Carnes: We have become a nation of screaming, petulant children; both sides need to grow up (column)
June 25, 2018
We have become a nation of screaming, petulant children.
Court-ordered bigotry has become the lay of the land, and hypocrisy its road map.
Imagine Happy Valley hotels asking guests to fill out an online form concerning their personal views toward homosexuality before accepting a reservation or perhaps Vail Village diners being required to fill out a questionnaire concerning their political views before being seated.
You might as well be asking me to imagine a color I've never seen before.
It's a brave new world of hyper-partisan hate, with Marie Antoinette wearing a pasty green jacket emblazoned with the words "Let them eat cake" on the back.
Neither side gives a rat's patootie what the other thinks and damns the consequences of their own actions as long it makes the other look worse. The proverbial zero-sum boat of politics, yet at this rate we're all going down with the ship.
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A Colorado baker refuses to bake a cake for a gay couple and he is applauded for exercising his First Amendment freedoms by one side of the aisle.
A D.C.-area restaurant manager refuses to serve a meal to Sarah Huckabee Sanders and she is applauded for exercising her First Amendment freedoms by the other side.
Or is it a terrible injustice by both?
"Womp, womp," as the new saying goes, or is it "I really don't care, do you?"
So many instances to choose from, yet only two sides to go with. And therein lies the real problem.
We have Sarah's dad, former governor of Arkansas Mike Huckabee, tweeting a racially insensitive photo insulting House Minority leader Nancy Pelosi and Seth Rogan proudly boasting of his refusal to pose for a photo with Paul Ryan in front of Ryan's kids.
Each side applauded according to script and boycotts demanded of one sort or another (I think one side was demanding girlcotts, but whatever …).
We have confused Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen being screamed at while trying to eat dinner and crazy California Congresswoman Maxine Waters demanding more public harassment of Trump aides, shouting, "God is on our side!"
Regardless of her neglecting to clarify which deity she is referring to, the point appears to be the same across the board: We will tolerate and accept you so long as you agree with us and believe what we believe — otherwise it's open season on you and anyone who acts like you.
The Red Hen should now be called the Red Herring Restaurant, lest a restaurant down the street kick out a patron for wearing a MAGA hat.
None of these issues are about being morally right or wrong. They are all about one person imposing their political/religious opinion on another, with politics and religion being the dual face of a one-sided coin. If you allow one group to deny service based on a belief, then you lose the right to complain when another group denies you based on their beliefs.
Besides, do any of you honestly believe no one has ever spit in her food or her boss' food or any of the Obamas' food over an eight-year period?
I'm telling you, if our nation's enemies (most Middle East countries, Russian trolls, Canadians, etc.) are trying to divide us, then they are certainly succeeding.
I'd even put money down that a few of you reading this column have already been offended by one line and chuckled at another, thus helping to prove my point.
Both sides need to grow up.
Richard Carnes, of Edwards, writes weekly. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.