What do history's most notorious despots have in common with many of the flag-waving, patriotic politicians of our day? Both groups rise to power through the exploitation of fear, which has become a societal plague. There have been widespread casualties. We need an antidote. Feardom offers its readers a much-needed immunization.
Tonight I watched the debate (or as FOX 13 termed it, the “smackdown”) between Sean Hannity and Rocky Anderson. It was two hours of heated debate (if you can call it that) and partisan bickery.
The entire thing smacked of double standards. It was nothing more than putrid partisanship and personal insults.
Luckily, I didn’t expect much more of it. I knew that it would be an entertaining “death match” of sorts between these two personalities, diametrically opposed to one another.
I must say, however, that I was sorely disappointed with Sean Hannity. Instead of answering simple questions and sticking to the subject matter, he consistently made personal attacks (even though some were valid), repeatedly labeled Rocky and members of the audience as liberals, used fearmongering to validate foreign policies, and talked up the troops in order to belittle any opposition to war policy.
Rocky had a hard time formulating questions as he repeatedly cited statistics and statements to build up his case, while Hannity towed the Republican party line and refused to answer valid questions posed him, instead using videos to smear Democrats and create further political divisiveness.
It was actually very tiring to watch. It’s the same rhetoric you see on CNN, FOX, most radio programs, and all other major media outlets. It’s harming our nation. It’s deepening our seemingly bottomless quagmire. It doesn’t aid in coming to a solution at all.
The highlight of the evening was after Hannity continually referred to John Kerry as “the president Rocky voted for”, in a continued effort to insult and demean his political opponents, the Democrats, by associating Rocky with them. After numerous times of making this connection, Rocky finally threw it back in Hannity’s face and informed him that he had voted for Ralph Nader. This was yet one more example of Hannity’s typical tactic to smear his opponents using statements that may or may not be true. I was glad to see him put in his place, for he did indeed deserve it.
So who won the debate? Neither of them. This mud-flinging match served for nothing else than to further polarize the issues brought up.