No Man's Land in the political war
The latest kerfuffle here in Phoenix in which the loud-mouth extremists are setting the agenda has to do with Julie Erfle. You may not know who Julie Erfle is, but that's okay. Julie Erfle's husband, Nick, was a police officer killed in the line of duty almost a year ago. He was killed by ... an illegal immigrant.
Oh dear. Nothing brings out the extremists in Arizona like illegal immigration. And that story really made them nuts. Well, until Julie Erfle went to Washington with Phoenix's mayor, Phil Gordon, to advocate for comprehensive immigration reform. Oh dear, again.
Erfle's trip put a bug in the butt of Bruce Jacobs, a morning talk show host on a local radio station in Phoenix. KFYI claims that Jacobs is their "resident right wing ranter," but this station carries both Rush Limbaugh and Michael Savage, so it's not like they have a lot of NON-right wing ranters, but whatever. Jacobs tore into Erfle, claiming that "comprehensive immigration reform" is really amnesty (and it's always funny how conservatives, while they acknowledge Reagan's famous amnesty of 1986, never seem to take that into account when they lionize the Gipper) and that Erfle should be ashamed of herself. More to the point, he claimed her dead husband would be ashamed of her for taking this stance and that he would put part of the blame on her the next time a police officer is gunned down by an illegal immigrant.
Wrap your head around that for a moment. Bruce Jacobs has no idea what Nick Erfle's political stance was about illegal immigration, yet he knows that he would be ashamed of the woman whom he married and had two kids with. Now, as he's in law enforcement, maybe Nick Erfle was completely on board with the "deport them all and build a mile-high brick wall along the Rio Grande" attitude that many conservatives have. But Bruce Jacobs doesn't know that. Plus, now he's going to blame a grieving widow raising two small kids for any other killings of police officers? Classy, Bruce. Well done.
As many reasonable people have pointed out, there's a difference between criticizing Julie Erfle for going to Washington and advocating for a position you don't agree with and ripping into her personally and claiming she'll be to blame for more deaths. Jacobs is an idiot for saying that, but that's his right (there are calls for him to be fired, but how about people stop listening to him, for crying out loud!). Julie Erfle became a public figure when she went to Washington, so go ahead and disagree with her position. I'm not sure why opponents of someone feel the need to insult people personally when they don't agree with them. It's sad. Of course, people who show up to comment in posts like this one and this one show that a lot of people think it's okay to insult people for their beliefs, because everyone thinks they're right and will never admit that they might be wrong. I guess that's what passes for political discourse in the country these days.
I was listening to Laura Ingraham this morning, and she was making fun of the attendees of the Democratic convention. She said they were given flags and it appeared they needed to be told how to wave them so they could act patriotic. She was having a good laugh at her lame joke. Why did she feel the need to do that? If she doesn't agree with Democrats (and she doesn't), can't she just point out where she disagrees with them and leave it at that? I think the attendees of both conventions look like idiots, but we'll see if Ingraham makes this point when the RNC fires up. Probably not - they'll all be heroes dancing around and weeping because they love their candidate and their country so much. It's beneath people to insult others just because you don't like their beliefs, yet extremists from both sides act like they're in grade school all the time, and nobody calls them on it.
Illegal immigration is a serious problem in this country, but no matter what the conservatives say, it doesn't have a simple solution. You can call it amnesty all you want, but there's no way we're deporting 12 million people (the estimate of the number of illegals in the country). We definitely need to secure the border, but we're not deporting those who are already here, and Bruce Jacobs and his ilk need to recognize that. Even if they don't, insulting a woman who knows the cost of illegal immigration far more than Bruce Jacobs does is idiotic. How will we ever get anything done if we're reduced to insults? I guess that's why we're not getting anything done.