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The Damnable Persistence of Partisan Hatred

By Diogenes (articles ) | Nov 06, 2004

Having read two or three dozen op-eds arguing that the recent elections were a triumph of hate-filled lies devised by malicious and cynical ideologues in order to prey on the fears of the ignorant, etc., etc., I was put in mind of Mark Twain's superb short story "Journalism in Tennessee," wherein the proprietor of the Morning Glory and Johnson County War-Whoop pens an editorial in dispraise of his rivals.

We observe that the besotted blackguard of the Mud Spring Morning Howl is giving out, with his usual propensity for lying, that Van Werter is not elected. The heaven-born mission of journalism is to disseminate truth; to eradicate error; or educate, refine and elevate the tone of public morals and manners, and make all men more gentle, more virtuous, more charitable, and in all ways better, and holier, and happier; and yet this black-hearted scoundrel degrades his great office persistently to the dissemination of falsehood, calumny, vituperation, and vulgarity.

It's not hard to find parallels with the self-styled proponents of healing among our own media and professional elites (and -- dare I say it? -- certain critics of orthodox Catholic blogdom). There is a certain breed of altruist for whom it is so important that his own brand of charity be instantly and universally embraced that he sees it his duty to force it down the throats of his brethren -- and this in a manner indistinguishable (to other eyes) from the very cruelty he deplores. Those who would bludgeon brotherly love into their inferiors are marked by a supreme confidence in the rightness of their own position combined with a total imperviousness to irony. They typically call themselves "reconcilers."

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  • Posted by: John J Plick - Nov. 06, 2004 10:39 PM ET USA

    Healing = reconcliation with those whom we have defined (as evidenced by the recent election) as practicing and even celebrating "objective evil...?" Clever trick to try and undo the "damage" done to the liberal cause... outside and even inside the Church... but I don't think it will work.

  • Posted by: - Nov. 06, 2004 10:26 PM ET USA

    You've got the personality down pat, Diogenes.