Monday, January 10, 2011
A Moderate Rebuttal To My Moderate Liberal Friend
"Pat, I know you'll just dismiss this, but I thought I would forward an article more eloquently stating some of my thoughts from our Arizona (shooting) conversation the other night... just one view."
Ugh. If you're going to send me Paul Krugman articles, I'll send you Ann Coulter ones.
"And it’s the saturation of our political discourse — and especially our airwaves — with eliminationist rhetoric that lies behind the rising tide of violence. "
Guess what? Saying that over and over does not make it true.
Even if it is said more "eloquently" as you believe he did it, that still does not make it true.
Saying "there is a connection" does not actually and magically create that connection.
That is not how reality works.
(Were you by any chance part of those who said rock music causes suicides or part of the crowd who said violent video games cause school shootings?)
You still have no evidence that this registered Independent shooter was motivated, inspired, encouraged by the Right or that he even had contact with the climate, rhetoric, talk radio or even one pundit on the Right.
But you've still decided he was exactly that.
You made that leap in logic and there you stay. Firmly planted. Afraid to concede that it might not be righteous or logical ground.
Aside from my hoping you never sit on the jury for any case in which I am accused, you should try to broaden your vision a little.
(Please try to, as there are so much better commentators on the Left you could read than the NYT's Krugman. He is a rabblerouser, like Limbaugh.)
Krugman's reference in his 2nd paragraph to the upsurge in violence through the Clinton years... with then a sudden and huge jump right to year 2009 was myopic, hypocritical, deliberate and yet completely expected of him by me.
Eight years (coincidentally Bush Jr.'s) simply disappeared mid-sentence with him. Whoopsy!
And there is real good reason for him to want to skim over most of this century's first decade.
The hateful rhetoric from the Left during Bush Jr.'s years so far superseded anything during Clinton's administration and the current one, it could go without saying.
But that does not mean it should.
I have personally read dozens of outright calls for violence and even assassination against W. in political forums over the last 10 years. To believe the Left is more civil is just incredibly absurd. It is not naivete, it is willful ignorance.
You get a quarter million conservatives to gather and they have a picnic by the Lincoln Memorial.
You get a quarter million liberals to gather and they have teargas canisters thrown before it is halfway over.
During the Bush years, I watched protest after protest after protest (one protest every Friday in Portland for over a year, at one point) where tens of thousands of literally screaming, raging liberals took to the streets and used it as an excuse to riot, destroy property and attack and injure the riot police that had to be called out time and again.
I watched as even during the Republican National Convention of 2004, Jesse Jackson and Michael Moore helped lead several hundred thousand protesters down the streets of NYC (during the RNC? Really?) and over a thousand of them were arrested for rioting and violence.
Over a thousand.
It was pretty huge in the news at the time.
Haha! Just kidding! It was glossed over, ignored and forgotten as quickly as possible.
"Where’s that toxic rhetoric coming from? Let’s not make a false pretense of balance: it’s coming, overwhelmingly, from the right."
Wrong. It simply comes from the party that is not in power. Always has been.
But Krugman knows that. (I will bet you $50 that he has to drink almost a whole bottle of wine before he can type his weekly hypocrisy.)
Nobody dramatically and permanently changed the level and hateful and disgusting tone of the so called "eliminationist (sic) rhetoric" more than the Left did during the Bush Jr. years.
Not even remotely close.
There was - and still is - utter hatred by many of the Left.... a hatred for George Bush Jr. personally as a human being... and not just toward his policies.
I do see some on the Right descending down that path with Obama, but they have not reached the level of "2000 - 2008" raging and frothing yet. They simply have not.
But more importantly, it has not been tied to this utterly detached and insane shooter yet.
Does the level of discourse need to become more civil? Of course.
But girding your loins and sense of righteousness with that 15 cent maxim and then suddenly taking the quantum leap to saying this particular shooting was directly influenced by the likes of Bill O'Reilly and Glen Beck without (still) a shred of direct evidence? It is just tiring.
Almost as tiring as reading Krugman or watching people politicize this horrible tragedy, which apparently now I too am guilty of doing for not letting this go.
I at least admit that evidence could still arise that the shooter was in fact motivated by talk radio, far-right politicians, etc.
It could. But it as of yet still has not.
Let me be clear... I don't say such evidence does not exist. I say it has not been uncovered or tied to the shooter and his motives.
In fact, the police have repeatedly said they still do not know what his motives were.
But no matter... you're steadfastly condemning others (not even the shooter) like Beck, O'Reilly, Limbaugh, et. all, before any such evidence arises.
As you said, "I know you'll (probably) just dismiss this", and yet I always naively hope that actual reason will somehow get through to others.