Monday, December 14, 2015

He Who Lives by the Obnoxious Dies by the Obnoxious

You know the Biblical saying, “He who lives by the sword dies by the sword?” Well, we’re seeing something very similar play out in today’s political scene.

Not that people are going around cutting each other to pieces in a physical sense. Unless they’re Muslim. Or Baltimorean.

It’s more they’re being absolute, inconsiderate, obnoxious jerks, and it’s breeding more of the same.

Now, this country is practically founded on political obnoxiousness, with patriotic mobs tarring and feathering anyone who supported King George III’s taxes. And even right after the Revolution, political parties took turns savaging each other in the papers whenever a vote was up for debate.

Going overboard with our “freedom of expression” is a longstanding American pastime. I can’t even say the quality of what’s being said has become more obnoxious over the last decade. It’s only the frequency that’s changed.

The liberal left has doubled – maybe even tripled – down on its rhetoric the last four presidential terms, disparaging George W. Bush and glorifying Barack Obama to kingdom come.

Bush kept quiet under that onslaught. Obama encouraged it. There have been very few, if any, public addresses where our current president hasn’t thrown in some barely hidden or downright blatant barb against his political opposition.

Since he gets a lot of facetime, that’s an overwhelming amount of obnoxiousness.

When you’re obnoxious so consistently, one of two things is going to happen: The opposition either ends up trying to lick your boots or kick your butt.

Donald Trump and his followers are an example of the latter.

There’s no way someone with Donald Trump’s level of obnoxiousness would be anywhere so popular unless people were retaliating against perceived or real obnoxiousness themselves. Right or wrong (and I think they’re wrong), his supporters feel as if they’ve been lambasted enough to justify being jerks to those who were (perceived or real) jerks to them.

The problem with that mentality is that it’s only going to breed a retaliation round by liberals, just like it backfired on them to begin with.

So conservatives, here’s the moral of the story: No matter how much fun it feels to give them a taste of their own medicine in the moment, it’s no way to usher in lasting change.

Not unless we want to end up dying by the obnoxious sword ourselves… and deserve it.

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