How Quick We Are To Devour Our Political Dissenters

12706_292521130865415_21056092_nHearing the apolitical and unconventional classes generalize how both Parties are essentially the same is confounding to those who chronicle Party politics.  Many say they govern the same; their foreign policy is the same; their monetary policy is the same.  Both are guilty of cronyism, corruption and copulation.  As diametrically opposed or indisposed they are, the Democrat and Republican parties do share one unflattering characteristic:  both are quick to condemn any public persona having an independent thought that detracts from the Party line.

Independent thought is tantamount to heresy and dissent.  Offenders are denounced and alienated as fringe.  The difference lies in how the Party-threatened excommunication is carried out.

Republicans marginalize, exile and diss their dissenters.  Democrats politically disembowel them.

The Left has many tools at their disposal, like their repositories of smear sites: SourceWatch, Media Matters for America and Right Wing Watch to assist their partners in broadcast media to destroy political enemies. But as much as the Left actively disdain the Right, they reserve their most veracious vilification for personas that should be Democrat by birthright.  Recall how Clarence Thomas, Colin Powell and Condoleeza Rice were met with caustic accusations of being “Uncle Toms” and “house slaves” for the Right (including unsanitary accusations of leaving behind hair on a Classic Coke can).

What’s more unconscionable to the Left are Jewish-Marxist intellectual converts to conservatism.  The neocons – or liberals mugged by reality, as coined by Irving Kristol.  Neoconservatives, such as Norman Podhoretz and David Horowitz, are two men accused of being dangerous hatemongers with unholy alliances to racist organizations, who understand the liberal mindset and their blueprints for winning the battle of the mind.

What is objectionable about the Republican Party devouring their own is that they tout themselves as being the Party of ideas.  If a public figure utters a singular, independent thought that deviates from Party platform, the mainstream Right is quick to malign their intentions, quick to deride their integrity and quick to annul any gains in political momentum to the advancement of political thought for the sake of Party cohesiveness.  Let’s consider the most notable Republican casualties:

Colin Powell, who went from an “Uncle Tom” to going back in the fold of the Democrat Party post-WMD posturing.  He is a man accused of never being a “true Republican” as he stood by his convictions maintaining that Affirmative Action policies were still needed to even the playing field for Blacks in the arena of workplace opportunity.

Pam Geller and Robert Spencer were renounced and uninvited by their own Party as guest panelists at CPAC for “inciting Islamophobia” amongst its attendees and the Party at large.  They were alienated and marked as “fringe”, denounced and dismissed for asserting opinions outside the bounds of political decorum.

Sarah Palin is perceived as an intellectual neophyte, pundit turned pop culture icon and pariah of the American Right, a pawn of McCain campaign strategists who sought “political eye candy” rather than substantive debate; a voice silenced by her own campaign for her outspokenness against then-candidate Obama who feared accusations of racism and bigotry.

Ben Carson is the antidotal answer to all that ails the Republican Party– until he was perceived to waiver on the issue of gun control and the 2nd Amendment.  Never mind his anecdotal reasoning behind such opinions having sutured many a gunshot wound in his capacity as neurosurgeon.

Chris Christie was criticized for hugging President Obama after a natural disaster during an election year and he is accused of being a RINO for taking center-Left stances on social issues.  For these misdeeds his allegiance to the Party is put into question.  What is appealing about Christie from a conservative standpoint is his willingness to risk political popularity to do what is best for the state of New Jersey and all of its constituents.  Isn’t that how we would prefer President Obama to govern, representing all Americans regardless of political affiliation rather than targeting the Minority Party divisively, monetarily and judiciously?

Is the Republican Party not strong enough to withstand contrasting points of view, even views that seem to directly contradict the Party platform?  With the Democrat Party acting as purveyor of free speech by silencing voices through political correctness, can the Republican Party not transcend Party pettiness to advocate for a model of intellectual curiosity and spirited debate that lacks attacks on personhood?  What ever happened to out of many, one?

As the Minority Party, Republicans find themselves targeted, isolated and constrained by the Party in power, often likening themselves to a people without a country or, in a more grizzly way, akin to the Donner Party.  The last thing the Republican Party needs is to devour their own.  The imagery of political cannibalism is at best distasteful.

Leslie Deinhammer

Illinois PolitiChick Leslie Anne Deinhammer, writer, chaplain and proud wife of a Marine Corps veteran, writes on topics of politics, human rights and faith. Follow her at @lesliedhammer on Twitter.

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