people need to stop doing this crap. personally harassing elected officials is wrong. not how politics should be conducted. if you want change, work/vote for change https://t.co/2plkKpfdJY
— John Harwood (@JohnJHarwood) October 20, 2018
Be polite while we kill you.
Be polite while we erase you.
Be polite while we cage you.
Be polite while we shoot you.
Be polite while we fire you.
Be polite while you’re less than.
Be polite while you’re ground under.
Be polite while you let us walk all over you. Kiss the foot that kicks you. Thank us for our scorn. Be polite. Be polite. Be polite.
Above all, be polite.
Don’t talk about politics. Don’t talk about war. Don’t talk about race. Don’t talk about the inherent inhumanity of ripping children from their mothers’ arms, about drone-bombing villages whose names you don’t even know, about paying someone $8 an hour to scrub toilets and calling it a good job. Don’t talk about local races, national races, international relations, sexual harassment, rape culture, gun control, climate change, factory farms. Don’t talk about where your kids go to school and how they get there and how it gets harder every day to raise them as people with compassion and grace when the voices that are raised up to the halls of power are calling down every day in hatred. Don’t talk about any of that.
Shh. Shut up. Everyone’s looking. Be polite.
Polite protects power. Polite and nice are unquestionably good and good is just as we are meant to be and good needs no defense. There’s no defense for their monstrosity. There’s no defense for the lies they tell and there’s no defense for the truth, either. Someone sent out a memo yesterday, the day before: several thousand poor and starving people are going to walk into your country and take what’s yours so you’d better vote for Republicans, because we’ll build a wall to keep them out.
Several million poor people are living in your country and they’re taking what’s yours so we’ll cut your taxes to stop them.
Just over a million people are living their lives out loud for the first time and it freaks you right out so we’ll write a law to wipe them out of existence.
Oh, you don’t like that? You object? You protest?
We’ll laugh at you, we’ll threaten you, we’ll fight you, we’ll kill you.
You fight back? You speak out? You stand up? How dare you.
Can’t have that. We’ll tell you to be polite. Everyone agrees it’s too loud and mean in here these days. Everyone agrees it’s colder than it used to be out there. Everyone agrees our country is divided. Became divided. The political divide, it deepens every day, because of this incivility.
Power is always civil. Power deserves courtesy, deference, respect. It wears a suit when it puts your daughter in a cage. It wears a uniform when it shoots your son. It’s never messy when it closes down your library; after all, it’s not like power burned those books, right? It has a prepared statement to e-mail to the press, blow-dried shiny hair, a podium to stand behind. It sincerely regrets. It wishes this could have gone another way. It tells you this can’t be helped. It’s so clean.
You’re the messy one. Yelling. Hair all wild, eyes wide, top of your lungs. Who do you think you are? What do you think you’re doing? Who is all of this shouting supposed to convince, anyway? Who is the audience for it? What is the BRAND?
If you really want to make a difference, you should sit on a stage next to the monster, calmly debate him for an audience of journalists and lobbyists and hobbyists at being human. Their opinions REALLY matter. They’re thought leaders leading thoughts. They get their op-eds published, in the name of “free speech.” Your speech should be just as free. You should sit next to the monster in the exact same chair as him, so we can judge his suit against your hoodie with the rude slogan, and find you wanting, if in no other way than appearance.
Don’t like it? Don’t think it’s fair? That’s the way the world works, kiddo. Sarah Huckabee Sanders had a right to that cheese plate. You risk turning everyone against you by standing on the public street.
With your rude T-shirt declaring your rights, human rights.
With your sign.
That says, please don’t kill me.