In about 1968 my best friend came back from Seattle. I remember him showing up at our flat in – what was known as – Lower Piedmont after being gone about a year. There are two things I remember about that first visit, he brought the first joint I had every seen and he kept saying It takes two to tangle. I was reminded of that a couple of days ago, when I friend posted a online petition to the Republicans in Congress.
The petition may have been telling – asking? – the Republicans not to invite Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to speak to Congress, or may have been on Tom Cotton’s stupid letter. I don’t remember. But I do remember thinking that a Democrat, in a Blue State, signing a petition to the Republicans was a waste of time. It got me thinking why would someone put out a petition like that.
Often, the email or linked website wants you to send some money after signing the petition, so I think the petitions are often a pretext to raise money. That does not diminish their outrage, however. Sometimes they are just for the outrage, usually the outrage they want us to get. Usually over some stupid thing the Republicans did. Don’t get me wrong, at this point my disdain for the Republicans is almost boundless. But sometimes I get a email that is just a sky-is-falling scream. Oh my God! look what some sheriff in Texas did to some poor black woman.
Today, a got a petition for the Koch Brothers. Really! It said Our Message to The Koch Brothers. Your reckless spending is doing nothing for our country – in fact it is hurting our democracy. Now, the Koch Brothers are not going to look at that and say, Oh my God, Steve Stern is against us, let’s change our behavior, even if there were five million Steve Sterns. This is really a message for Steve Stern, Let’s make him afraid so he will stay on board.
Fear is the ultimate motivator and, every day, I get messages trying to scare me. Every day, I get a mailbox full of anti-rightwing propaganda saying be very afraid of bigots, be afraid of gun loving killers, be afraid of rich tax cheats. Everyday, they are telling me how bad the other side is, They are lairs. They are not Liberal and Fair and Open to diversity like we are. They are not kind and gentle like us. They are Bad, maybe even Evil. Dislike them, More!
I like to think that it is just the Right that campaigns on fear, but my side is just as virulent. Apparently, It does take two to tangle.