Sunday, January 09, 2011

Connecting the dots

I feel so stupid. After the shooting in Arizona, I was sure that those who have engaged in violent rhetoric and hate speech would step back, take a breath, and take stock of their actions. I just knew that they would realize that the toxic climate had contributed to this tragedy. Much to my shock and sorrow, the right is doing anything BUT taking the opportunity for self-reflection. They steadfastly assert that this was the action of a crazy man, who apparently lived in a vacuum. And it didn't take long for the right to start taking swipes at the left, accusing them of "politicizing" the terrible events.

Well, to the right I answer this: we are NOT politicizing this! Since you are apparently unable to connect the dots, it falls to someone to try to explain it to you. I submit the following sampling of what we have been exposed to in the last year:

When the President of the United States went to Arizona to deliver a speech, these protesters, openly bearing arms, stood across the street from the hall where the President was speaking.

Rep. Giffords' opponent in the election seemed to think that this was an appropriate way to promote his candidacy: by holding a fundraiser where supporters could shoot a fully automatic M16 with him.

The astroturf movement, funded by Dick Armey et al, mobilized thousands to disrupt town hall meetings. After Rep. Giffords' town hall, a gun was found in the hall, dropped by an attendee.

The following signs need no explanation: they are a small sampling of signs displayed at Tea Party rallies.

Anyone who argues that a climate like this does not contribute to the violent acts of unbalanced individuals is, in my opinion, in denial or incredibly obtuse.