We’ve had it with the politics of fear

DKS Editors

Rep. Emmanuel Cleaver, D-Mo., was spat upon by a protester who was later arrested. Cleaver did not press charges. Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., a former civil rights leader, was reportedly called a “ni–er.” Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., was reportedly called a “fa–ot.”

Rep. Louise Slaughter, D-N.Y., had a brick tossed through a window in her office Friday.

Opponents of the Democrats’ health care reform plan must understand this only serves to discredit them, especially in the eyes of the younger generations. We did not all live through the days of terror and outright racism of the civil rights era.

But maybe these shocking events can remind us once again that there are people who will try to use fear and hatred to sway the politics of the nation.

Since the incidents, Republican and Tea Party leaders have spoken out against the slurs and violence. House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, said, “Well listen, there were some isolated incidents on the Hill yesterday that were reprehensible and should not have happened, but let’s not let isolated incidents get in the way of the fact that millions of Americans are scared to death.”

That may be so. Millions of Americans may oppose health care and even be “afraid” like Boehner said. But stop trying to make a political point out of a heinous event. The war over health care reform has turned shockingly bitter, and it’s naïve to think President Barack Obama’s race and his views on women and homosexuality haven’t contributed.

And if the Republicans want a chance to succeed in any way with the younger generations, they need to come down harder on those among their ranks who think discrimination is still in any way acceptable.

We’re done with the politics of fear. Don’t tell us Obama is going to kill grandma. Don’t think your slurs against blacks and homosexuals cause anything greater than disgust and a fair amount of pity among the vast majority of our generation.

The Tea Party supporters should be the ones taking the strongest stance against these incidents. They’ve been made to look foolish on the national stage. Like it or not, their views on health care reform will forever be linked with “death panels,” Hitler mustaches and now discrimination.

We’re not saying our generation is completely well-versed in every political argument. We’re definitely not saying our generation completely falls within one political group or subgroup.

We’re diverse, but even so, a huge majority of us are tired of the fear mongering, hatred and outright lies.

We’ll run away in droves from any group or party with even a whiff of intolerance. The politics of fear simply will not play with us. Speak out strongly against any and all discrimination or find your group relegated to the past very soon, exactly where intolerance belongs.