We’ve probably all seen the video of the teabagger heckling the Parkinsons guy.? It was disturbing to say the least.? Now we know who the heckler of the Parkinsons guy was.? Chris Reichert.? We know he is a registered Republican (big surprise there).? Some folks in back channels want us to know more about Chris Reichert in an effort to further embarrass him.
We’re missing an opportunity here and we should step back from the partisan funfest long enough to seize it.
He not only apologized, but he said every single thing that we’ve been saying for years now about the worst of the right wing blowhards on talk radio.? They are dangerous and they incite behavior that is an overall detriment to the political process.? Chris knows.? He got all hopped up on wingnut radio and decided to head down to a rally.? He probably regrets that now.
We’ve been asking for years on this blog for wingnuts and teabaggers to have a bit of self awareness.? Chris demonstrates precisely what we are asking for and we want to continue to hit the guy?? His self awareness led him to see his actions on television and not even be able to recognize who he was under the influence of right wing talk radio.
We should be praising Chris and thanking him for proving our point about the hate speech that led Chris to humiliate another human being who is suffering.? We should be thanking him for what appears to be a sincere apology and let him seek redemption for these actions.? He’s already begun his personal healing by donating to a local Parkinson’s Disease group.? Further hammering seems detrimental to our overall cause and demonstrates to some degree that no matter the amount of self awareness or the level of contrition about disgusting right wing attacks, we will never give you a pat on the back and thank you.
If we are going to hammer wingnuts and teabaggers (and boy are we) and criticize their total lack of self awareness and dignity, then we must allow them to reclaim it through apology and retribution restitution*.? Anything less is to dilute the arguments we’ve made in the past about the climate that has been generated and stoked by the Becks and the Limbaughs and the reaction of those who then turn that hate speech into hate action.
Thanks Chris Reichert for proving us right afterall about the negative effects of right wing talk radio that creates caustic political environments that cause people like you to do things you’d never think of doing.? You may never go to another political rally again, but I encourage you to.? The next time you go, demonstrate to us and yourself that you can stand up for what you believe without denigrating those who might believe otherwise and embarrass yourself in the process.? Maybe you can even sit down with Bob (the guy with Parkinsons) and see each other for human beings and not punching bags in a political discourse.
For those who might continue to try to shame and embarrass Chris, consider the half life on your own mistakes and stop for a minute.
* I had originally used the phrase “apology and retribution”, but meant “apology and restitution”.? Thanks to my good friend Jeff Hess of Have Coffee Will Write for the polite correction.