans, her senior colleague, with a similar voting record, is not.
If they make judgments about us based on their perceptions rather than the facts, then they are prejudiced. If they manifest an”irrational hostilty” against us because of our affiliation with the GOP or our stand on certain issues, then they are prejudiced.
But, if they hold a different opinion than we do, but do not denigrate us for our difference, then they merely hold a different opinion. Why, I wonder yet again, do so many assume the worst about those who hold a different opinion than they do?
*Like his California colleague, Harry Reid has just insulted many of his own constituents. Given the number of seniors retiring to Nevada and their dispoportionate rate of political participation, I think his Nevada Senate seat may soon fall into Republican hands.
When he was Speaker, did the much-maligned Newt Gingrich ever slime his adveraries? Did Karl Rove even use such terms? Dick Cheney? Let’s go through the rogue’s gallery of prominent Republican politicos and see if any called their adversaries “evil.”