Dave Neiwert has been writing some great posts on eliminationists lately, and while I understood it intellectually, I hadn't really seen it come down to a personal level, until recently.
While this isn't a pity-party post, it is an alarm-sounding one. We have a problem when passions run so strong, so hot, that shots like this one are made from behind an anonymous account linked loosely to Andrew Breitbart. I've been on the Internet for the OJ trial, the impeachment of Clinton, 9-11, and everything in between. People have said terrible things, but I can honestly say that they haven't ever really said them with a wish for personal harm.
Until last weekend. I dared to say aloud that Glenn Beck's big cry-a-thon where he whined about how reading those progressive books are eating him from the inside out was really more a manifestation of what consistent lies will do. Keep in mind, I didn't wish poor health on him. I didn't say he was lying about his health. I didn't say he should be sick. I just said lying will do that to a man.
To which I receive the tweet pictured at the top, where Mr. DailyCynic jumps into my timeline with the wish that I get breast cancer and die.
That crosses a line as far as I'm concerned. In my mind, there are some things you just don't say unless you really mean them. You don't use the word divorce in a fight with your spouse unless you mean it. You don't tell someone you hate them unless you really do. And you don't ever wish death on someone because you disagree with something they said. Yet, this person felt free to do exactly that.
If you were to pick through this troll's timeline, you'd find ties to Andrew Breitbart, but also a loyalty to Glenn Beck. You'd also find ties to a couple of notable Breitbots and Rob George, an African-American conservative pundit who writes for the New York Post.
But what you'll find with all of them is a connection to Glenn Beck, because Glenn Beck is the king of the eliminationist meme. When I pushed back on this DailyCynic dude, I received this reply:
While it's obvious that this DailyCynic person is a sock puppet and a troll, the ferocity of his attack is indicative of the high-pitched whine seen around many conservative watering holes. Someone has decided it's perfectly within their right to articulate death wishes upon people who disagree and Glenn Beck has given them permission with his crazy talk about how progressives are the scourge of the world. Of course, Beck doesn't really wish any harm on progressives, at least not at the hands of conservatives, but hoping they get cancer and die is now perfectly normal and acceptable.
In this case, words didn't do much to hurt me. Coming from an anonymous Breitbart fan, it meant little other than to signify the casual way they were tossed out at me. That didn't hurt, but it does give me cause to be concerned for the future of this nation.
If we can't disagree without wishing death on each other, I can't help thinking these folks may get what they wish for, and it will be ugly, bloody, and come to no good end.