Friday, March 26, 2010

Feeding on Fear

I just received a fundraising appeal from a liberal organization that begins its pitch this way:
We knew that power concedes nothing. So did President Obama. So did the members of Congress who courageously voted for reform, knowing that the special interests and the extreme right wing would retaliate swiftly.

The attacks are fierce. Deceptive ads are hitting the airwaves in swing districts. GOP lawmakers are pushing to repeal reform -- and preventing the Senate from performing basic functions. A few Republican attorneys general have launched a baseless attack to overturn the legislation. But that's not even the worst of it.

A conservative blogger posted the home address of Congressman Tom Perriello, urging tea partiers to "drop by." Other members have had death threats. Democratic offices have been vandalized...
This is one of several similar emails I have received in the last few days from liberal groups. I don't like it one bit. I get that this is a proven method for raising money. I get that the right wing does it too. And I am not disputing the veracity of the charges leveled here. The Republicans are pretty much unhinged from reality right now; some of them are treading in dangerous and possibly illegal waters.

But do we have to stoop to the same level? Do we have to ratchet up the rhetoric to a fever pitch so we can meet them mano a mano in the gutter? If we want cooler heads to prevail on the other side shouldn't we model it on ours?

I don't give money to any organization - political or religious - that uses fear as a motivating tool.

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