Liberal Writer Wishes That George W. Bush Would Rot in Hell

Apparently, Ben Gran, a writer at Paste, believes that there isn't enough hatred in the world. I mean, how else to explain the opening paragraph of his temper tantrum hit piece on President George W. Bush?

In his opening paragraph, Gran declares his hatred for President Bush seven times, including a declaration of hatred for Bush's children. In fact, kicking off the theme of unbridled hatred, the article's original title was "George W. Bush is Not Your Cuddly Grandpa. George W. Bush Can Rot in Hell." Paste has since altered the title and added a note explaining that the title "has been amended because in an Internet environment where many people only read the headline, it came off more mean-spirited than we intended."

Well, Paste editors, if I may direct my comments to you for a moment, it came off as mean-spirited because the article is mean-spirited. Altering the title doesn't change the fact that Ben Gran wrote, "Ever since I can remember, for pretty much my entire adult life, I've hated George W. Bush ... I hate his whole sick, twisted family. I even hate his children." The opening paragraph, and the article in its entirety is, in fact, mean-spirited. Your completely transparent editorial shell game is only going to fool those who only read the headline to begin with.

For the rest of my readers, Gran's article is simply rehashed liberal vitriol that attempts to twist an already dried up rhetorical pretzel into a new point. Unfortunately, the mess left behind simply adds to the existing mess that has been choking off actual dialogue for several years. And therein lies the biggest problem with Gran's article.

Painting President George W. Bush as the archetype for evil is as unhelpful as painting President Barack Obama as the archetype of evil. I disagree with basically every policy position that President Obama pushes, but that doesn't mean that I'm privy to his motives. Assuming entrenched evil in President Obama would be arrogant on my part as well as detrimental to my ability to helpfully argue with those who support him. For example, circling back, why should conservatives pay any attention to Gran's arguments, past or future, when he has staked out such a hardline position that seemingly doesn't allow conservatives to even approach him without being branded minions of Satan?

There's a lesson in this for conservatives, too. If we want people to actually listen and engage our ideas, we can't allow our emotions to control our tongue to the point where we're spewing hateful words that may irreparably divide us from our neighbors. Echo chambers are not a good thing; Gran's article illustrates that.

We conservatives, however, are not guiltless when it comes to charges of constructing vacuum sealed echo chambers. Thankfully, in my life, at least, thoughtful conservative voices helped my transition from a diehard liberal to a conservative. I believe that's still possible, albeit more difficult now.