Monday, January 10, 2011

First, they came...

This is a political post.

Making sure you have the facts straight

For the next few weeks, the talking heads that revolve around the 24 hour news cycle will work hard to convince us that the man who shot Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and killed Federal Judge John Roll was unstable, and worked alone, and this was a terrible tragedy that couldn't be avoided. They will pound it into our heads until we accept that as reality. Because the truth would spell doom for the current political narrative. Because the truth is that all the nasty rhetoric and posturing created the climate that made this shooting possible. And nobody wants to admit that.

Because then you have to blame somebody.

When we live in an age where people feel free to indicate they want to bodily physical harm to the President, where congress men brandish guns in their ads, where politicians words start to resemble those of terrorists...the idea that someone wouldn't pick up a gun and actually do it is naive and shortsighted. One political figure used cross hairs to show political targets. A candidate in one commercial actually shot a mock up of the cap and trade bill. One party's entire political comment right now is that "we will not compromise" - echoing the operational idea of the very fanatical extremists they claim we should oppose.

And it's all fun and games until someone gets shot.

Let me be clear I'm not blaming anyone in particular. No one candidate or political figure is responsible. But the collective has to bear some responsibility for the climate it has created, with its "taking our country back" battle cry and allusions to "Second Amendment remedies". And when the conservatives point their fingers to the extremists on the other side who should also be responsible, ask them for specifics, because I can't think of any.

But then this is the America we live in now, where bad things happen but no one is ever to blame.

To paraphrase a statement that sticks in my mine, "First they came for the poor, but I was not poor so I said nothing, then they came for unemployed, but I had a job so I said nothing. Then they came for the ...,"well, let's just see whose next.

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