Sunday, October 21, 2007

Read and Recoil

Back when I was in a controlling, legalistic, our-way-is-the-only-way church, guilt by association was a typical charge made against wayward members like me. We were branded as drunkards if we went out to lunch with co-workers who partook of the occasional adult beverage. Hanging out with "unbelievers" (quotes very intentional) threatened the future of our eternal souls. And befriending a homosexual? Heaven forfend! We would surely begin to look with lust upon every member of our own gender.

This is the kind of stuff that drove many of us from many a church, and it's also the kind of stuff that is driving many of us from many a political party. It's downright embarrassing to associate with people who cast aspersions on others just because of the people they associate with. (Those "aspersions" exist only in the eyes of those doing the casting, of course; their intention is to slander others even though those others haven't done anything worthy of slander.) Dave Schraub of The Debate Link is among those who gets it; he fully understands that aspect of politically independent thinking (or "independentism," my newly coined shorthand):

Elsewhere in Virginia, Republican leaders have been scrambling to handle two rogue lawmakers in their caucus who are accusing the state Democrats of ties to terrorism because of their relationship with some local Muslim community organizations. It's a low political slam, and one most observers think will backfire, but also the type of attack that resonates with the die-hards. The folks who come out to vote in Republican primaries eat that stuff up, but the independent voters who are becoming more and more important in Virginia read that sort of thing and just recoil.
Read and recoil for sure. I'd like to believe that some of the folks who vote in Republican primaries also recoil at that kind of behavior, which insults the intelligence of voters, embarrasses many of the party faithful, says God knows what about Democrats and Muslim community organizations, and smacks of McCarthyism to boot. Rogue lawmakers, indeed. The kind who need to get the boot themselves.

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