Politics Gone Berserk

by V
Guarding approach to mills, Lawrence, Mass. (LOC)

via Flickr

This is probably not all that appropriate, since its mostly just a rant. But, I don’t care. I feel that I need to say something. And, I feel that this is a way to reach many people.

Yes, this is a rant about the recent shootings in Tuscon, AZ, and the violent rhetoric and imagery that foreshadowed it.

Its normal in any country for the politicians and other leadership to be unable to satisfy all of the people all of the time. That’s something that can’t be got away from. And that means there will always be civil and/or political unrest of some sort. That’s normal. That’s healthy for a nation.

However, what isn’t healthy for a nation is the way that our politicians and our citizens, especially (at the moment) on the Right Wing, are behaving. Violent (or violently tinged) rhetoric, and not-so-subtle violent imagery is not a good idea.

Throughout history we can see where the Left has also had their moments they shouldn’t be proud of. One example is the 70s, when people (mostly from the Left) were staging violent riots and overturning cars. One doesn’t have to go back that far, but its a prominent example and its one that brings up images in a person’s mind even if they didn’t live during that time. It just so happens that today, right now, it is the Right who is doing it. That doesn’t mean that in a few years it won’t be the Left again.

But, this isn’t about who is right or wrong. We shouldn’t be playing the blame-game. Its just getting people on the defensive. Everybody, party-regardless, needs to stop and check themselves. From the highest-ranked politicians to the lowest class of citizens. We need to stop and think before we speak. We need to stop and think before we add an image to our website or picket sign or whatever it is we’re adding images to.

Obviously nobody has told any unstable people to go out and commit murder. Or, if they did, they were probably not speaking literally (I’m looking at you, Bill O’Reilly). Nobody who is sane wants to really incite murder and mayhem. And nobody can know all of the time what is going to set off an unstable person and prompt them to commit murder.

But…that doesn’t mean that the Right is innocent this time. I think that there was an obvious disregard for common sense on the part of a lot of politicians, citizens, and organizations that are Right Wing. This needs to stop. I’m not even going to give examples. They’re obvious. Everyone knows what they are, what they were, and everyone will know in the future what they are when people use them again. This is not okay. This is something that is obviously going to set off some nutjob.

The tragedy in Tuscon is one that was unable to be stopped. Since 2008, there have been many attempts that have been in the news that have been caught in time and stopped, tragedy avoided. But, each time something set them off, and it was usually something obvious. But, it goes ignored because people on the Right get defensive (as people on the Left would, too, if things were turned around).

We need to stop getting defensive. We need to stop trying to justify or explain it away. We need to stop, we need to look, we need to admit (even if reluctantly) that yes…this is something that could have been avoided this time. Or at least, for these reasons. Maybe that guy, or those others in the past since 2008, would have still been set off in another way. That’s entirely possible. But, we will never know, will we? Because, there was irresponsibility all around.

One thing that we had to learn growing up was taking responsibility not JUST for our actions, but also for our words. Our words can cause harm just as much as our actions can. That doesn’t mean this man, or those who were stopped in the past, are innocent and should be given some sort of pass. Definitely not. Unstable or not, they committed or were on their way to commit, a terrible crime. They should be locked away forever and have the key thrown away. But, we also must take responsibility for inciting the violence in the first place, as well.

It doesn’t matter who started it, it doesn’t matter who finished it. It doesn’t matter who committed the violence, or who just spoke the words. It needs to stop. And it needs to stop immediately. Right now. Yesterday, even. Last week. It needs to stop. There is no excuse.

And, its no secret that I’m a Liberal. But, to be quite honest, if it was my own side doing it today I would be saying the same thing about them, to them. I would be ashamed of my political base and the actions and words that they are taking. I would not become less Liberal for it, but I would definitely call out my own side and say, “This is ridiculous and enough is enough. Calm down, take a chill pill, and act your age.”

End Rant.

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