Easter Thoughts on Civility vs. Profanity

“The foolish and wicked practice of profane cursing and swearing is a vice so mean and low that every person of sense and character detests and despises it.”

– Sentiment
attributed to President George Washington

A couple weeks back,
this News Buckit post caught the attention of various conservative pundits. Patrick Ishmael posits that, while the Left doesn’t have a monopoly on crudeness, its members do conduct themselves in a considerably more vulgar manner than those on the Right. The results come as no surprise whatsoever—for years ProtestWarrior has been putting the lie to the Left’s image of civility, the indispensable Michelle Malkin tears apart the insanity in Unhinged: Exposing Liberals Gone Wild, and those of us who take part in politics regularly, especially on the Internet, encounter the mud fairly frequently.

Why the bitterness, obscenity & viciousness? Because Internet moonbats aren’t animated by anything more thoughtful, honorable or complex than sheer hatred. As adherents to an emotion-dominant worldview, their opponents
cannot be innocently mistaken; ill will is the only logical explanation. Nobody could possibly believe the Iraq War could lead to less global violence in the long term, so oil profits or bloodlust must drive its proponents. Affirmative action obviously helps blacks; only racists would oppose it. And so on.

Upon accepting the premise that the opponent is a villain unsusceptible to facts, the moonbat no longer considers presenting a superior argument the top priority (or any priority, often enough). Instead, he/she seeks to destroy and dehumanize the enemy. Any consideration for honesty, ethics or maturity is disregarded in favor of indulging his/her blind rage. Never mind how the sophomoric tirades or blatant demagoguery reflect upon him/her; they make the mudslinger feel good on some perverse level, and that’s all that matters—not whether the mud is true or relevant, just that it’s vicious. It’s easy to picture the average moonbat giggling behind the keyboard that has replaced his/her childhood playground, juvenile thoughts of “That’ll teach ‘em!” dancing in his/her head.

Mature Americans are rightly disgusted by bloggers like
Amanda Marcotte & Melissa McEwan and pundits like Bill Maher & Al Franken, but you do have to credit them with one thing: they rant as themselves, let their conduct define their identities, and let the chips fall where they may. However, the Internet allows millions of more-cowardly demagogues to spew their venom from the shadows. The fact that such people choose to operate anonymously, thereby keeping their demagoguery a nice, safe distance from their true identities, suggests that somewhere, deep down, they know what they do is simply not right.

I wonder if that knowledge also produces a guilt or pain that, despite repeated attempts to drown it out with self-indulgent venom, just cannot be snuffed out. It’s sad that people choose to deal with their inner demons by lashing out in such useless, hateful and childish ways, but hopefully some of them will come to realize that their lives don’t have to be stuck in such moral ruts. Once they realize what they do is wrong, they can reject it, find forgiveness and redemption, and truly cast out their inner demons. Ultimately, that’s what this Easter Sunday is about.

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