Aug 8, 2006

Mean people suck

Former Clinton counsel Lanny Davis' worldview is shattered when he discovers that lefties can be just as mean as those hate-mongering fascists on the right.
This kind of scary hatred, my dad used to tell me, comes only from the right wing--in his day from people such as the late Sen. Joseph McCarthy, with his tirades against "communists and their fellow travelers." The word "McCarthyism" became a red flag for liberals, signifying the far right's fascistic tactics of labeling anyone a "communist" or "socialist" who favored an active federal government to help the middle class and the poor, and to level the playing field.

I came to believe that we liberals couldn't possibly be so intolerant and hateful, because our ideology was famous for ACLU-type commitments to free speech, dissent and, especially, tolerance for those who differed with us. And in recent years--with the deadly combination of sanctimony and vitriol displayed by the likes of Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter and Michael Savage--I held on to the view that the left was inherently more tolerant and less hateful than the right.
Young Lanny still believes in the hateful right, which must be both a torment--meanies everywhere!--and a comfort. Finding nice people on the right would create a cognitive dissonance that would cause young Lanny to implode. It'd be like discovering that Jews don't have horns or that the Irish don't sell their children for whisky.

UPDATE: There are not any mean people on the left, you lying &*%##$, Lanny Davis!

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