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Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Youth

Reprinted with permission from AlterNet

Axios has published a report that is making some Republicans furious.

“Young Dems more likely to despise the other party,” the headline reads. It doesn’t get much better for those on the right.

Fully 71 percent of Democratic college students told a Generation Lab/Axios survey that they would not date someone who voted for Donald Trump. Just 31 percent of Republicans surveyed said they would not go on a date with a Biden voter.

The same poll also found four out of 10 Democrats would not shop at or support a business of Trump voters. Just seven percent of Republicans felt the same way about Biden voters.

Three in 10 Biden voters would not work for someone who voted for Trump. Just seven percent of Trump voters felt that way about a Biden-voting boss.

Some of those on the right are bristling at the results of the poll, with one pointing to the line that talks about dating as “terrifying.”

When asked if they would be friends with someone who voted for the opposing presidential candidate, more than one in three Democrats/Biden voters (37 percent) said no. Just five percent of Trump voters said they could not be friends with a Biden voter.

“Democrats argue that modern GOP positions, spearheaded by former President Trump — are far outside of the mainstream and polite conversation,” Axios explains.

But for those on the left it goes even deeper.

“Some have expressed unyielding positions on matters of identity — including abortion, LGBTQ rights and immigration — where they argue human rights, and not just policy differences, are at stake.”

Some conservatives reacted angrily, and others used it as a tool to bash Democrats. None appeared interested in examining the actions of the right that led to the poll results, such as working to weaponize religion, and attacking abortion, same-sex marriage, voting rights, the Affordable Care Act, mask and vaccine mandates and social distancing, Black Lives Matter and the equality of people of color, the integrity of America’s electoral systems, and Democrats themselves.

Attorney and former Trump DOJ spokesperson Sarah Isgur commented on the poll by saying it “doesn’t bode well.”

Andrew Follett, a senior research analyst at the right wing Club for Growth, called the lines on dating “terrifying.”

(The Club for Growth, backed in large part by right wing anti-LGBTQ billionaire Dick Uihlein, spent $20 million “supporting 42 rightwing lawmakers who voted to invalidate” President Joe Biden’s victory, according to The Guardian.)

Former Bush 43 White House press secretary Ari Fleischer, who regularly uses Twitter as a platform to attack those on the left and liberal policies, noted that when he worked on Capitol Hill he “never cared” what party his friends belonged to.

Countless others chastised those on the left, claiming as one former Maine state senator wrote, “The party of ‘tolerance?'”

Radio host Ross Kaminsky, a former board member of the climate change denying organization Heartland Institute (which for years worked to defend Big Tobacco), offered this take on the study:

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From left Ethan Crumbley and his parents Jennifer and James Crumbley

Mug shot photos from Oakland County via Dallas Express

After the 2012 massacre at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, then-Rep. Mike Rogers, a Michigan Republican, evaded calls for banning weapons of war. But he had other ideas. The "more realistic discussion," Rogers said, is "how do we target people with mental illness who use firearms?"

Tightening the gun laws would seem a lot easier and less intrusive than psychoanalyzing everyone with access to a weapon. But to address Rogers' point following the recent mass murder at a suburban Detroit high school, the question might be, "How do we with target the adults who hand powerful firearms to children with mental illness?"

The parents of Ethan Crumbley presented their clearly troubled 15-year-old with a high-powered weapon. He is charged with using the semiautomatic handgun to murder four students at Oxford High School.

This is hardly the first case of parents enabling a sick child to act on his violent fantasies. Nancy Lanza, the mother of the 20-year-old who killed 27 innocents at the Connecticut elementary school, left an unsecured Bushmaster .223-caliber rifle at her tidy house. Nancy was Adam Lanza's first victim.

Laurel Harper had previously placed her son Christopher in a psychiatric hospital, but that did not deter her from keeping unsecured guns at their home. Christopher brought six of them to his 2015 rampage at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon. Nine students died.

Both Nancy Lanza and Laurel Harper were divorced women left to single-handedly deal with children tortured by inner demons. But rather than steer their sons away from the gun culture, they both dove into it.

Nancy would go to bars at night and brag about all the guns she kept at home. Laurel, a nurse, spent long hours on forums, her subjects alternating between her son's mental illness and her gun collection.

"I keep two full mags in my Glock case," Laurel swaggered online. "And the ARs & AKs (semiautomatics) all have loaded mags." She criticized "lame states" that put limits on loaded firearms in the home.

Concerning disregard for the lives of others, no one would beat James and Jennifer Crumbley. The school called them in after Ethan was found having drawn pictures of a gun, a bullet and bloody figure with the words "the thoughts won't stop" and "help me."

They came in but refused to take Ethan home. They wanted to get back to their jobs.

The day before, the school informed the parents that their son was found searching online for ammunition. Jennifer responded by sending an insanely supportive text to Ethan: "LOL, I'm not mad at you. You have to learn not to get caught."

When these details emerged, the parents took off to hide from getting caught. They now face four counts each of involuntary manslaughter.

The central focus of the Michigan horror has rightly moved from a mentally ill high schooler to his socially deviant parents. Which leads to these two questions:

Aren't parents who keep loaded weapons in a home shared by a disturbed child with violent obsessions themselves mentally twisted? And what could be done about them?

A woman had reportedly told investigators in Connecticut that she overheard Adam Lanza say he planned to kill his mother and children at the elementary school. She even called the local police. But since Nancy Lanza, not Adam, owned the weapons, the police couldn't take them away.

If police had removed arms from adults without criminal records, the gun rights fanatics would have exploded with outrage. How dare you go after these noble defenders of the Second Amendment?

Besides, it's easy to identify mentally ill people who use firearms, right? It's certainly easy once the massacre is over.

Follow Froma Harrop on Twitter @FromaHarrop. She can be reached at fharrop@gmail.com. To find out more about Froma Harrop and read features by other Creators writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators webpage at www.creators.com.