Think of this as Volume 12, Number 40 of A-Clue.com, the online newsletter I've written since 1997. Enjoy.
Speech is free, but free speech carries responsibilities.
I know whereof I speak. I have an ADD temper. My son has an ADD temper. To the right is what he did to the living room, moments ago, because I dared disagree with him.
Politics works the same way. And its patterns run in waves, similar to Elliot Waves. There are short-term waves based on issues, and longer-term waves based on assumptions. The biggest waves come when a generation's assumptions are not just challenged, but overthrown. This happened in last year's election, which was the first time since 1964 a liberal candidate won a clear mandate from the American people.
This fact has driven conservatives loopy. Their loopiness was indulged, even used as a weapon, during the Bush years. It is still indulged by the nation's media out of habit. A single election won't change the knee-jerk media assumption that "America is a center-right nation."
We had this kind of violent rhetoric and acting-out before, in my living memory. It came in 1969-70, it came from the left, and it was finally confronted, first in the words of Spiro Agnew, finally in the killings at Kent State and Jackson State.
These actions scarred the left, and still scar it. Young activists dropped out of activism, becoming yuppies, religious nuts, Reaganites, and now senior citizens. Leftists learned there were limits, not just in what they could do, but what they could say. Liberals learned that they were no longer the majority, they were the minority, and eventually comported themselves accordingly.
For nearly 40 years our politics have been an abusive relationships, with conservatives as the wife beaters and liberals as the wives. Conservatives know that by contriving anger, by throwing fits, by constantly attacking, by never backing down, and eventually by threatening violence they will force liberals to back down.