By GARY BAUMGARTEN
Paltalk News Network
It's happened again.
A Tea Party protest produces totally offensive, ugly comments.
The Tea Party is supposed to be an independent movement that's demanding accountability and proper representation of contingencies by members of Congress. But, all-too-often there are incidents of distasteful rhetoric and imagery.
During the town hall debates over the summer, there were instances of protesters calling President Obama a Nazi. Of course, when George W. Bush was president, he too was called by some opponents a Nazi.
Then there were the instances of people exercising their constitutional rights by brandishing firearms at protests outside while President Obama spoke inside the town hall meetings. Yes, they had the right to carry the firearms. But the intimidating message was clear.
Now, during a Tea Party protest on Capitol Hill on the eve of today's health reform vote, the "n" word was tossed at black Congressman John Lewis (D-GA). And gay Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) was called a faggot.
Shouting racial and sexual pejoratives at members of Congress. Good on you Tea Party members. And you really want the rest of the nation to take you seriously!
There is a vocal and seemingly growing general distrust of government in the United States. Some of it is reflective of valid concerns. A lot of it the result of conservative pundit hyperbole. Whether one agrees with this sometimes near hysteria or not - folks have the right to express themselves. They even have the right to shout the "n" word or yell "faggot" at a gay member of Congress. But the right to do so doesn't make it right to do it.
The disintegration of civil discourse in our society isn't healthy. Not for the individuals spewing hatred. Not for their targets. Not for the nation as a whole.
Live coverage of the health reform vote begins at 1 PM New York time today on the Paltalk News Network. You can talk to Gary at 5 PM weekdays on News Talk Online on the Paltalk News Network. Both at www.joinchatnow.com. There is no charge.