Yesterday started out to be a very pleasant morning. Julie and I took a walk to get some breakfast at Noah’s, donuts at All Star Donuts, and a couple of other stops at the stores in the Countrywood Shopping Center in Walnut Creek. An easy-going Saturday with not much on our minds besides the usual day to day.
When we got home, I started checking my Twitter feed and saw that congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords from Arizona and others were shot in front of a Safeway during a “Meet Your Member of Congress” event. The tweets were coming in fast and furious, and it was just a rolling list of more and more horrible news. A small child was killed, a Federal judge killed, one of the aids to the Gabrielle Giffords was killed, two seniors were also among the dead, but Giffords was still alive — but gravely wounded. At first I didn’t know her party affiliation, but when the press listed her has a member of the Democratic party, I’m sorry to say that it didn’t surprise me to read that she had been shot at.
After two years of dehumanizing, demeaning, and inciting violence against what they see as a illegitimate government, the right wing of this country has slipped from “opposition party” to terrorist organization. In the name of freedom, liberty, and constitutional fundamentalism, this network of talk radio hosts, Tea Party racists, Sarah Palin irresponsible media whoring, so-called Birthers, parts of the GOP, and, yes, fringe groups on the right who extol Hitler, white power, and their right to amass firearms have been non-stop in their violent rhetoric against the Democratic party, President Obama, and anyone who voted overwhelmingly in 2008 for a center-left political change.
You take this campaign against anyone with a “D” in front of their name, boil it in hate for two years, and what do you expect is going to happen? Hell, even congresswoman Giffords asked Sarah Palin to tone down her rhetoric and rethink the graphic that depicted districts where representatives voted for the Health Care bill with targets on them. A Palin spokespersons now says they were not targets on that map, but “surveyors marks.” If you smell bullshit with that remark, you’re not alone. And, to add insult to an already tragic situation, one of leaders of the Tea Party Nation is pushing the line that the shooter was a “leftist lunatic.” See what’s happening here? People and groups who have profited (both monetarily and politically) from using hate, anger, and frustration to demonize Democrats, liberals, progressives, and anyone else who holds anything from strong to mildly leftish political opinion are taking zero responsibility for the culture they have wrought. Instead, they deny, deflect, and blame the other side. While that media campaign is going on, Sarah Palin’s people have been busy trying to scrub her public tweets, like this greatest hit:
Yes, I know that militaristic and fiery rhetoric is part of political speech, and if I had a dollar every time some politico called for revolution in this country … well, let’s just say that I wouldn’t be able to spend the money in my lifetime. But these last two years have been different in our country when it comes to politics. What I see is that a kind of nihilism and resentment have washed over the right wing to the point that they don’t care if they have to destroy the village to save it. They hate Americans who think differently then they do, but idealize America in a way that it’s completely disconnected from reality. Take the “return to first principles” or idealizing the founders of our republic as more than human whose ideas were borne out of something other than a political process. Many on the right elevate our founders as gods and feel that they (and only they) can divine the original intent the Constitution. It’s a kind of fundamentalism that is both dangerous and divorced from the problems we currently face as a country. Dangerous because it creates an elite class who claim only they are able to know what the founders thought, and divorced from reality because chloroforms anything that goes against what these fundamentalists believe. If this sounds a bit like the fundamentalism that pervades many parts of the world (including the kind of fundamentalism that afflicts countries like Afghanistan and Iraq), you’re not dreaming. And like many fundamentalists these days, they will resort to violence when prompted from people Mullahs who sit behind a microphone or in front of a TV camera pointing out enemies.
So, when Palin, Beck, Limbaugh, Savage, Tea Party douchebags, and some members of the GOP say their rhetoric and propaganda are not responsible for the deaths of those in Arizona, just know it’s coming from this group: