Way back in about 2007 or so, I first started noticing a certain slogan, prominently displayed on numerous cars and T-shirts in the Ann Arbor area:
At first, I thought they were funny. Republicans are evil, and so is Voldemort, so it makes sense that they would support him! Har har har! Good one, guys!
But after a while, a niggling little doubt began to gnaw at the back of my mind. Perhaps Repiblicans were not, after all, the Nosferatu-esque monsters I had always assumed they were. Perhaps, just perhaps, they were people. Not real flesh-and-blood humans like you and I, but they do have children (I've seen the pictures!), and so maybe they're not as universally reviled as I imagined.
I began to doubt in the unassailable rightness of my cause. How could I groan at news of Republicans refusing to "cross the aisle" and get stuff done, if I spent my free time accusing them of being Death Eaters.
Even if done in jest, such barbs are often harmful. In a way, the dismissiveness of the slogan made it even worse. As Dumbledore himself pointed out, "[i]ndifference and neglect often do much more damage than outright dislike" (Order of the Phoenix, pg. 834).
Recently, the meme has mutated, producing the virulent "Sarah Palin is actually a vampire" strain. Let me state, for the record, that I disagree with Sarah Palin's views on virtually every subject, from rape survivors' rights to the proper handling of the Gulf Oil Spill.
But I do not hate her. I strongly disagree with her, just as she has a right strongly disagree with me. That's how democracy works. I will not support her bid for any public office, but I know she's not the delusional half-wit that many liberals make her out to be. She can't have made it to the Governorship of Alaska without knowing how to do something right!
Besides, we don't disagree on everything. Recently, she joined a growing list of petitioners calling for Florida-based Rev. Terry Jones to quit being a dumbass and not turn the entire Islamic world against us forever by burning a big pile of Korans on Sept. 11. At least she and I can agree on something. Right?
And so, you liberals out there who still enjoy ridiculing people whose views differ from yours by accusing them of being in league with the villain of a Young Adult fantasy series, I have a request for you:
Stop it. You're hurting America.