Monday, January 10, 2011
Thoughts on the Giffords shooting:
In politics (and much of human relations) it's practically impossible to prove that "A caused B".
In the Palin/Giffords case, you are left with assessing whether or not you approve of a particular style of argumentation. And events matter. If the assailant had gone after Giffords with a knife, the Palin issue would be significantly muted. But for those of us who don't like shoot-to-kill metaphors, when an actual shoot-to-kill event occurs, it reinforces our disgust with that kind of language.
Either words have consequences, or they don't. Listening to right-wing radio today, they say their talk doesn't cause anyone to do anything. At the same time, "inciteful" criticism by the Arizona sheriff and the likes of Paul Krugman are what's wrong with America.
The last thing right-wing radio will do is pick one set of rules, because they know exactly that their schtick does not survive a level playing field.
Either way, everyone knows people like Beck and Palin did not pull the trigger. The really troubling thing is that the language and imagery they use is exactly the same as used by mass-murdering mental patients.
I don't care if they tone down the language or not. What I do hope is that more people are aware of what monsters these guys are.
Have you noticed that all the right wing talkers have circled the wagons and playing defense like crazy. They are guilty and they know it. the cookie jar is on the floor and broken. Maybe, they didn't break it but they all have cookie crumbs all over themselves.
Giffords' brother-in-law, Scott, the commanding officer on the International Space Station, spoke over the radio. Flight controllers in Houston fell silent.
"As I look out the window, I see a very beautiful planet that seems very inviting and peaceful," he said. "Unfortunately, it is not."
"These days, we are constantly reminded of the unspeakable acts of violence and damage we can inflict upon one another, not just with our actions, but also with our irresponsible words," he said.
"We're better than this," he said. "We must do better."
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