Yes, it's complicated, yes, it's divisive
Some time ago I used to try to make the case that people who are opposed to illegal immigrants receiving amnesty and people who wanted to see the law of the land of America regarding illegal immigration be enforced are not bigots, but you know what? I realized that just as on any issue and just as in any group of people, people band together for different reasons. For that reason, I realized that while I am not bigoted against brown skinned, black skinned, yellow skinned, red skinned, or purple fingered people who come into our country either legally or illegally, and the majority of people against amnesty for immigrants who came here illegally and would like to see our border laws enforced and employers pay a steep penalty for employing those immigrants who have entered our soveriegn nation illegally are not bigoted that some people may be. I have come to the realization that the motivations of some are convoluted and complicated and bigotry against people of different nationalities or skin color may play a part in some people's overall reason for opposing illegal immigrant amnesty, supporting border security and stricter laws against employers who hire such illegal immigrants. So I don't argue anymore that bigotry is not a factor for anyone, I argue that it isn't a factor for me and it shouldn't be a factor for anyone.
What is your definition of rude and uncivil behavior? What is your definition of civility and respect?
If someone throws a pair of tennis balls at a man and says, "Here, this is the only pair of these you'll ever have," a crowd of civil and respectful people might suck in some air and deplete the oxygen in the room. Those people might later issue scathing reviews of such behavior as "disrespectful," as "rude," as "crude" and as "uncivil," and I'll even concede that they would have a point.
The exclamation of tennis balls at the end of the sensationalized sentence could certainly be justified as an act of disrespect accompanied by such a comment coming from a radio talk show host at an immigration debate. But, in fact, he might have done so because he's tired of back-handed newspaper editorials that generalize and oversimply the issue of immigration reform themselves by repeatedly and regularly implying that all those who oppose amnesty, propose secure borders and would like to see the law of the land enforced are either bigoted xenophobes or ill-informed ignoramuses or a combination of the two. That, you see, is civil, in their opinion. That sweeping characterization is respectful. That sentiment is neither rude nor crude in the opinion of such an editorialist.
Let me tell you something, two wrongs don't make a right, but personally, I would much rather see the knife welded by the villan coming at me so that I would have an opportunity to defend myself against it than have it sneak, stealthily and silently from behind, never seeing it before it is slid so back-handly between my shoulder blades.
How many tennis balls does it take when given an opportunity to debate an issue for one to agree repeatedly with one's opponent, for one to offer no research and for one to just talk about how the divisive rhetoric on the part of the country needs to end? Zero.
The one offered the opportunity to debate in a forum in Springfield on last Thursday evening didn't offer any real and tangible reasons to support amnesty, to keep our borders unsecure and open and to continue to allow employers of illegal aliens to hire them with no or a mostly un-enforced penalty. In fact, anything like that, in his mind, would do more good than harm (?) but we don't know why because neither at the debate or in a recent editorial at the Springfield News-Leader does the proponent of those ideas tell us why those sentiments would be more good for our country than bad.
How many tennis balls does it take to slink back to the editorial board to form a consensus view on behalf of the Springfield News-Leader that slyly characterizes those who oppose illegal immigrant amnesty, support border security and tough employer penalty for the hiring of illegals as ill-informed, ignorant bigots?
It doesn't even take two.
I agree with the News-Leader, immigration reform is a complicated issue. The divisive rhetoric needs to stop on the part of those who are sympathetic to the illegal immigrant population. Those who want to talk out of both sides of their mouths, on the one hand stating, "It's complicated," and on the other hand refusing to even entertain the opinions of those who disagree with their sentiment for tangible and legitimate reasons and they need to stop characterizing those who disagree with them with generalized slander and assumption.
No, two wrongs don't make a right but lets at least recognize that there are two wrongs. Let's not pretend that when a debate takes place in the physical world and one party "rises above" disrespect and rudeness in that physical realm when he is face to face with his opponent and has the opportunity to make his case but fails to, then returns to his office, in quiet reflection and takes the hidden knife out of his pocket to carve away the credibility of those who feel so passionately about this issue for legitimate reasons and place in the cavity he has created the infection of generalized slander toward all is somehow more civil and respectful than the other.