Georgia Voices: Who's being radical? Hyperbolic political rhetoric is burying fairness
by The Augusta Chronicle
October 24, 2013 12:36 AM | 890 views | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A caller to the Bill Bennett Morning in America radio show last Wednesday claimed tea party supporters are “anarchists” and want to bring down the government.

Ever the gentleman, Dr. Bennett patiently asked the caller where and who he had heard this from. The caller couldn’t cite any source.

We can: It came from the ether, where overheated rhetoric hovers like foul smog over our politics.

The hyperbole was particularly gaseous during the government shutdown. The left called conservative Americans, many of whom support the tea party agenda, “arsonists,” “jihadists” and “terrorists.” And, oh yeah, “anarchists.”

The rhetoric is delusional, dangerous, unproductive and unfair.

Remember a few years ago when Congresswoman Gabby Giffords and several others were shot by a deranged gunman in Tucson, Ariz.? The left and their compliant media immediately, almost reflexively, blamed conservatives and conservative rhetoric. As it turned out, of course, the shooting had nothing to do with that. But liberals nonetheless lectured conservatives about the perils of over-the-top verbiage.

Well, look who’s over the top now.

Atlanta editorialist Cynthia Tucker didn’t stop with tea party supporters. She blamed whites in general for the shutdown.

“I knew some whites would have difficulty w/ a browner America but didn’t know they’d wanna destroy the country over it,” she wrote in a posting on Twitter.

Wow. Neither did we!

All this blather has an effect — like convincing a radio caller that the goal is anarchy.

An Internet video this past week also showed that a number of people on the street even blame former President George W. Bush — who left office in 2009 — for this month’s government shutdown.

There’s little doubt that conservatives in Congress have tripped over themselves with their brinksmanship. This page, while supportive of the tea party’s ends, has criticized the recent tactics.

But, as a CNN reporter remarkably cautioned a biased CNN anchor recently: “Let’s be careful about using the term ‘radical,’ because a lot of those folks feel like they’re standing on principle today, even though they didn’t come out on top in this.”

Thank you.

In addition, how about some perspective? How about a little fairness? How about a little even-handedness?

Yes, again, even this page, which supports the tea party, disagrees with what their favorite congressmen did in the case of the shutdown. But is seeking a sane and moral budget — one that doesn’t immorally steal from future generations — really all that “radical”? Is it radical or extreme to ask the government to live within its means, as every one of our families must, in order to stave off bankruptcy and ruin?

Moreover, what about the folks on the other side of this dispute? Those who seek only to spend what we don’t have, who blindly support “borrowing” trillions from future generations, who risk bankrupting the country and perhaps someday collapsing the dollar (China is already pushing the world to leave the dollar behind)? Isn’t that more properly the radical position in this debate? They maintain, as Nancy Pelosi did recently, that there’s absolutely nothing to cut in the budget and that, in fact, the government needs more of our money.

That’s preposterous and insulting, and quite suicidal for the republic.

What happens when future generations are saddled with both our ongoing debt (about $17 trillion and counting) and the currently unfunded costs of Social Security and health care for future retirees (an estimated $90 trillion-plus)? What will their quality of life be? Or is ours so much more important than theirs?

We’d say that kind of indifference, neglect and injustice is the real radical position.

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