It’s amazing how crazy and desperate liberals get when their beloved Democrats are facing a beatdown.
The Washington Post’s Richard Cohen wrote a column entitled “On the right, hateful words are fired like bullets.” In this genuine stink-piece, Cohen writes of having a flashback (against all warnings, he went and did the brown acid anyway) while riding his bike and listening to Neil Youg’s “Ohio,” a song about four Kent State student protesters who were shot dead by National Guardsmen:
But it is a story no more and so, on the bike, the full horror of it came through: My God, American soldiers had shot American college students. This was not China, not Tiananmen Square, and not Iran and the pro-democracy rallies of last year — not any of those places. This was America, just yesterday (take my word for it) and yet it had happened. How? I thought hard and then I remembered. Bullets had killed those kids, sure — but they were fired, in a way, from the mouths of politicians.
The governor of Ohio, James Rhodes, demonized the war protesters. They were “worse than the Brownshirts and the communist element. . . . We will use whatever force necessary to drive them out of Kent.”
That was the language of that time. And now it is the language of our time. It is the language of Glenn Beck, who fetishizes about liberals and calls Barack Obama a racist. It is the language of rage that fuels too much of the Tea Party and is the sum total of gubernatorial hopeful Carl Paladino’s campaign message in New York. It is all this talk about “taking back America” (from whom?) and this inchoate fury at immigrants and, of course, this raw anger at Muslims, stoked by politicians such as Newt Gingrich and Rick Lazio, the latter having lost the GOP primary to Paladino for, among other things, not being sufficiently angry. “I’m going to take them out,” Paladino vowed at a Tea Party rally in Ithaca, N.Y.
Back in the Vietnam War era, the left also used ugly language and resorted to violence. But the right, as is its wont, stripped the antiwar movement of its citizenship. It turned dissent into treason, which, in a way, was the worst treason of all. It made dissidents into the storied “other” who had nothing in common with the rest of us. They were not opponents; they were the enemy: Fire!
On my bike, I recalled those days and wondered if they have not returned. Sticks and stones may break bones, but words — that singsong rebuttal notwithstanding — can kill. We lose presidents to words and civil rights leaders to words — homosexuals and immigrants and abortion providers, too. Richard Nixon is named in the song because he was the president at the time and because his words were ugly. He was enthralled by toughness, violence.
I hear the song more clearly now than I ever did. It is a distant sound from our not-so-distant past, but a clear warning about our future. Four dead in Ohio. Not just a song. A lesson.
Because the right “turned dissent into treason” in the late 60’s and early 70’s this somehow justifies Richard Cohen turning dissent into murder accusations for killings that haven’t been committed?
Weren’t the Kent State students protesting the government, just like the Tea Party? Oh well, if the facts don’t present themselves, just make stuff up!
With any luck, the real killing will take place at the polls on November 2nd — a slaughter that Cohen will write about as worse than the time those darned Teabaggers killed innocent students at Kent State.