Civility is the new hot topic. Thanks to Jonathan Chait, Richard Cohen and Michelle Malkin (to name but a few of the liberal critics in the media and from the conservative side of the blogosphere who are obsessed with this issue) we have learned that those of us who choose to call ourselves liberals or progressives are simply filled with unreasoning rage, hatred and fanaticism which makes us unhinged, irrational and (here’s the killshot) uncivil. Left to our own devices we will sink the Democrats’ chances in the Fall, lose the war on terror and generally spread immorality, rudeness and profanity throughout the world.

Frankly, I’m not sure if these people understand the concept of incivility. So before they go any further with their frenzy of charges against the propriety and decorum of the “Left” (and I’m using that term loosely to include anyone who expresses an opinion counter to any part of the Republican Party’s political agenda) I have one word for them:

STOP*

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Stop calling me a defeatist and terrorist sympathizer for not supporting the War in Iraq.

Stop calling me a traitor or a fanatic for thinking that the NSA should have to get a warrant from the FISA court before eavesdropping on my telephone and email communications.

Stop calling me a “faggot lover” or immoral merely because I believe that any two people who love one another should have the same rights as the rest of us to enter into a legally sanctioned marriage.

Stop calling me a baby killer because I support a woman’s right to choose what she can do with her own body, even if I may disagree with her choices.

Stop suggesting that terrorists should be permitted to attack San Francisco because some of their citizens object to military recruiting at colleges and public high schools.

Stop calling me a whack job because I do not support President Bush or his policies.

Stop telling me it was inappropriate for Stephen Colbert to openly criticize the President and the White House Press Corps through the employment of a scathingly funny satirical comedy routine.

Stop booing anyone who has the guts to ask a legitimate question of President Bush, Donald Rumsfeld or any other administration official regarding the reasons why they chose to invade Iraq.

Stop kicking and roughing up protesters who appear at Republican functions like the woman who displayed an anti-Bush tee shirt at the Republican National Convention.

Stop claiming that Cindy Sheehan is exploiting her grief because she wants President Bush to answer one simple question: What noble cause did my sun die for in Iraq?

Stop calling me a commie because, like millions of Americans, I believe universal health care is a right to which all people should have access.

Stop making “jokes” which call for poisoning sitting Supreme Court Justices, bombing the New York Times, issuing shooting licenses to hunt liberals or otherwise suggesting that the “elimination” of progressives is a good idea.

Stop smearing the reputation of any person who dares to speak out against the Bush administration’s policies (eg., Joseph Wilson, Richard Clarke, Paul O’Neill, the former Generals who have criticized Donald Rumsfeld, former CIA and other former intelligence professionals, etc.).

Stop calling or implying that prominent female Democratic politicians and officeholders are lesbians, dykes or “feminazis” merely because you don’t like their politics.

Stop saying I don’t support the troops because I want to bring them home from Iraq safe and sound sooner rather than later.

Stop suggesting that liberal and Democrats may or will form a “fifth column” to support terrorists.

Stop suggesting I’m a lunatic or part of a radical fringe group because I oppose the use of torture, the indefinite detention of prisoners without being charged with any crime and the willful violation of the rule of law by the Bush administration.

Stop claiming I’d like to see America destroyed by terrorists because I don’t think it would be such a good idea to bomb Iran right now.

Stop calling me a terrorist because I believe in sensible handgun legislation.

Stop claiming I’m a godless secularist because I don’t believe in the same God that you do.

Stop claiming I’m persecuting you and your religion merely because I don’t think religion should be taught as science in the public school system.

Stop saying I’m a fool and a extremist because I believe President Bush and Vice President Cheney should be impeached for all the lies they have told and the illegal acts they have committed.

Stop calling me a dirty hippie because I attended a protest rally or march to exercise my 1st Amendment rights to free speech and peaceable assembly.

Basically, STOP complaining about the incivility of the “Left” until you have done something to curb the far more extensive (and publicly prominent) incivility of the Right.

* I haven’t provided links for each of the above statements, but finding examples of the hate speech directed at Democrats, liberals and progressives isn’t that difficult if you know how to use Google. Many of these examples I’ve cited should be readily recognizable. For those who do want to see examples of right wing incivility I refer you to this diary which I posted here last week. It has plenty of links to both major media sources and right wing blogs of the sort of impolitic behavior I have described above.

























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