I have not written for the last two weeks that saw the beginning of this new year 2011, some bad weather, and a horrific domestic terrorist attack in the U.S.A. perpetrated by a delusional young man against a moderate member of Congress. The member of Congress, U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords from Arizona, is alive in critical condition after being shot through the brain. Six other bystanders were killed.
I am upset. Really upset. For starters, any person who is victimized by an act of needless violence will have my sympathy, but what has America come to when our representatives must fear for their lives? Can we not have a society where a Congresswoman can go into a supermarket to meet her constituents without an armed escort? I guess not as long as Tea Partiers insist on the right to carry their guns into town hall meetings and the like.
Yes, it is true, I think that the Tea Party movement needs to acknowledge its culpability in this horrific event because of the level of violent rhetoric the movement has been spewing for the past two years. I do not believe that this is a “balanced” issue — the Left has not and does not participate in the same level of rhetoric such as:
- Sharron Angle saying: “if this Congress keeps going the way it is, people are really looking toward those Second Amendment remedies.”
- Representative Giffords’ opponent for Congress having an M16 shooting event to “Help remove Gabrielle Giffords From Office.”
- and of course, Sarah Palin’s infamous cross-hairs target list and her don’t retreat, “RELOAD” tweet
For a comprehensive list of the rhetoric as well as real acts of violence perpetrated by the Tea Party movement see “Right-Wing Domestic Terrorism in America“, a reader’s comment under the initial post.
Let’s be clear: there is no equivalent of this kind of rhetoric on the Left. Do I need to repeat myself before the Republican talking point will dwindle from the discussion? There is no equivalent of this type of rhetoric coming from the Left.
The Right has no sense of self-awareness. They cannot acknowledge that after this terrorist attack, perhaps in is a good time to tone down the rhetoric. Do you remember the Rand Paul campaign coordinator who stomped on the head of MoveOn.org activist and then demanded that she apologize to him?
The Right uses all sorts of imagery and symbolism in their rhetoric because what they stand for is so distasteful that they need to obfuscate reality and tell blatant lies. Despite the popularity of using Hitler imagery, the Tea Party should know that the Nazi or National Socialist party was not a left wing socialist movement but rather a far right fascist movement. What about Christine O’Donnell’s platform of strict constitutionalism when she did not know the contents of the First Amendment?
I’ll admit that the last example has nothing to do with the violent rhetoric I am disgusted with, but such a perfect example of how uninformed the Tea Party movement is.
The truth is that there is probably little that can be done to stop the vitriol because there seems to be an audience for it. Over the weekend I read a comment somewhere regarding the assassination attempt on Giffords: if your political view influences how you feel about it then you are part of the problem. I like the idea behind this sentiment but I do not believe it is true. I am a proud Progressive and one more time, the Left just does not come close to the level of violent rhetoric as does the Right.