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I was at a bit of a loss on what to write about this week, until I

heard on Labor Day, a union leader called for war on the

right.

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Which union leader? Well Jimmy Hoffa Jr.:

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“We got to keep an eye on the battle that we face: The war on

workers. And you see it everywhere, it is the Tea Party. And you

know, there is only one way to beat and win that war. The one thing

about working people is we like a good fight. And you know what?

They’ve got a war, they got a war with us and there’s only going to

be one winner. It’s going to be the workers of Michigan, and

America. We’re going to win that war,” Jimmy Hoffa Jr. said to a

heavily union crowd.

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“President Obama, this is your army. We are ready to march. Let’s

take these

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(expletive deleted, ed.)

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 out and give America back to an America where we belong,” Hoffa

added.

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be fair, Hoffa was ostensibly calling for them to vote out

Republicans and Tea Partyers, but then again I thought we were

supposed to be avoiding that sort of "violent rhetoric," in the

wake of the Gabrielle Giffords shooting.

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Of course, they actually only meant those of us on the

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right

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should avoid "violent rhetoric," not those on the left who would

never resort to violence.

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Except of course at Tea Party rallies, where members of the Service

Employees International Union beat up a black man and bit the

finger off an elderly protester.

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It was actually unsurprising to hear this sort of rhetoric at a

Labor Day rally by a union member as Labor Day was instituted to

celebrate organized labor.

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It was a bit annoying to realize he was saying these sorts of

things at a rally at which the president had spoken just minutes

earlier.

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However, I'm not going to call for an end to that sort of rhetoric.

War and politics are inextricably intertwined. More than one person

has remarked that war is merely an extension, and in some ways the

ultimate expression of, politics.

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Because of that we're always going to speak in martial metaphors

when discussing politics. The very word "campaign" means a military

operation.

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What concerns me far more than the "violent rhetoric," is the the

sense behind it.

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I've noted before we're more divided now than we have been since

the Civil War which was, interestingly enough, 150 years ago this

year.

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Author Tom Kratman mentioned to me once the real problem is that

right and left no longer share the same basic assumptions — indeed

we no longer even speak the same language. Words now mean different

things depending upon one's political bent.

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It's a frightening development if true.

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While I have a particular political bent, (no kidding right?) I do

not view those who do not share my views as evil people. Misguided,

yes. Deluded, possibly. Wrong, certainly. But above all, myself and

most of the people who think like I do still see them as basically

good folks, fellow Americans, who simply disagree with

us.

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I'm not convinced the same is true on the other side. I think there

are many — not all, but many — on the left who truly believe those

of us on the right are evil people. Not people who merely disagree,

but bad people who wish everyone around us harm.

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Folks, we've got to find a way past that. My good friend, who is a

former writer for us here, Chuck Leverich is a life-long Democrat

and liberal. We disagree on much politically. But when we sit down

and talk politics, we find we agree on more than we disagree

on.

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I think if we could all just sit down and talk we could find that

same common ground, and work from there.

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I'm no moderate. I think the liberals are flat wrong on pretty much

everything they want, but politics is the art of the possible and

we have to get our politicians to sit down and find common ground,

before the people at the top destroy our country.

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All IMHO, of course.

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(Patrick Richardson is the managing editor of the Cherokee

County News-Advocate. He can be emailed at

pat.richardson@sekvoice.com.)