Monday, January 21, 2013

Joseph O. Patton: Not on our parade

  The trolls apparently set their alarms early for today. Before the crowds began to assemble in Washington, D.C., social media websites were already littered with hate-fueled, divisive and often race baiting tinged venom. It’s nothing new – such behavior had become common before Barack Obama even took office in 2009.

  The president has been cast as a Muslim, a communist, a socialist, a Marxist… and countless other misguided, typically misapplied terms by those who have no grasp of what any of those words mean. He has been the target of a record number of assassination threats, conspiracy theories… and of course biased, falsehood-driven attacks from tin foil hat-wielding hacks posing as reporters as well as the usual suspects at Fox News.

  It can easily become overwhelming – fighting a perpetual avalanche of lies… of hatred… of poorly-veiled, backdoor attacks that stem from little more than an inbred strain of virulent racism, coupled with misinformation. It’s disheartening. It pollutes our political discourse. It curbs our ability to weigh public policy proposals with honesty and by merit. It is toxic.

  But I’ve come to the conclusion that we should not squander any more of our time with these people – these people who hate our president more than they love their country. There is no value in angling to find middle ground with those who would rather stay isolated. There is no point in seeking compromise with those who selfishly and self-righteously demand their way on every matter. There is no reason to make overtures to those whose hatred – often sparked by racism and fanned by falsehoods – renders them incapable of making honest, fact-based assessments. There is no plausible goal in forging partnerships with those who are still ranting about a birth certificate.

  Rather than be distracted or deterred by the sadness of their crippling negativity, and rather than toss away our time with those who don’t deserve it, I say to hell with ‘em. The rest of us have progress to make, goals to meet and brighter days to embrace.

  About the author: Joseph O. Patton is the editor-in-chief and founder of the Capital City Free Press. He is a former news editor for the Coosa County News, lead reporter for the Montgomery Independent and editor-in-chief of the AUMnibus, the student newspaper of Auburn-Montgomery. Patton is also the creator of and writer for the satirical news radio segment "Goat Hill Gossip," which previously aired on WAUD in Auburn, Alabama and has appeared on several Central Alabama radio programs as a political analyst.

Copyright © Capital City Free Press

1 comment:

  1. Right on, Cap! Your comments are a helpful antidote to Steve Flowers' near-Tea Party attitudes.