We are hearing in Florida the same thing we hear nationally – a plea for more courteous discourse in the civic arena.
Wouldn’t that be nice?
This theme, of course, is a staple of the liberal camp. Being sophisticated cosmopolites and intellectuals, they are offended easily, and constantly are demanding that someone apologize for something. They love apologies. Our president runs about the world apologizing for everything except what screams for an apology: his ruinous policies.
Apologies from conservatives are a form of “gotcha” that especially thrills liberals.
Conservatives, on the other hand, are so accustomed to being called names by liberals that they tend to shrug it off whenever a new one comes along.
My own favorite is “fascist.” There is nothing remotely close to fascism in conservative philosophy. In fact, Jonah Goldberg documented in his book Liberal Fascism how “progressives” are historically and philosophically much closer to fascism. But, never mind.
(For more on civility, Google “Bush lied,” which returned 1,170,000 results in .28 seconds…)
Here’s the real deal: Lamenting about uncivil discourse means you don’t have to talk about such boring subjects as a national debt of Greek proportions, real unemployment above 16 percent, entitlement programs going broke, pension costs wrecking state and local governments, and oil-drilling prohibitions that are sending gasoline prices where the Obama administration said they should be: “sky high.”
Israel facing nuclear annihilation? Sorry, haven’t got time. Busy berating radio talk-show hosts right now.
Syrian tyrant slaughtering Syrians? Not our problem. They haven’t offended us.
- It also is worth noting that political invective is nothing new, nor are protestations.
- A gentleman named William Cobbett described Benjamin Franklin as “A crafty and lecherous old hypocrite whose very statue seems to gloat on the wenches as they walk the States House yard.”
- James G. Blaine, American politician, on Benjamin Franklin Butler, American soldier: “A lamentably successful cross between a fox and a hog.”
- British writer and critic Lytton Strachey said of David Lloyd George, “My one ardent desire is that after the war he should be publicly castrated in front of Nurse Cavell’s statue.
- "You're a drink-soaked former Trotskyist popinjay," left-wing Scottish politician George Galloway told Christopher Hitchens.
- In 1983 a Tory Member of Parliament called Margaret Thatcher a "great she-elephant with Churchillian pretensions".
- Let’s not forget the media’s own contributions, such as the assessment in Harper’s Weekly of Abraham Lincoln: “Filthy Story-Teller, Despot, Liar, Thief, Braggart, Buffoon, Usurper, Monster, Ignoramus Abe, Old Scoundrel, Perjurer, Robber, Swindler, Tyrant, Field-Butcher, Land-Pirate.”
The latter bears some resemblance to the appellations for Gov. Rick Scott that emanate from the left in the Sunshine State. You know -- the ones yearning desperately for a kinder, gentler kind of politics.
Lloyd Brown was in the newspaper business nearly 50 years, beginning as a copy boy and retiring as editorial page editor of the Florida Times-Union in Jacksonville.
© Florida Voices