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The Akron Beacon Journal began a series Sunday asking the question, "why do we sound so angry?" The series allegedly will drill down on our political discourse and how uncivil it has become, and come up with possible solutions. The pilot article began with the predictable 'search for equivalency'. In newspaper and teevee "news" land both sides are equally at fault...no matter the topic, issue, policy or event. If Mr. Conservative calls a young woman a "slut", then media is required to find something equally offensive from the left to assure their preconceived 'both sides do it' starting point still holds.
The Beacon series to find equivalency started out this way...
"One resident said that when she moved out of the country for work, she was told by friends that she would develop a deeper understanding of America. Indeed she did. She said she is embarrassed.
A businessman in Akron expressed angry feelings about unions, Democrats and President Barack Obama. "Is Obama a communist....Really I want to know, he quacks
like a duck."
See the equivalency? Me either. The first anecdote is reality based. The resident actually did work outside of the U.S. and relayed her embarrassment over how America is regarded by another nation's population. The second anecdote is wild-eyed opinion, entirely detached from reality. Obama, a friend to private sector banks, insurance and big pharma.....Obama, a historic tax cutter.....could never be confused with a communist by anyone who is not a rabid and imaginative partisan.
But when media searches for equivalency, so as not to offend the fee-fees of one subcriber block, this is what you get. Pablum.
The answer to the question, "why do we sound so angry?" is found in one of this weekend's news stories. Utah GOP Senator, Golly Gee Orrin Hatch is up for re-election this cycle. Hatch wants this next term, his seventh, to be his last. The Senator is being challenged from the Tea Party right. In fact, over the weekend, Utah GOP caucus members guaranteed that Hatch would face a primary opponent in June. It will be Hatch's first-ever primary runoff in 36 years.
In 2010, GOP Senator Bob Bennett, no progressive he, was sent home by the same Tea Party group now challenging Hatch. You see, in the past, Bennett and Hatch have actually worked with Democratic senators in crafting and passing legislation in what used to be called the spirit of bipartisan cooperation. Apparently, those days are over. At least
as far as the GOP is concerned. Compromise has become the new 'f*ck you.'
Senator Hatch had a few things to say about these Tea Party groups challenging him from the right....
"These people are not conservatives. They're not Republicans," Hatch angrily responds. "They're radical libertarians and I'm doggone offended by it."
Then Hatch, a former boxer, turns combative. "I despise these people, and I'm not the guy you come in and dump on without getting punched in the mouth."
Hatch, a Senator from one of the reddest of states, one of the most conservative states, recognizes the radical nature of the Tea Party groups....even if the Beacon and Village media cannot or will not recognize that radical nature. When a conservative like Orrin Hatch, no favorite of mine, sees something very unusual from his own voting block....so unusual that he calls them "radical libertarians" and people he "despises"....then something is up, something has changed in the political arena.
The reason that our political discourse is a more angry-seeming discourse is because of how far the conservative movement in the U.S. has moved to the radical right.
That is what has changed in our political discourse. It's not that both sides have become more radicalized. That is not true. If anything, Democrats have moved further to the right to try to accommodate the extremists.
Loaded guns at public political gatherings, instructions on how to bust-up town hall meetings by acting rude and obnoxious, the desire to eliminate a number of amendments to the Constitution, and a media structure that works 24/7 to deceive and disinform about everything.....has created what the Beacon says it wants to now investigate.
None of the radicalness seen from the extreme right happened yesterday. It's been going on for years...building to a crescendo of anger, bitterness and hate.
No, the left has no equivalent movement or group as out of touch with reality or as angry-sounding and acting as the Tea Party. And that's where any objective journalist would begin in seeking to answer the question, "why do we sound so angry?" Even an ultra-conservative guy like Orrin Hatch says he "despises" these Tea Party people.....but media simply rejects the obvious while continuing it's hapless and hopeless search for equivalency.