The murder of a young girl and other people in Arizona today is a predictable result of the violent language that has built up in this country over the past decade or so, starting with Ann Coulter Michael Savage and Rush Limbaugh and right wing intellectuals like Thomas Sowell calling for military coups. Today similar sentiments are the norm even by Republican elected officials. Every one of these people who has used similar language has blood on their hands. Every one.
Michael OHare at the Reality Based Community pinpointed responsibility for what happened in the following remark, which I pass on:
First, fellow citizens, let us shrink from assigning blame for this terrible act of a madman to the patriots guilty of nothing but framing their love of country in language like “Second Amendment remedies” and visual puns like crosshairs. There is absolutely no way these leaders could know anyone having access to a Glock with a 20-round magazine would think a harmless metaphor for political engagement has anything to do with actual violence, or even to know that such people exist. To accuse them is as unjust and irrational as to blame those who preach death for blasphemy and for those who tolerate it, when a devout follower of the Prophet acts on the sermons, and when thousands of the faithful throw rose petals on him for it.
A democracy is ONLY possible when both those in power and those currently in the opposition grant the other side legitimacy and remain loyal to the country as a whole and not just to their faction. This has broken down today, and overwhelmingly on one side only – the so-called conservatives who in fact are mostly nihilists. They are not conservatives, they are not libertarians, they are not patriots, and they are not decent people, although some reasonably decent people stupidly and irresponsibly remain their sympathizers, just as some reasonably decent Europeans stupidly and irresponsibly sympathized with Mussolini in Italy and the Nazis in Germany at one time.
The right wing leaders and the morally corrupt billionaires who support them and give them one sided access to the media have so changed the American political climate that no one was surprised at the attempted assassination and resulting murders. The only question was who would be first and the only surprise is that Gabrielle Giffords survived the attack.
The next few weeks will tell us whether many on the right wing have the courage and integrity as a movement to draw back from the abyss of civil violence that is beginning to open up before us. That the one person we know to be responsible was mentally unstable is not reason for relief. There are lots of mentally unstable people, and if a few of them end up killing people on both sides of the political divide, the more rapid partisans for each will take up the slack.
If the right wing does not draw back from the abyss they have opened, and I do not know the answer to that, the next question is whether the American people retain the moral strength and intelligence to reject them root and branch as a deadly poison to the body politic.
I think they will. I hope they will. I pray they will. I hope everyone will light a candle and send some energy to those who were wounded and to the loved ones of those who were murdered. I have.
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