Saturday, January 08, 2011

Today's political rhetoric

You know, it doesn't much matter whether today's shooter in Arizona leans to the left or to the right in terms of his politics. This is true either way:

Gradually, over time, political rhetoric used by politicians and the media has become more inflamatory. The degree to which violent words and phrases are considered commonplace is striking. Candidates are "targeted". An opponent is "in the crosshairs". Liberals have to be"eliminated". Opponents are "enemies". This kind of language eminates largely from those who claim to defend American democracy against those who would destroy it, who are evil, and who want to "take away our freedoms".

Today we have seen the results of this rhetoric. Those with a megaphone, whether provided by public office or a media outlet, have responsibilities. They cannot avoid the consequences of their blatant efforts to inflame, anger, and outrage. We all know that there are unstable and potentially dangerous people among us. To repeatedly appeal to their basest instincts is to invite and welcome their predictable violence.

The entire piece is entitled "Words Have Consequences" and it's by Gary Hart.

1 comment:

  1. It is way overdue to end this "lock and load" rhetoric. You may have seen this article:


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