Sunday, January 16, 2011

Giffords Shooting and Violent Political Rhetoric

What happened in Arizona last week was a tragedy.  There is no doubt.  But what has happened in the media and on the internet, at the hands of the Left, is even more tragic, and worse yet, hypocritical.

A man with a history of unstable behavior shot at a politician.  The immediate reaction of the Left was to blame the Right, and, in particular, the Tea Party movement and Sarah Palin, for the shooting.  This is so far off base, and so hypocritical, it is not even funny.

In a country that has one of the most liberal democracies in the world, but very low voter turnout, politicians have long sought to inspire passion about politics and political beliefs in constituents' minds.  They use rhetoric of "revolt," revolution, and yes, occasionally violence, to support this passion-building goal.  Even the term "campaign" is a military (thus inherently violent) term.

It is not right to blame a politician or a media figure for a deranged individuals' actions simply because they continue this long-standing American political tradition.

On the other hand, these same individuals, who now so easily point the finger, mostly voted our current President into office.  Let's look at some of the people our President has associated with, and evaluate their role in creating political violence.

The first, and most obvious of my three examples, is Reverend Jeremiah Wright.  If hateful or violent speech is a political sin, Obama's minister is long past political purgatory.

Second, William Ayers, and other members of the Weather Underground.  Many politicians use violent images in their speech to wrestle up passion in voters.  Yet, while an entire generation peacefully and non-violently protested the draft and the Vietnam War, some individuals took it upon themselves to do so violently, using terrorist violence to prove an overtly political point.  Obama is close friends and business associates with Ayers, as well, I'm surge, given his Hyde Park connections, other members of this small group.

Finally, the Black Panther Party, which practiced voter intimidation on behalf of our current President.  This is a direct form of political violence, and one which undermines the very core of our political system, our right to elect our political leadership.

I am not saying that Obama is a terrible person, or that he should be crucified for the sins of those around him (although from the cult worship he receives from many on the Left, we might wonder if they have him confused with someone else).  I am, however, saying that before we begin to critique the words of those on the Right, we should take a good look at the ACTIONS of those on the Left.  We are Constitutionally guaranteed a freedom of speech.  We are not guaranteed a right to fire bomb, or a right to intimidate voters.

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