For the record: not all Democrats are Godless heathens

Dennis Warden

On Nov. 29 our managing editor, Dave Marner, was in St. Charles attending a speech by President Donald Trump. Why did he go? Because Dave loves to take pictures of the President. When the president is that close and it’s not a Monday or Tuesday (our deadline days) why not go?

Dave took photos of Barack Obama in Union, Mo, when he was campaigning for the presidency back in 2008. He also has taken photos of President  Ronald Reagan, President George H. W. Bush, President Bill Clinton as well as many other political figures, both state wide and national. 

After the speech Dave encountered an enthusiastic Trump supporter with a “Fire Claire” bumper sticker exclaiming all Democrats are “Godless heathens and abortionists and scumbags…you journalists too.”

Did this bother Dave? I doubt it. Characters like this make our job as journalists more interesting.

Was everyone attending Trump’s speech like this supporter? Of course not. He was the exception.

This points out a big problem in America today. Too many people paint with a broad stroke. Claims are made on both sides of the political isle, demonizing the other side. 

You’ve probably heard some of these — all Republicans are racists, all Republicans are bigots, all Republicans are homophobes, all Republicans are white supremacists, all Republicans are fascists.

When I Googled “All Republicans are” the second listing was this website —

 Really? And how would anyone know this?

The problem with these statements is they promote hate and ignorance creating an ‘us versus them’ mentality.

The next step is to perceive your opponent as sub-human, not deserving of basic rights. In essence the activist stoops to the level of what they think they see in others.

When at war that is how you perceive the enemy.

Unfortunately, someone who believes statements like these will never take the time to get to know anyone who disagrees with them.

Statements similar to what this Trump supporter that Dave ran into said are easier to make when part of a crowd. It becomes even easier to put others down when you are in a group protesting. It’s called mob mentality. When you’re in a mob you feel empowered and in some ways insulated from your actions.

That same thing occurs on the internet. It’s easier to be a bully and put someone else down when you  can hide your identity. 

Remember, bullying someone in person, in a mob, or on the internet makes the bully feel bigger and more important when they put others down.

Whenever someone paints with a broad brush and accuses all “whatever I’m a part of” as being this or that, I instantly lose respect for them and their opinions. Because by doing this we instantly stop debating the issues.

I’m sure you feel the same when any group you are apart of is attacked unfairly.

How can you carry on an honest discussion on any issues with someone if you believe them to be almost sub human. 

We all have a responsibility to stand against hate, but that also includes not hating those who have a different opinion.

One way to fight this is by living your life without hate. By being a good person and demonstrating that you are not a racist you make it hard for your friends who are Democrats to believe that Republicans as a group are racist. In the same context those Democrat friends I have who attend church and believe in God disprove the “Fire Claire” demonstrator.

This behavior can also be seen in our sports stadiums. But this is usually all in fun. When the Chicago Cubs are at Busch Stadium it is normal for the Cubs fan to receive a little ribbing. 

I’m sure the reverse is true when the Cardinals visit Wrigley Field.

For the record: I know plenty of Democrats whom I work with, are friends with, or who are my relatives. I don’t consider them Godless heathens or abortionists. The Republicans I know are not racists. I’m not sure I’ve ever met a homophobe. That’s not to say these people don’t exist, but they are in the minority.

 The only people I would describe as scumbags is for entirely different reasons than their political affiliation.